Monivea/Abbey made it two wins from two in the Galway senior football championship when seeing off a Caltra outfit that struggled to get any traction up front in this second-round fixture at Tuam Stadium on Saturday evening.
While not too many will be touting Monivea/Abbey, who reached the semi-finals in 2017, for championship honours this year, Brian Mulry’s men continue to prove they are a solid senior side with a great deal of quality throughout the park. You would certainly put them in the top eight and, possibly, higher in the Galway SFC rankings.
Monivea/Abbey, one suspects, would have targeted their opening two games against St Michael’s and Caltra as ‘must wins’ and the fact they were able to claim the victories in both with relative ease underlines a certain maturity in their outfit.
Against Caltra last Saturday, they were very business-like in their approach and by the 22nd minute led eight points to no score courtesy of a plethora of converted frees from Paddy Mullins, and another exhibition of shooting from the in-form Craig Kennedy, who kicked four of those points.
Indeed, it took until the 25th minute for Caltra to raise a flag through a Mike Kelly free and while Rob Kelly and Mike Kelly (free again) would add further scores late in the half, they still trailed 0-10 to 0-3 at the break. As a contest, it was all but over.
Without a player like Michael Meehan to spearhead their attack, Caltra were always likely to labour. All the time, they were looking to manufacture a score rather than create and, unfortunately, that is just the space they are in at the moment.
Over the contest, they also gave a huge volume of possession away – either through unforced errors or were turned over in the tackle – while on several occasions their ball handling also let them down.
In truth, they played like a team that lacked a certain measure of belief but one thing you could not challenge Caltra on was their heart.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.