Galway stuttered their way to a Connacht semifinal win over Sligo on Sunday and left manager Liam Sammon sweating over their chances against Mayo in the final.
“I’m very relieved,” admitted Sammon. “I think we would have settled for a draw there at the end. We are certainly glad to be out of here, there is no doubt about that.
“We have a huge task ahead of us in the Connacht final. We know that, and we have a lot of work to do in the next three weeks.
“Sligo must be very disappointed. They were deserving of a draw at least. They missed quite a number of chances in the second half, and we had very limited supply of ball up front.
“We were struggling. A lot of our kick-outs were not going deep enough because of the breeze, and that put us under a certain amount of pressure.
“You have to give Sligo credit for that, their hunger was evident as they snapped up ball. They were very quick to get onto it. That’s certainly an area we’ll have to work on for the next three weeks if we’re to have any chance.”
Sligo boss Kevin Walsh, the former Galway star, acknowledged that his side blew a big chance of an upset on Sunday.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Walsh. “It was there for us. When it came back to 0-10 each, we had one or two chances to get that extra point or two on the board, but unfortunately we didn’t take them.
“Galway could probably have got four or five more points early on as well, but it was disappointing not to finish off the job.
“Of course the performance is a consolation. They can certainly walk out of the dressingroom tonight and hold their heads up high.
“At the same time, after being four or five points down, to work your way back and not finish off the job is kind of soul-destroying.
“In the league we were often slow starters, and when we got back to two points there at half-time, I really felt there was a great chance there. I think we were proved right, there was a great chance. We just didn’t take it.”