Rocky ride in Ruislip should stand Galway footballers in good stead

Galway football manager Kevin Walsh whose team struggled for fluency in Sunday's laboured Connacht championship win over London.
Galway football manager Kevin Walsh whose team struggled for fluency in Sunday's laboured Connacht championship win over London.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

GALWAY footballers may have endured a much rockier outing in Ruislip than was anticipated in the quarter-final of the Connacht championship last Sunday, but really the only thing that matters is that the Tribesmen came through this ‘no-win’ fixture against the London exiles.

Fielding a weakened team due to a serious casualty list, Galway’s only priority was to be still standing in the provincial title race after their weekend sojourn to the UK. Sure, they weren’t impressive but in the overall scheme of things would it have altered perceptions much if they had won by a point a man?

Mayo, for instance, cut loose against New York later that evening in the Big Apple and while they had 21 points to spare at the finish, it doesn’t really make an iota of difference ahead of their Connacht semi-final against either Roscommon or Leitrim. James Horan’s squad still ran up a horrible total of 18 wides but, like Galway, it was all about the result.

These games will at least have brushed off some cobwebs. Kevin Walsh had a bad championship experience against London in 2013 when in charge of Sligo, so he will be relieved that Galway eventually got the job done on Sunday. Of course, you can pick serious holes in their display and beating a Division Four team by only four points is worrying, but the reality check won’t go astray.

The potential for a shock result was evident at half-time when London retired on level terms, thanks in the main to a cracking Killian Butler goal in the 25th minute. The home team were well organised and committed, but Galway will still be disappointed over some poor finishing and sloppy turnovers.

Initially, it seemed that everything was going to plan. The influential Thomas Flynn, Michael Daly, Shane Walsh and defender Liam Silke were all on the scoresheet as Galway went 0-6 to 0-2 ahead after 19 minutes. There was really no early London storm to weather and a routine victory appeared on the cards.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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