Mayo claimed the Allianz Football League Division One title in a hard-fought battle against neighbors Galway, leaving their fans elated with another triumph.
Congratulations to @MayoGAA, the 2023 Division 1 Allianz Football League Champions.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) April 2, 2023
The green and red supporters were treated to a solid performance at GAA headquarters, under Kevin McStay’s stewardship, generating belief and momentum ahead of the Connacht Senior Football Championship.
Despite Galway’s string of missed goalscoring opportunities, Mayo custodian Colm Reape played a vital role in the win. The Knockmore clubman not only made fine saves but also added three points to Mayo’s tally from long-range frees and a 45.
Mayo’s 45, 041 crowd was in full voice at the end of the game as they celebrated their team’s success. The victory was well-earned, especially considering the opening quarter of the match, during which Mayo accumulated a 0-6 to 0-1 advantage.
Players such as Paddy Durcan, Diarmuid O’Connor, and Jordan Flynn impressed with their forward surges, while Ryan O’Donoghue posed a significant threat inside. The team was equally effective in defense, forcing turnovers and restricting Galway’s attacking prowess.
Galway rallied in the second quarter, with Shane Walsh converting a couple of frees before landing a superb score from play, followed by John Maher squeezing over a point from an acute angle in stoppage time.
Mayo, however, maintained their lead thanks to O’Donoghue and Reape’s thumping frees, leading 0-8 to 0-5 at halftime. Galway narrowed the gap to a single point in the first five minutes of the second half with two points from Rob Finnerty.
The remainder of the match was a closely contested battle, with Mayo clinging on to their narrow lead. Reape made several fine saves from Matthew Tierney, Damien Comer, and Peter Cooke, while O’Donoghue’s two frees and Jack Coyne’s critical point sealed the deal for Mayo.
Roscommon now await Mayo in Castlebar, where they will face another challenge. The win against Galway, however, has given the team the confidence and momentum they need as they head into the Connacht Senior Football Championship.
Ryan O’Donoghue was the star of the show, scoring seven points for Mayo, while Colm Reape, Jack Coyne, Paddy Durcan, James Carr, and Jordan Flynn each contributed a point. For Galway, Shane Walsh scored five points, while Rob Finnerty, Seán Kelly, John Maher, Peter Cooke, and Tomo Culhane each added a point.
Referee Brendan Cawley (Kildare) oversaw the game, which saw Mayo’s Colm Reape named as man of the match for his excellent performance.