The mood has darkened between Galway and Mayo
All-Ireland winning captain Ray Silke could sense tension between Galway and Mayo supporters in Pearse Stadium Stand and suggested that the mood between the two counties has darkened in recent years.
Galway beat Mayo for the third time in a row in Sunday’s Division 1 clash in Salthill but the endgame was marred by a series of brawls and melees which were so protracted that the referee was forced to add eight minutes of injury-time at the end.
Three players were shown red cards in the closing minutes, with Paul Conroy banished for a second yellow and the two O’Connor brothers being sent off for Mayo.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Sport, Ray Silke hailed a positive beginning to 2018 for the Galway footballers but alluded to the growing air of contempt that has come to accompany the Galway-Mayo fixture in this decade.
“From a Galway perspective, it’s very, very positive. They won the All-Ireland hurling title last year and I think the footballers were concerned that the hurling was going to go very, very strong (relative to the other code).
“That can happen in a county. It’s all Joe Canning and David Burke and Gearoid McInerney and Conor Whelan and they become superstars.
“So, it was important that the footballers bounced back and showed something and they have showed that… I don’t think anyone in Galway is getting too carried away. It’s only the League but at least there is a pattern of play coming in there.
“Keith Duggan wrote a very interesting piece in the (Irish) Times yesterday in which Jim Carney from the Tuam Herald, and formerly of RTÉ, said that the mood between the supporters and between the sides has gone a little bit dark over the last while.
“Maybe it’s because Mayo’s success has been so phenomenal and Galway are now pushing hard.
“Even there, you could hear it in the stand that there was a lot of… I wouldn’t quite call it vitriol but there was a lot of tension there.
“And we don’t want that to happen. Win or lose, shake hands and move on. And it’s disappointing to see the game ending in that way.”