Molloy’s charges finish strongly to defeat Roscommon in shield decider

Galway 2-25

Roscommon  3-16

By Ivan Smyth in Bekan

GALWAY secured the Connacht Hurling League Shield as an improved second half defensive showing saw the Tribesmen deny Roscommon in Bekan on Saturday.

For the second year running, Galway were able to select 26 players from Junior 1 clubs who are not on another county panel and had not played at any grade above minor at inter-county level. Last year Galway won the Cup final as they defeated Roscommon in the decider with the men in marron and white denying the Rossies further silverware in this entertaining battle.

This year, Galway lost out to New York 1-27 to 1-16 at the semi-final stage. This meant they faced Roscommon in the Shield Final after the Rossies were beaten by Mayo in their last four clash. In a free flowing contest, the sides combined for 27 scores in the first half alone. The second period saw Galway tighten up defensively as they survived a shaky start to the final half to pull clear.

Roscommon lined out on Monday, Wednesday and finally on Saturday with their exploits appearing to catch up on them in the final period. They rifled in 3-8 during the opening period but only struck four points in the first 24 minutes of the second half against a Galway defence, led by full back Tommy Halliday, who began to get to grips with the opposition attack.

Galway were more economical during the final period but still found Roscommon to be astubborn foe. However, they possessed a strong bench with the impressive Ryan Folan and Evan Hayes combining for 1-6 with the pair making a noticeable impact. Hayes’ 55th minute goal effectively sealed Galway’s win as despite Dara Newell seeing red for late on. Declan Molloy’s side had inflicted the necessary damage on a day when Cathal O’Hanlon nabbed 1-9 for the winners.

In a helter-skelter first half, both sides were able to carve out scoring chances at a high rate. A frantic start to the contest saw the sides combine to equally share six points in the opening seven minutes as Galway appeared to possess the greater spread of threats, while Roscommon’s inside full forward line looked menacing when they received possession.

Pictured: Ballinasloe’s Cathal O’Hanlon who scored 1-9.

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