Claregalway turn the tables on Dunmore in second-half

Claregalway 1-12

Dunmore 2-7

Ivan Smyth at Duggan Park

CLAREGALWAY outscored Dunmore 1-8 to 0-4 in the second half as they secured top spot in Group Three of the Senior Football Championship.

The winners turned a 2-3 to 0-4 deficit into a two point win as Mark Rohan’s 48th minute goal proved the decisive score in this helter skelter affair. With Mountbellew/Moylough slipping to a one point defeat to Tuam, Claregalway managed to usurp Val Daly’s men to take top spot in the group. Both Claregalway and the 2021 county champions progress automatically to the quarter finals while Tuam will compete in a play off for the final spot in the last eight.

For Dunmore, they entered this game knowing a win or draw was needed to ensure they qualified for the knockout stages. However, this defeat left them in the relegation mix alongside St. Michael’s. The opening half was promising from a Dunmore perspective as they raided for two sucker punch goals with the wind at their backs. However, after struggling in front of the posts during the first period, Claregalway improved significantly as their ability to fire over from range proved a potent weapon.

John Fitzmaurice’s side produced a fine defensive display in the second half as they shipped just four points, with only Shane McGrath’s 41st minute effort coming from play. They were able to pin Dunmore back while their improved accuracy and Rohan’s crucial goal saw them progress through to the quarter finals for the second successive year.

Both sides struggled against the strong breeze in Duggan Park yet Claregalway were able to get off the mark when Matthew Kilgannon neatly slotted over a left footed effort in the second minute. From there though they only kicked one further point from play in the opening half. Claregalway registered three first quarter wides and dropped two efforts short during the same period. Dunmore enjoyed precious little of the ball in the opening throes of the game but they made maximum use of the football when netting in the sixth minute.

A booming Connor Gleeson kickout landed just outside the Claregalway ’45. Shane McGrath gathered possession and managed to find the onrushing Thomas Gleeson. The Claregalway defence was left exposed as Gleeson offloaded to Colm Costello, who rifled to the net. As Claregalway continued to struggle in front of the posts, Colm Costello whipped over a lovely outside of the boot effort to ensure Dunmore led by three.


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