'It was a poor advertisement for the game' - Tomás Ó Sé and Joe Brolly criticise quality on display in Galway's win over Mayo
Tomás Ó Sé and Joe Brolly were far from impressed by the fare served up by Galway and Mayo in Castlebar in Mayo today.
Kevin Walsh's men advanced to a Connacht semi-final meeting with Sligo following a 1-12 to 0-12 win over their great rivals while Mayo will have to negotiate the four rounds of the qualifiers to take their place in the Super 8s.
It was a turgid encounter with both sides adopting defensive tactics and poor attacking on display. Johnny Heaney's decisive injury time goal was one of the few pieces of quality produced,
Speaking to the Sunday Game, Kerry legend Ó Sé criticised Mayo's decision to retreat in big numbers in the second half with the wind at their back, despite being down the 14-men following the first half sending off of Diarmuid O'Connor.
"It was a poor advertisement for football. It was a desperate second half. Mayo parked the bus completely which I think came against them. The red card obviously didn't help. I think Galway were slicker and used their footballing brains a lot more," he said.
"I think Eamonn Brannigan coming in made a huge difference, (Ian) Burke coming in made a huge difference, Sean Kelly coming in made a huge difference. Why didn't Galway start with these players?
"Tom Flynn caught a great ball near the end and scored, Ciarán Duggan was excellent at midfield and you have to give credit where credit is due but I think Mayo absolutely parked the bus. They were less than sharp up front. It was a poor display by them.
"Galway finished the stronger and overall deserved it but the red card has a huge effect."
Brolly saw little to convince him that either of the teams have what it takes to trouble All-Ireland champions Dublin.
"I think the prevailing theme for me is total disappointment. You come along wanting to see them express themselves and play football," he said.
"With 74 minutes gone, the second half scoreline was four points each in a game with great conditions for gaelic football, neither team playing with a half-forward line so you can't move the ball quickly forward.
"Galway playing with two in the full-forward line and letting Keith Higgins police in front of them. Mayo could easily have won that game.
"Dublin will be sitting back thinking, 'There's nothing here. There's nothing here to trouble us'."
Colm O'Rourke fears for Mayo in the qualifiers.
"Mayo are probably in terminal decline," was his assessment of Stephen Rochford's men.