Fortunate Galway men get away with daylight robbery


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Fortunate Galway men get away with daylight robbery Fortunate Galway men get away with daylight robbery

Galway 1-13

 Sligo 0-14

Pádraic Ó Ciardha at Markievicz Park

THE Galway footballers are preparing for a ninth consecutive Connacht final appearance thanks to a daylight robbery so blatant that you’d have to presume they were issued with summons’ before reaching the Sligo border last Saturday evening.

Rob Finnerty’s goal two minutes into added-time broke the hearts of both locals and neutrals alike and gave Pádraic Joyce’s men an altogether undeserved victory in this Connacht semi-final.

In terms of ‘smash and grabs’, it would have to rank up there in Galway football history. The Tribesmen were second best in many departments during the course of the 70-plus minutes and Finnerty’s goal, palmed to the net after good work from Damien Comer, put Galway in the lead for the first time all afternoon.

If you’re going to take the lead just once, injury-time is a pretty good time to do it and Galway do deserve some credit for the way they turned around a three point deficit in the final five minutes, but you can be pretty sure it wasn’t the positives that Joyce was emphasising as he held his players in the dressing from for a lengthy post-match debrief.

Having hammered Sligo by 14 points in last year’s Connacht final, a lot of Galway fans might have expected a relatively stress-free trip to the Yeat’s county 12 months later. The locals were a little more optimistic, however, buoyed by a solid league campaign in Division 3 and recent underage success.

That optimism proved to be well founded as Sligo raced out of the blocks early on. Having won possession from the throw-in, Tony McEntee’s side held onto the ball for over 60 seconds before Nathan Mullen finally broke through to put them ahead.

A super free from Niall Murphy further added to the sense that Sligo were up for this and the home side looked faster and more athletic during those opening stages. With their full forward line staying close to goal, there was plenty of space for the Sligo runners to move into and they exploited it. A good score from Cian Lally put Sligo three up in the ninth minute before University of Galway Sigerson player Canice Mulligan burst through the middle to make 0-4 to 0-0 in the 12th minute.

Pictured: Galway’s Cein D’Arcy missing an early opportunity against Sligo goalkeeper Aidan Devaney during the Connacht Senior Football Championship semi-final at Markievicz Park on Saturday. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile.

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