Galway's response encourages new manager Joyce
By Cian O'Connell
Padraic Joyce was encouraged by the character Galway demonstrated in Sunday's success over Mayo at Elverys MacHale.
Trailing by six points in the closing stages, Galway finished strongly to force a penalty shootout.
Galway eventually prevailed to set up a Connacht FBD League Final for the sixth year in a row against Roscommon.
"Overall, the most pleasing aspect - we were six points down and looked dead and buried," Joyce reflected.
"In fairness, the lads stuck at it, Gary O’Donnell won a great ball and we were able to work it down the field for Liam Costello to get the equaliser. "In fairness, they worked hard. Over the years, Galway would be seen as a team who would have a soft belly so they showed they had good fight and good character in them which was pleasing."
Joyce believes the new kickout rule is a welcome addition with debutant goalkeeper Connor Gleeson, who saved two penalties, adopting a direct strategy throughout.
"There is more contested ball which is no harm," Joyce says.
"The way things were going corner-backs were getting 80 per cent of kick-outs so it is no harm to kick it out and let midfielders contest for the ball."
The Killererin clubman has promised an attacking approach which was evident in Castlebar.
"We are trying to move the ball as quickly as possible and we got some great scores there," Joyce stated.
"We need to do a bit of time on the other side of, 1-17 is a great score to get, but it is also a bad score to conceded."
Ultimately Joyce was satisfied with how Galway fared. "You have got to give them time," Joyce added.
"Colin Murray was under a bit of pressure in the opening 15-20 minutes but he grew into the game well. Gary O’Donnell was a real leader for us at full-back and I know they got a few scores off him but he stood up to be counted.
"Johnny Duane came in and played well, Paddy Kelly, it was his first time out and he won’t be marking the likes of Paddy Durcan every week.
"Overall, we would be happy, we got a bit of game time into a few fellas, good to get Damien (Comer) back and also Sean Kelly, they have been two long-term injuries."
A fine 1-3 scoring contribution from Adrian Varley was another source of satisfaction for Joyce.
"Adrian Varley was in good form," Joyce remarked. "He’s been unlucky with injuries over the years, we tried to get him back injury-free.
"He’s a great man to show for the ball and he took his goal really well and could have ended up with a few more scores, but overall happy with his first day out."