Galway 2-12 Donegal 1-6
Galway captured the Junior B Football Championship amid atrocious conditions at the Irish Cultural Center on Saturday afternoon. It was not a day for hopping the ball and footing was shaky to say the least. In spite of the conditions the players coped well for the most part and those in attendance were treated to a well contested game of football. Leading by 2 points at the break, Galway made a late surge to hammer the win home and give the Brighton club something to take from the 2018 season.
John Farrell presents Galway Captain, Tom Davey,
with the Junior B Football Trophy
At one point in the opening half Galway led by a seven points and looked to have matters well under control. The tribesmen were quicker to the loose ball, and there were plenty of them in the greasy conditions, found their men well, and had Niall Manning in form at center forward. Manning pointed Galway’s first 2 points, and corner forward Cormac Kelly another before Kevin Cummins nicked over from a tight angle and then hammered home a goal.
Pat McLaughlin had the lone score for the northerners, and apart from a couple of wides, Donegal were very much on the back foot –until McLaughlin struck with an unlikely goal. A long range effort from a free slipped through the keeper’s hands and just under the crossbar, and Donegal were a transformed side after the score. McLaughlin pointed again and Nicky Kelly put a third over the bar to make it a 2 point game at the half with Donegal having new found life to their game.
Galway really needed a score after the restart to reassert themselves, but it was McLaughlin with a score to narrow the gap to a point. Galway were denied a sure goal by an amazing triple save from Noel McDermott. First Manning’s shot was saved, then a superb dive kept out Kevin Cummins shot off the rebound, and a third effort was also stopped in a heart stopping sequence. Galway however did get themselves on top again.
Captain Tom Davey and Paul Cummins performed well in the back line, and with Galway again finding their rhythm the points began to flow once more. Four in a row from Cummins and Manning put Galway up by 5, but Donegal were not done and kept battling. The gap was narrowed to a single score following two McLaughlin points on the trot, but Galway had a strong finish in them. Tom Maloney pointed after coming on for the injured Eoghan Kavanagh, and soon afterwards a brilliant finish from Leon Kelly into the far corner of the net put the affair beyond question. Manning put another brilliant effort over the bar and the Galway line began the celebrations in the rain. It was a convincing win in the end and for Galway Football a great win to finish off the season.
Galway: Colin Melody, Tom Davey, Danny Burke, Peter Bannon, Paul Cummins, Mark Cahill, Leon Kelly, Eoghan Kavanagh, Kieran Keegan, JJ O’Neill, Niall Manning, Kevin Cummins, Cormac Kelly. Subs: Shane Lohan, Ryan Gary, Kevin Healy, Tom Maloney, Sean Whelan, Seamus Gallagher.
Donegal: Noel McDermott, Shane McDaid, Michael McBride, Liam Sage, Denis O’Rourke, Dylan Costello, Mark Dunphy, Johnny Byrne, Diarmuid Moyne, Pat McLaughlin, Sean Winston, Philip Brennan, Michael McGinty. Subs: Lochlainn Byrne, John Doogan, Ciaran Mc Devitt, Ronan Shovlin, Cian O’Brien, Hugh Devine.By Rory O'Donnell