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Tribe & Mayo to serve up a chess match.

Byline: Bernard Flynn Expert analysis from a legend of the game

THE BILLING of game of the weekend has to go to Galway v Mayo.

I still believe a doubleheader at Croke Park that included that fixture and the Tyrone-Donegal showdown would have been the way to go.

Nevertheless there will be a huge crowd in Salthill and while their supporters will travel in numbers, this is a potential banana-skin for Mayo.

We haven't been treated to great games between the two in the past. In fact there have been some very disappointing games.

And we're not going to get a lot of open football and flair on show tomorrow.

Galways have to keep it tight but so do Mayo, with Michael Conroy gone and Alan Dillon has missed a lot of football. Andy Moran, too.

So Mayo don't have the forwards to really open up and take on the Galway defence. Instead, I think Mayo will win it with a tight, mean defence themselves.

Part of the interest will be in seeing what Galway team turns up. Galway are the Jeckyll and Hyde of football and their most experienced players are their main concern.

Michael Meehan has been through an awful lot and he's not quite the player he was. Seanie Armstrong, Paul Conroy, Gary Sice - all of these experienced players simply can't be as inconsistent as they've been previously.

They must stand up with Galway's new players. To be honest, after their under-21 All-Ireland success I would have thrown six or seven of those young guys into this match.

It would have been the ideal thing for them.

Regardless, Mayo have it all to lose as hot favourites against a group of players whose reputations have flunked in championship battle.

Ultimately it's all about Mayo's attitude.

With so many of their forwards missing, it would have been good to have Conor Mortimer there but it's not to be.


CRUNCH Mulholland's men have a real task ahead
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion, Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:May 18, 2013
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