Seasiders advance to the knockout stages


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Seasiders advance to the knockout stages Seasiders advance to the knockout stages

Salthill/Knocknacarra 1-10

Oughterard 1-10

Mike Rafferty in Killannin

UNDER the lights in Killannin on Thursday night, Salthill/ Knocknacarra and Oughterard had the perfect opportunity to maintain their interest in the Senior football championship or indeed, more precariously, drop into the relegation zone if matters went wrong.

At the end of the game, both were winners – of sorts. Salthill/Knocknacarra finished second to Group 2 table toppers Corofin and therefore qualified for a quarter-final place, while Oughterard finished fourth in the table and thus their campaign is over.

However, being on the back foot for a lot of the closing stages, Oughterard will be grateful for the late Eric Lee point that helped secure the draw and, in the process, avoid the relegation tangle on scoring difference.

That said, their minds will drift back to the concession of three late goals against Caherlistrane when the game was won and when all the calculations were done after the games on Thursday, they were pipped for third place in the group by Bearna on a small scoring difference and it was David Donnellon’s charges who advanced to a mid-week preliminary play-off with Tuam Stars.

For Salthill/Knocknacarra, maybe the group games did not go as well as they would have liked as two wins, a draw and two losses from five games does not read very well, but whatever about their results and performances to date, they have qualified for the knock-out stages. Mind you a team who only averaged 10.5 points per game will have to be sharper in attack when the cut and thrust arrives, as they had plenty of chances to close out this game but failed badly.

However, on a wet miserable night for sport of any description, both teams threw everything they had into the game. Errors were forgivable, as the conditions were not conducive to the continous hand passing and where turnovers were the order of the night,and where retention of possession was crucial.

Despite missing the injured Matthew Tierney, it was Oughterard who started brighest as Niall Lee got the opening score from play and followed it up with a free. Salthill/Knocknacarra were going left and right, back and forward with handpasses and it was through such a channel that they got their opening score on nine minutes when Paddy Kitt delivered the ball across the goal and Daniel O’Flaherty pounced to hand pass it to the net to put them a point up.

Pictured: Ryan Monaghan of Oughterard is challenged by Salthill/Knocknacarra’s Daniel O’Flaherty during Thursday’s Senior football Group 2 clash in Killannin. Photos: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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