Anthony McGarry aims to strike blow for Mayo clubs
BALLINTUBBER manager Anthony McGarry believes it’s time to increase the currency of Mayo club football and hopes his team can start by beating Galway champions Corofin in next Sunday’s Connacht semi-final.
“It’s time for Mayo club football to get back on the map and what better way to do it than against a team from Galway,” McGarry told The Mayo News.
Ballina Stephenites were the last Mayo side to win the provincial title, in 2007, and the Ballintubber boss feels that Corofin and St Brigid’s have raised the bar since.
“People say that Mayo football has gone backwards but I think the standard of Connacht football has just improved in the last few years with Corofin and St Brigid’s. They are both very strong teams and we face a real battle on Sunday.”
McGarry made the trip to Tuam Stadium last Sunday to watch the Galway final, and given that Corofin kicked 16 points while accounting for Tuam Stars, it was hardly surprising to hear that he was impressed.
“They are a very balanced team and hard to break down,” he said. “Once they built up a lead, they knew how to hold onto it. They kept possession and used their goalkeeper a lot more than most teams. It’s crucial that we don’t let them start well again on Sunday.
“They have an excellent free-taker in Alan O’Donovan who scored ten points and we will be punished if we foul within his range,” added McGarry. “We’ll need to be disciplined with our tackling.”
The availability of Gary Dillon still hangs in the balance for the Mayo winners. Work commitments could see him jet off to America before Sunday but McGarry is hoping the flight might be delayed for another few weeks.
“We might confiscate his passport,” smiled the manager. “I’m hopeful rather than confident that Gary will be available, but we don’t know yet.
“If he is with us it will be a major boost. Not only will he strengthen the team but it will give us extra options on the bench too.”
Connacht SFC Semi-Final
Ballintubber v Corofin
Sunday, November 6
Castlebar at 2.30pm