Former GAA rivals to reunite at Blackrock Cottage

Mayo footballer Colm Boyle with his award at the 2016 GAA/GPA Opel All-Stars Awards at the Convention Centre in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Mayo footballer Colm Boyle with his award at the 2016 GAA/GPA Opel All-Stars Awards at the Convention Centre in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

They may have agreed to disagree a few times during their inter-county careers with Mayo and Galway, but Colm Boyle and Seán Armstrong are both convinced that the current rivalry between the counties is ‘as intense and healthy as ever’.

The duo often crossed paths during their days in the county colours, and they are going to be reunited again next weekend for an ‘Up For The Match’ event in Salthill that is taking place before the National League Division 1 clash at Pearse Stadium at 1.45pm.

Former Mayo defender Boyle is appearing alongside ex-Galway forward Armstrong at a free ‘Up For The Match’ event at Blackrock Cottage Restaurant at the end of the Salthill Prom’ at 12 noon next Sunday to preview the big game.

The venue is just a short walk from the nearby Pearse Stadium so is an ideal opportunity for Mayo and Galway supporters to sample some of the pre-match atmosphere and enjoy some of the hospitality that Blackrock Cottage Restaurant has to offer.

Colm Boyle, who won four All Stars during a glittering career with Mayo, believes that the current rivalry between Mayo and Galway ‘is probably as healthy now as it’s ever been’.

“The two teams that know each other inside out, they’ve played each other so many times at this stage,” he said.

“Mayo got the upper hand on Galway in the league final and in the championship last year, so Galway are going to be determined going into next Sunday’s game to put things right and put down a marker.

“All the players will know that there’s a big chance they will meet again in a knock-out championship game down the line.

“But both teams are so evenly-matched at the moment, there’s never much between them.”

It’s a view shared by Seán Armstrong, who won three Connacht SFC medals during his days playing with the Tribesmen, and was also an All-Ireland cub winner with Salthill-Knocknacarra.

“I think Galway-Mayo is probably the only decent rivalry left in inter-county football at the moment,” he offered.

“You could argue Kerry-Cork, but bar one upset that Cork pulled off a few years ago, it’s a done deal. The same could be said of Dublin-Meath.

“Ulster is always competitive but when you’re talking about ‘old school’ rivalries, Galway-Mayo rarely fails to deliver. There’s hardly ever anything between the teams.

“The first round of the National League last year was a dinger under lights in Castlebar, I really enjoyed watching that game. A draw was probably a fair result.

“The League Final didn’t deliver as a spectacle really, Galway didn’t fire at all and Mayo just seemed to want it that little bit more. But there was still only a point between them at the end.

“So I’m really looking forward to seeing what they throw at each other next Sunday.”

 

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