Title holders Maigh Cuilinn continue to force the pace


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Title holders Maigh Cuilinn continue to force the pace Title holders Maigh Cuilinn continue to force the pace

Maigh Cuilinn 2-14

Milltown 1-11

COUNTY champions Maigh Cuilinn picked up their third consecutive victory of this year’s campaign on Saturday after holding off the challenge of previously undefeated Milltown.

This top-of-the-table Group 1 match didn’t even bring the guarantee of quarter-final participation due to victories elsewhere for St. James’ and Annaghdown. But with six points in the tank, it’s hard to perceive a scenario where Maigh Cuilinn don’t take their place in the final eight.

Second half goals from Neil Mulcahy and Niall Walsh ensured Don Connellan’s team the result, but they always seemed to have Milltown at arms’ length even if the north Galway outfit did whittle a 10-point deficit down to six before the finish.

While the goals were decisive, this contest on reflection was probably decided in the opening quarter where Maigh Cuilinn built up a five-point advantage.

With the wind, Sean O’Connor kicked the opening score on two minutes before Milltown even touched the ball. And in the fifth minute, Johnny Moloney and Paul Kelly did the spadework for the advancing Aidan Claffey to fist over.

Milltown were getting chances but were guilty of six first half wides. They should have put themselves on equal terms during this period, if not ahead. On eight minutes, Niall Costello raided into the heart of Maigh Cuilinn’s defence but he managed to slice his shot to the right and wide.

It was costly as straight away the other end, Walsh claimed a mark which he converted. On the quarter hour, Dessie Conneely put over his first free. And then Kelly put five between them on the next attack.

Head starts like this can’t be allowed if teams have realistic designs on resting the Frank Fox Cup away from Maigh Cuilinn. But even though their opponents did close the deficit back to three, it was a temporary reprieve for Milltown.

Pictured: Maigh Cuillinn’s Owen Gallagher is chased by Sam Feerick and Pádraic Godwin of Milltown during the clubs’ Group 1 Senior Football Championship clash at Duggan Park on Saturday. Photos: David Cunniffe.

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