Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday August 14 - Senior Football Q/F: Donegal v Galway

Donegal 2-13 Galway 1-20

The first quarter final of the day between Galway and Donegal was a real humdinger of an affair, a game in which all five of Galway’s forwards scored multiple times. The sides could not be separated at the end of a tense and exciting first half, and the first playoff game of the season went into additional minutes. It was close for most of the extra period but with just over 5 minutes to go James Carroll broke the deadlock with a fantastically taken goal that saw Galway through to their first senior football semi-final in over 20 years.

Donegal's Mark Molloy and Galway's James Carroll tussle.
The first half of the game belonged to Galway in terms of play, but not on the scoreboard. The westerners played some periods of slick passing football and tallied six points after conceding an unfortunate early goal. Donegal’s Collie Carr lined up a free from near the sideline. The shot was low and slipped through the hands of Eoghan Kavanagh into the net. Galway did not let the early setback unsettle them. Donegal were forced to foul on several occasions as the speedy Galway forwards threatened on several occasions. Galway’s Kevin Cummins capitalized with some well struck points. Points were also sent over the bar from James Carroll, Danny Reddin and David Kelly. With Galway looking like taking the break with a well earned lead, the tables turned. Following two late points from the northerners a second goal came after the ball was bundled over the line from close range. At the half Donegal held a lead of three points.

Danny McBride in action.
Galway wasted no time catching up after the break with scores from Carroll, Cummins, and Reddin. Donegal played better football in the second half however, and regained the initiative. Carr pointed twice and was followed by a 45 from Brian White. Given the back and forth nature of the game, back came Galway with three points on the trot. The scoring followed an uncanny sequence as Donegal again strung three points together only for Galway to match it with three of their own in an exciting final 10 minutes. Each side had chances to score to win the game down the stretch. Galway looked to have had a case for a penalty right at the end of normal time after Cummins looked to have been tripped, but referee John Fitzpatrick felt otherwise. The first knockout game of the season, and we had overtime.

At the end of the first period of extra time there Galway led by two points. Donegal opened the second period with a point and it began to look as if we might be in for another tight finish until Carroll changed all that with a well taken goal. Carroll turned his man and aimed the shot well giving the keeper no chance. Donegal could not recover from the setback and Galway joy was evident in the stands as the club reaches its first semi-final two decades where they meet western rivals, Connemara Gaels.

Donegal: L. Mailey, N. Byrne, M. Canning, D. McBride (0-1), T. Caldwell, P. O’Connor, D. McNulty, B. White (1-3), K. Curran, E. Doonan, E. Sheehy (0-2), C. Carr (1-3), J. Doherty. Galway: P. McComiskey, G. Dunphy, D. Walsh, J. Kehoe, A. McFadden, S. Gallagher, A. Shore, E. Kavanagh, G. O’Connor (0-2), K. Cummins (0-8), D. Reddin (0-2), J. Carroll (1-6), D. Kelly (0-2).

By Rory O'Donnell

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