Monday, May 30, 2011

May 29 - Senior Football: Donegal v Galway

Donegal 0-8 Galway 0-7
Steven Walsh shoots for Galway as Danny McBride blocks.

There was just the one game Sunday at the ICC in Canton. Donegal lined out with two Ballybofey men in the middle of the field, each at either end of their football careers. Donegal stalwart, Michael McGinty, and new arrival, Andrew Bonner manned the middle for the northerners for the 60 minutes. Donegal huffed and puffed in the first half, while Galway did much better than their opponents moving the ball. Galway’s half time lead of two points could have been more had the Brighton men taken their chances, but Donegal lifted their game in the second half to record their second victory of the season.

Galway defended well in the first half and did well moving the ball when in possession. The half forwards were very involved in Galway’s attacking moves, and corner forward Kevin Cummins caused numerous problems for the Donegal defence. Cummins put four points over the bar in the first period. Three were from frees, two of which the Roscommon native won himself. The fourth from play was a very well taken score. Donegal looked to play the long ball into David Busteed and Ronan Reilly in the corners, but did not meet with much success in the first half. The Galway back line stuck well to their task and more often than not the ball came in the direction of the Donegal goal. Reilly and Busteed combined for Donegal’s best score of the half, something that Donegal would have hoped to see more of. Collie Carr and Andrew Bonner accounted for the other two points of Donegal’s first half tally, while Danny Reddin was the other Galway scorer. At the half Galway led by a score of 0-5 to 0-3.

Peter Ryan tries to break through the Donegal rearguard.
Donegal made a change in the forward line to start the second half. David Busteed and Jamie Doherty switched places. Galway almost extended their lead soon after the restart however. Cummins beat his defender and passed across the face of goal to Gearoid O’Connor. O’Connor’s shot from close range was blocked for a 45 by Emmet Doonan on the line. That was as good as it got for Galway for most of the second period. With the half twelve minutes old Donegal claimed the lead. Andrew Bonner played a big part in the Donegal effort. Donegal recorded the first score of the half. Following a Bonner run, Jamie Doherty put a fine point over the bar from a tight angle. Ronan Reilly followed with a pointed free and the sides were level. Donegal’s go ahead point came from David Busteed chasing back and winning the ball, for Doherty to finish with another great score. Bonner added another point with a bursting run through the Galway defence, Danny McBride extended the lead to three soon after. It was Galway coughing up the ball now as the Donegal defence tightened, and several attacks came to naught. Cummins had to come deeper than he would have liked to see the ball and rarely had a chance to shoot. Galway did get within a point in the late stages of the game and had Donegal hanging on to their slender lead for the last 5 minutes. Peter Nolan recorded a score off his left boot and Gearoid O’Connor brought Galway within one two minutes later. It was a tense last 5 minutes as Donegal hung on. O’Connor could have salvaged a point for Galway. O’Connor dummied his man and having brilliantly made the opening, fluffed his shot and dragged it wide. Two out of two for Donegal,and Galway still looking for their first win of the season.

Donegal: L. Mailey, H. Devine, M. Canney, P. McLoughlin, E. Doonan, D. McBride, M. McGinty, A. Bonner, J. Doherty, K. Curran, C. Carr, R. Reilly, D. Busteed. Galway: D. Faragher, S. Gallagher, P. Cummins, E. Costello, G. Dunphy, J. Kehoe, E. Kavanagh, P. Ryan, G. O’Connor, P. Nolan, D. Reddin, S. Walsh, K. Cummins.

By Rory O’Donnell

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