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Gritty Galway step it up to earn a share of the spoils

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Gritty Galway step it up to earn a share of the spoils

ROSCOMMON 0-9

GALWAY 0-9

By Alan Dooley at Dr Hyde Park

ULTIMATELY, the point gained by Galway after a dour draw with Roscommon last Sunday in Hyde Park could prove hugely valuable in their efforts to stay in Division 1 of the National Football League but, in reality, it was the home side who were more relieved to escape with a share of spoils after an error-ridden contest in which the strong wind wrecked any chance of an entertaining renewal of this rivalry.

Much like Pearse Stadium, the Roscommon venue is prone to the elements at this time of year and the wind that blew in unabated diagonally across the field tested the sturdiness of the uprights at both ends of the field. It was never going to be a day for impressive scoring totals, but Galway will surely be frustrated that they only raised three white flags from the 40th minute on with the elements in their favour.

Trailing by three at half time, it took Galway until the 63rd minute to draw level when Paul Conroy converted a pressure free. Roscommon had minutes earlier been reduced to 14 when Donie Smith was sent off after an incident involving Conroy, but that numerical advantage was wiped out when Jack McCabe, only on the field a matter of minutes, was black carded for allegedly tripping Niall Daly.

In the closing 14 minutes, Galway kicked three wides to double their total of misses to six while Roscommon kicked another to bring their tally to 11. What was more frustrating for the Galway supporters in a crowd of 6,128 was the number of unforced errors in possession that were made down the stretch when Roscommon appeared content to play out the draw.

Roscommon manager Davy Burke made a number of late changes to his starting line-up, the most notable of which was the return of St. Brigid’s star forward Ben O’Carroll. Padraig Joyce made three changes to the side that had limped to defeat against Mayo, with Conroy, Matthew Tierney, and Robert Finnerty drafted in.

Pictured: Galway’s Dylan McHugh tries to halt the progress of Roscommon’s Ben Carroll during Sunday’s Division One league clash at Dr Hyde Park. Photos: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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