Another draw enough to see Galway U-20s stay in the hunt



Kevin Egan at Dr. Hyde Park

THIS most remarkable of provincial championships strikes again. Galway’s draw with Roscommon at Dr. Hyde Park last Wednesday evening was a very satisfying result for Derek Savage and his players, because with their four games played, they are the only team that is certain to play knockout football.

All four other counties were due to into action in Castlebar and Ballinamore last night (Wednesday) knowing that a win will extend their season, and that defeat will end it – though based on this competition so far, yet more draws are probably as likely as anything.

This was Roscommon’s third draw in succession in this competition, and the third time the Rossies came from behind to salvage something out of a game where their opponents had the upper hand. Galway will certainly feel that with the wind at their backs and a two-point lead on their side with ten minutes to play, they should have been able to see out their victory.

The argument from the Tribesmen’s side will also be that three of Roscommon’s four second half points came from Shane McGinley frees, none of which were egregiously wrong calls, but none of them were clear-cut either. Some referees might have given none, or one, and most would probably have awarded two, on average.

Barry Judge gave all three, and so Roscommon had something to show for their efforts. But the other side of that coin is that it took a fantastic save from Eamon McGrath to deny McGinley from the game’s only real goal chance, so in that sense, Galway can appreciate that they didn’t come home empty handed either.

There was never a stage in the game when Galway looked out of the game, but they did play second fiddle for the opening 20 minutes. Roscommon had the wind behind them and they were putting good pressure on McGrath’s restarts, while forcing Galway turnovers in the windy, wet conditions.

Rory Hester and former Dunmore Community School student Rob Heneghan kicked the only two points that were scored in that spell, though they added four wides as well, all while Galway struggled to work the ball out of their own back line.

Pictured: Galway’s Matthew Thompson who was on the scoreboard in their low-scoring draw with Roscommon in last Wednesday’s Connacht U-20 Football Championship clash at Hyde Park.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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