Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Senior Football: Galway v Shannon Blues - Aug 8

Shannon Blues 1-7 Galway 1-9

Galway put on a second half display of great ball movement and hard work to overcome a five point half time deficit and keep themselves in with a shout for the senior football championship. The result leaves the Blues effectively out of the running for the top four. Galway worked hard in the back line to keep the Blues forwards under wraps, while up front a great display from Adrian Kelly and Gearoid O’Connor saw Galway chip away at the Blues lead in the second half and put the winning points over the bar in the final minutes.

Noel Galvin and the Shannon Blues could not stop the second half maroon tide.
Galway struggled to get into the game in the first 30 minutes. Two points was the all that the tribesmen had to show for their efforts. The Blues opened a four points to no score lead over the first 15 minutes. It could have been more were it not for the play of the Galway corner backs. Shane Melia and Paul Cummins kept the game from getting away from Galway with some timely interceptions. With Galway on the ropes, the Blues delivered what could have been a knockout blow with a goal from Paul O’Connor. Alan Holland, who proved to be the Blues main threat up front, provided the assist and O’Connor put away his first score of the game. The goal put the Blues up by six points, and really it could have been more. Gearoid O’Connor pointed just before half time to make it 1-4 to 0-2 in the Blues favour at the break.

Gearoid "Gags" O'Connor put the winner over the bar for Galway.

Galway took over in the second half and had taken the lead before the Blues got their first score of the second period. Galway played with seemingly endless determination and spirit. The Blues forwards had a hard time of it as the Galway back line hunted the man in possession until a turnover was forced. Meanwhile, when in possession, Galway worked hard for each other to move the ball well until it found a man in scoring position. Anthony Reddy in goal for Galway also played a part, and came to the rescue on one occasion with Paul O’Connor clean through. Reddy got down well to make an excellent save and prevent Galway spirits from possibly sagging. A Blues goal at that point could have broken up the comeback effort. Galway’s points came from Tom Walsh and Gearoid O’Connor (3). With Galway trailing by a point, O’Connor won a penalty after his shot was blocked by the foot of a Blues defender. Adrian Kelly shot low to the keeper’s left and Galway led by two points. The Blues were shaken out of their sluggishness and hit back. Alan Holland brought the Blues back within a point, but Conrad O’Reilly finished a lovely Galway move to point in reply. The Blues brought things level again with points from Holland and a surging effort from JP Murphy, but it was Galway who had the final say. Gearoid O’Connor beautifully tipped a 50/50 ball to himself and turned and pointed from close range. O’Reilly put the insurance point over the bar after being fed by Kelly. A great second half display from Galway, and with two big wins behind them it gives a great boost going into their biggest game of the season next week against Aiden McAnespies.

Blues: D. Hawes, S. Kelly, N. Galvin, JP Murphy (0-1), D. McElligott, B. Russell, M. O’Brien, L. Jennings, P. Murray, A. Holland (0-6), S. Sinnott, K. Kileen, P. O’Connor (1-0). Galway: A. Reddy, P. Cummins, S. Melia, JJ O’Neill (0-1), M. Normile, S. Gallagher, P. Ryan, R. O’Dwyer, C. O’Reilly (0-2), G. O’Connor (0-5), P. Nolan, A. Kelly (1-0), D. Corbett. Sub: T. Walsh (0-1).

By Rory O'Donnell

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