The latest installment of the western rivalry between Galway and Mayo ended in a thrilling draw, as Ryan O’Donoghue struck a stunning equalizer with the last kick of the game. As the clock ticked down, the Tribesmen looked poised to repeat their championship victory of last summer, only to be denied by O’Donoghue’s heroics. With a crowd of 13,654 onlookers, the young Mayo team, led by Kevin McStay, put up a relentless fight to level the score.
In the end, O’Donoghue’s seven-point performance proved to be the difference maker, as he secured a share of the spoils for Mayo in the sixth minute of added time. The result marks the first time since November 1997 that the two sides have finished deadlocked in a league match.
At half-time, Galway held a 1-05 to 1-03 lead, having opened the scoring through Damien Comer and securing a lead through a goal by Matthew Tierney. However, Mayo quickly retook the lead with a spectacular goal by James Carr and further points from O’Donoghue and others. Despite several missed scoring opportunities from Mayo and struggles for Galway against Mayo’s inexperienced defense, the game remained an intense back-and-forth battle.
In the second half, Mayo jumped ahead with three unanswered points, only for Galway to reclaim the lead with a goal from Seán Kelly. However, O’Donoghue’s late equalizer ensured a thrilling conclusion to the match, leaving the western rivalry still very much alive.