Armstrong on fire as Salthill do enough to carry the day

St Michael's Keith Ward breaking away from Marcus MacDonnchadha of Salthill Knocknacarra.
St Michael's Keith Ward breaking away from Marcus MacDonnchadha of Salthill Knocknacarra.

Salthill/Knocknacarra 0-17

St Michael’s 1-12

A spirited second half performance was not enough for St Michael’s to comeback against local rivals Salthill/Knocknacarra at Pearse Stadium last Sunday. Michael’s were made to pay for a wretched first 30 minutes and, despite outscoring Salthill 1-9 to 0-7 in the second half, they were still left with too much to do by the final whistle.

Salthill were so dominant in the first half, it seemed wholly improbable that St Michael’s might mount such a fightback. Val Daly’s side played some excellent football during the game and eased into a seven point half-time lead without going much higher than third gear.

Even when St Michael’s did set out on the comeback trail, one imagined that Salthill had enough in the tank to respond in turn but, in reality, they could only canter along at the same pace. In fairness, Salthill never really seemed to panic at any stage, even when Michael’s narrowed the gap to a single point as the game entered added time.

Any time they got the ball forward, Salthill looked capable of scoring and Seán Armstrong popped over his ninth point of the afternoon late on to ensure the upset didn’t happen.

St Michael’s slim chance of snatching something from the game would have been non-existent very early in the afternoon had it not been for an inspired performance from Blaine Sheridan. The ‘keeper made four good saves in the first 20 minutes alone. Despite his heroics, Sheridan’s side still trailed by seven points, 0-8 to 0-1, by the 25th minute.

It took Salthill five minutes to open the scoring, Armstrong converting a close-range free, but two points soon after from centre-forward Evan Murphy had them in control in the early stages. Damian Connaughton got St Michael’s off the mark with a point but the Salthill forwards were giving their opposite numbers the runaround.

Armstrong added another point before good work from Brian Conlon forced Blaine Sheridan into action for the first time, making a double stop from Marcus Mac Donnachadha. Conlon got a point of his own in the 12th minute before another neat score from Armstrong extended Salthill’s lead to five, 0-6 to 0-1, after 17 minutes.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.