Author: John McIntyre
~ 2 minutes read
(Match abandoned after 55 minutes)
THIS was a strain on the eyes and, unusually, it had nothing to do with the standard of fare on offer in Tullamore on Sunday.
With O’Connor Park shrouded in fog, it compromised the viewing of the 400 hardy spectators who also had to endure near sub-freezing temperatures for this Walsh Cup group fixture.
It had been a marginal call for the game to go ahead in the first place given the poor visibility, but Kilkenny referee David Hughes opted to press ahead only to call a halt to the action after consulting with rival team managers Henry Shefflin and Johnny Kelly.
With conditions worsening, the match official was left with no option on an afternoon two other Walsh Cup fixtures – Kilkenny against Carlow and Westmeath against Antrim – had been called off due to the heavy fog.
Even in the opening-half, it was a challenge to see what was happening on the far side of the field and the lack of visibility contributed directly to Offaly’s green flag in the 23rd minute when Galway goalkeeper Eanna Murphy lost sight of a Jason Sampson delivery, allowing Charlie Mitchell to ‘ghost in’ for an opportunist score.
With Galway 13 points clear when the match was abandoned, it came as no surprise when the Leinster Council ruled that the result will stand, leaving the Tribesmen in a strong position to secure qualification for the Walsh Cup semi-finals when hosting Laois in Ballinasloe on Sunday (1:30pm).
Galway’s selection comprised of mainly squad members, with competitive debuts handed to corner backs Shane Morgan – one of four Loughrea starters on the team – and Ardrahan’s Michael Walsh who both merit at least another look.
Pictured: Galway attacker Jamie Ryan is chased by Killian Sampson of Offaly during Sundays fog shrouded Walsh Cup tie in Tullamore. Photo: David Cunniffe.
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