Aiden McAnespies 0-18 Galway 2-8
McAnespies picked up the first silverware on offer this year by winning the Pat O'Brien Cup with a rousing second half performance. Trailing by five points at half time, McAnespies outscored Galway by 10 points to one in the second half to run out 4-point winners.
Neil Donaghy is back in action for McAnespies in 2009.
It was an open, entertaining game despite the soft conditions in Canton. Galway surprised some with a first half performance that more than matched the current Boston and North American champions. Finian Everard’s first half efforts yielded a goal and 2 points for Galway, however, Galway’s forward line could have made even more of the chances created. Galway dominated in the first two thirds of the field, and moved the ball well, but converting let the Westerners down. McAnespies kept in touch with frees and points from play thanks in large part to the industry of Colm McCrory. At the half Galway led by a score of 2-7 to 0-8.
McAnespies awakened in the second half. Midfielders Gary Clarke and Neil Donaghy lifted their game to help turn the tide. Returning to McAnespies this year, Moy clubman Donaghy, who was part of McAnespies’ 2007 team, could be an important asset in the defence of the championship. Eugene McKenna moved out from his corner back position, and after McAnespies got within a point, the Clones man leveled the scores. Three magnificent points followed from Colm Donnelly, Neil Donaghy, and Keith Hudson. McCrory capped an impressive display of scoring by McAnespies with a pointed free. Galway got some great performances from Paul Cummins, Conor Sobelowski, and Finian Everard, but McAnespies superior finishing proved to be the difference in the end.
Galway: Brian Calvey, Paul Cummins, Dave Molloy, JJ O’Neill, Peter Ryan, Sean Gallagher, Tom Walsh, Conor Sobelowski, Edmund Spruhan, Finian Everard, Peter Nolan, Jamie Kehoe, Donal Redmond. Macs: D. Wright, Steven McGill, Eugene McKenna, Eugene Daly, Alan Nestor, Keith Hudson, Gary Clarke, Neil Donaghy, Jamie Kelly, Colm McCrory, Colm Donnelly, Peadar Nugent, Steven McGettigan.
By Rory O'Donnell