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Conroy and Sweeney star as Galway edge out 14-man Tyrone in dour affair

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Conroy and Sweeney star as Galway edge out 14-man Tyrone in dour affair Conroy and Sweeney star as Galway edge out 14-man Tyrone in dour affair

Galway 0-16

Tyrone 0-13

By Pádraic Ó Ciardha at Pearse Stadium

BETWEEN the torrential downpour that soaked Salthill before throw-in and the fact that visitors were a man down for most of the match, this opening round clash between Galway and Tyrone in the All-Ireland SFC never threatened to be a classic but Pádraic Joyce’s side did enough to keep their opponents at arm’s length throughout and picked up an important victory.

The Tribesmen didn’t trail at any stage in this one and while they’ll probably need to be a bit more clinical and a bit more ruthless if they’re going to go all the way this year, it’s still a good sign that Galway managed to clear what was a tricky hurdle last weekend without hitting their stride.

Galway looked to have the perfect opportunity to pull away towards the end of the first half when Tyrone were reduced to 13-men after Franks Burns saw red and Niall Morgan was black-carded. The Ulster side were forced to put Peter Harte back in goal for the ten minutes that Morgan was off the field but, despite their two man advantage, Galway only managed a single point during that spell.

Just three points separated the sides at the break, Galway leading 0-7 to 0-4, and Tyrone made the most of Galway wastefulness after the restart to reduce the gap to just a single point with around 30 minutes remaining. Galway, to their credit, were always able to produce a score when needed, however, and points from the likes of Matthew Tierney, Cillian McDaid and Damien Comer ensured that the home side always had their noses in front as Tyrone kept the pressure on.

On a day when few players hit the heights they’re capable of, it was a pair at either end of their intercounty careers who did the most to keep Galway moving in the right direction. Having missed the Connacht final with a knock, Paul Conroy came back into the starting line-up and gave the performance of a true leader. The St James’ man kicked two points, including a sweet effort with his left at an important stage in the second half, and his overall contribution was invaluable as he continually made the right choice on the ball.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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