The industrious Connemara Gaels came away with a win against a dogged Shannon Blues who made the Gaels work hard for the win. The Gaels missed plenty of chances throughout, but limited the Blues to a goal from a Gary Henry penalty.
|Shannon Blues' Kieran Sullivan plays the ball.|
With the Gaels leading by five points, substitute Tommy Walsh pointed soon after the restart from a free, the Blues were right back in the game. A high ball into the box resulted in a foul on Tommy Herron. Gary Henry came up from his goalkeeping position and neatly slotted the ball to the keeper’s right. Any lift the Blues may have had was short-lived however as the Gaels had an answer right away. PJ Kelly capitalized on a ball that bobbled in the box and punched home to restore the difference to five. Walsh, who proved effective after coming on, again won his own free and put it over. Joe Geoghegan put any doubt to bed as he finished a crossed ball from Brian Carroll and Walsh put the finishing touches on proceedings with a point from a free.
With the win the Gaels advance to face an impressive looking Wolfe Tones side. For the Blues a spirited performance was not quite enough, but there were one or two performances that will provide encouragement for the season ahead.
Gaels: B. Joyce, M. Coyne, W. Callaghan, V. O’Malley, B. Murphy, B. O’Halloran, M. Geoghegan, G. O’Malley, T. McDonagh, J. Geoghegan, E. McGlinchy, B. Carroll, PJ Kelly. Blues: G. Henry, M. Green, C. Murray, M. Keegan, B. Driscoll, M. Coyne, P. Murray, N. Murray, K. Sullivan, JP Devane, J. Feeney, T. Herron, L. O’Neill.
By Rory O'Donnell