Monday 22 October 2018

'Full house' signs being prepared five weeks before Mayo-Galway showdown

 

Galway’s Paul Conroy (left) clashes with Cillian O’Connor of Mayo, with Aidan O’Shea on the ground, as referee Anthony Nolan (centre) looks on during the sides’ league encounter Photo: Sportsfile
Galway’s Paul Conroy (left) clashes with Cillian O’Connor of Mayo, with Aidan O’Shea on the ground, as referee Anthony Nolan (centre) looks on during the sides’ league encounter Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The Connacht football championship will have its first sell-out game in years when Mayo play Galway in the quarter-final in Elverys McHale Park, Castlebar on May 13.

Interest in the all-ticket game has soared as a result of Galway's impressive run through the Allianz League where they took 13 of a possible 14 points in their first season back in Division 1 before losing the final to Dublin last Sunday.

And with Mayo still among the favourites to emerge as the main obstacle to Dublin's All-Ireland four-in-a-row ambitions, the big western shoot-out holds a fascination that extends well beyond Connacht.

"There's always big interest in Mayo against Galway, but it's even bigger than usual this year. People are expecting it to be a great contest, especially after Galway doing so well in the league and running Dublin close," said Connacht Council secretary John Prenty.

McHale Park has a capacity of 28,000, which is considerably less than what this game would attract at a bigger venue. Crowds of over 30,000 have watched Galway v Mayo in Tuam Stadium and Castlebar in the past but that was before ground capacities were reduced in line with health and safety regulations.

Mayo were beaten by Galway in the last two Connacht semi-finals in Castlebar and Pearse Stadium but went on to reach both All-Ireland finals through the qualifiers.

Irish Independent

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