Champions Galway lay provincial junior title on the line

Galway's Jonathan Ryan, in action against Sligo's Stephen Barrett, will be a key figure in their bid to retain the Connacht Junior football title on Sunday.
Galway's Jonathan Ryan, in action against Sligo's Stephen Barrett, will be a key figure in their bid to retain the Connacht Junior football title on Sunday.

DESPITE an impressive win over Sligo in the Connacht junior football championship semi-final, Galway manager Matt Duggan has upped the ante in his squad by making two changes for the Tribesmen’s provincial decider against Mayo at Pearse Stadium on Sunday (1pm).

Midfielders Colm Brennan (Aran Islands) and Enda Tierney (Oughterard) both come into the starting fifteen, with Alan Molloy (Corofin) — who showed good form against Sligo — and corner forward Tyler Ó Flatharta (Aran Islands) losing out.

Brennan was out injured for the Sligo game while Tierney was introduced in the first half for Brady, who now moves into an attack which already includes the prolific quartet of Michael Day (Headford), Sean Denvir (Micheal Breathnach), Thomas Gleeson (Dunmore MacHales) and Jonathan Ryan (Kilkerrin/Clonberne).

Although 2018 centre half-back Sean Ó Currin (Carna/Caiseal), who missed the Sligo game with a shoulder injury, is available once more, the management have resisted the temptation to tinker with their defensive unit. It is no surprise, as Galway were very impressive in this regard in their last game.

No more so than their half-back line of Damien Moran (Clonbur), Adrian Ward (Kilkerrin/Clonberne) and Padraic O’Donnell (Aran Islands). The three covered a lot of ground defensively and offensively, particularly O’Donnell who helped himself to 1-1 raiding down the left flank. Moran also kicked a point.

Duggan does have a couple of injury concerns. Headford’s Michael Day, with a return of 1-3 against Sligo, missed two weeks of training with a hamstring tear. “I am hoping he will be fit for Sunday. He is selected to play,” confirms Duggan.

Introduced against Sligo, Enda Tierney has been suffering from a calf injury of late. However, he came through a league match with his club recently and has been deemed fit to line out against Mayo.

While Tierney’s inclusion in the starting line-up is to be expected, it had not been envisaged that Alan Molloy would lose out in a further reshuffle. Duggan says it was a hard call. “Alan is hard done by but Colm Brennan is coming into that position at midfield. Again, it was a tight call. The panel is very strong. It was a flip of a coin for a few positions.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.