Galway’s goal bonanza is enough to secure vital win


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway’s goal bonanza is enough to secure vital win Galway’s goal bonanza is enough to secure vital win

Galway 3-12

Monaghan 0-14

GALWAY’S seriously depleted forces threw themselves a massive Division One Football League lifeline with something of a bizarre victory over Monaghan in Sunday’s relegation dogfight at St Tiernach’s Park.

On another day, and given how this high-stakes encounter evolved, it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine those great survivors Monaghan celebrating a priceless win, but most of the breaks went Galway’s way and they weren’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

If ever a team missed their regular goalkeeper, Monaghan were a classic case in point. The long-serving Rory Beggan is currently on trial in the US as a kicker for the NFL, and his absence on Sunday contributed to some calamitous defending under the high ball.

There was an element of good fortune about all three Galway’s first-half goals, but given their wretched run with injuries – attacker Rob Finnerty has now the joined the growing list of walking wounded – the men in maroon won’t even be tempted to apologise for maintaining their unbeaten away run in the league.

Leaving aside the concession of avoidable goals, Monaghan will also rue their inaccurate finishing. They had no shortage of possession or chances, but 11 wides compared to only three for Galway summed up their woes on a day when Rory Cunningham made the most of his first start at this level.

The St Brendan’s clubman previously had a couple of appearances off the bench in this campaign, but Sunday marked an opportunity for the natural left-footer to really show what he had to offer. And Cunningham made the most of his promotion by emerging as the game’s top scorer, comprised of three quality points from play and a smartly-finished goal in the 31st minute.

But a referee other than Barry Cassidy would probably never have made the decision which indirectly paved the way for Galway’s second goal. The Derry official inexplicably ruled that Monaghan attacker Andrew Woods had cynically blocked the path of the chasing Finnerty, when it appeared he was only standing his ground; and to compound Monaghan’s woes, the Derry official also brandished a black card to Woods.

Pictured: Galway midfielder John Maher who was one of their goal scorers in Sunday’s National Football League victory over Monaghan in Clones.

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