GALWAY GAA: “THEY’RE ALL… TIGHT, TOUGH ENCOUNTERS” – KERIN 

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5 July 2016; David Wynne of Galway during the Galway Football squad portraits at Pearse Stadium in Salthill, Co Galway. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

(Photo – Galway GAA)

He was right in the centre of the controversial incidents that marred the conclusion of the Galway verses Mayo league clash last Sunday week (11th February) but Eoghan Kerin knows fully well the rivalry that exists between the two counties.

Mayo’s two O’Connor brothers – Cillian and Diarmuid – both saw the line after incidents with the Annaghdown corner back.  The former was a straight red following an elbow.

Tensions won’t ease as the Connacht sides gear up for a Connacht championship battle in Castlebar on May 13th that will have the country gripped following the latest instalment.  And Kerin is happy that Galway have shown they can compete with Mayo again.

“We’ve played them twice and beaten them twice so far this year and there’s been a tiny bit of needle in both of them,” said Kerin to John Harrington on GAA.ie.  “But, look, you expect that in a Mayo-Galway clash.

“The last three or four meetings we’ve got the better of them, but they’re all been tight, tough encounters. I suppose from a Galway perspective, prior to the last couple of years we weren’t overly performing well.

However, putting back-to-back performances has always been Galway’s downfall making their opening three wins against Tyrone, Donegal and Mayo more impressive.

After Galway beat Mayo in the 2017 championship, they fell heavily to Roscommon in the Connacht Final.  They responded with a comfortable victory over Donegal in the qualifiers before tamely exiting to Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

And in 2016, they followed up a Connacht Final replay rout over Roscommon with a shocking collapse in Croke Park against Tipperary.

“Yeah, one thing that’s been missing in our game the last two or three years is consistency,” added Kerin.  “We’ve been able to have one really big performance, but then maybe the following day we haven’t been able to follow it up.

“Even last year, a great performance against Mayo in Pearse Stadium, and then we followed it up with a, pretty much, let’s call it what it was, a drubbing to Roscommon in our own back yard.

Galway meet Kerry this Sunday (25th February) in their fourth game of the Allianz National Football League.  Throw-in in Austin Park, Tralee is 2.30pm.