Shannon Blues 1-10 Galway 2-15
Galway registered a well-earned two points against a Shannon Blues side that relied on the scoring prowess of corner forward Paudie MCCormack to keep them in the game. Kevin Cummins was in fine form at center forward for Galway, and looked sharp with the frees while goalkeeper Jamie Kelly was solid throughout. Galway streaked into an early nine point lead that the Blues reduced to 5 before the break, however an early second half goal set the stage for Galway to run out comfortable winners.
|Galway's Ned Lyons faces Shane Kelly|
At the end of the first 30 minutes Galway held a five point lead. The scoreline did not tell the full story of the half however, at one point the Brighton side led by nine points. The westerners got off to a fantastic start. A seemingly unstoppable Kevin Cummins tallied five of his sides seven points, and provided the assist for the goal that was netted by Christian O’Hara. The Blues were stuck in first gear, however, and with the game approaching the “dangerously out of reach” stage, they finally came into it. McCormack, who provided the main scoring outlet, opened the account with a point, and added a goal soon thereafter to catapult the Blues back into it. The 2014 champions started to move the ball well out of defence as Galway began to slow down, and chipped away at the lead. McCormack almost added a second goal, however, Jamie Kelly got down well to save the close range shot and preserve the Galway advantage. Galway 1-9 Blues 1-4 at the break and all to play for.
|Paudie McCormack on a run for Goal.|
Galway struck early in the second half with a another goal. It started with a lovely ball from Danny Reddin to the onrushing Kieran Gallagher who played the ball to the unmarked Ned Lyons who had just the keeper to beat from inside the 21. After being followed by two points, one from Gallagher and the other from Cummins, the scoring flurry delivered a fatal blow to the Blues challenge.
The Blues toiled away, but as the game went into the final quarter things seemed to come easier for Galway who rediscovered the running they displayed in the opening 15 minutes of the game. The teams traded scores down the stretch, with Galway finishing with a Cummins 45 and a lovely point from on the wing by Fionn Ferguson. The final minute saw Danny Reddin and Ciaran Killeen get their marching orders following a totally unnecessary incident as the result was all but decided, which marred a fine victory for Galway.
Galway: J. Kelly, N. Lowry, G. McCoy, S. Cullen, J. Kehoe, P. Cummins, E. Kavanagh, P. Naughton, F. Ferguson, K. Cummins, C. O’Hara, N. Lyons, D. Reddin. Blues: E. Whelan, S. Kelly, S. Eustace, C. Killeen, G. Cunniffe, D. O’Brien, P. Murray, G. Banstible, C. Mullan, S. Moriarty, J. Craig, P. McCormack, B. Ryal.
By Rory O'Donnell