Monday, July 2, 2012

Gaels Make Incredible Comeback

Galway 3-11 Connemara Gaels 3-12

It keeps getting better at the ICC in Canton as another cracking encounter on the football field followed last Sunday.  Galway, who lined out with Carlow native Tommy Walsh and Meath prodigy, Pat O’Rourke, looked like they had done plenty to secure both points, but the Gaels lifted their game in the final quarter to recover from an eight point deficit and complete a quite incredible comeback.  The Connemara men secured the win by the most slender of margins thanks to a point in injury time from hard working midfielder, Sean Moran.

Connemara Gaels Senior Footballers made an improbable comeback against Galway.
Galway played some powerful football in the first half, Pat O’Rourke and Tommy Walsh to the forward line added considerable punch.  O’Rourke was responsible for both of Galway’s first half goals, and each was very similar in nature.  The high ball to the edge of the box was won by the big man from Skryne who buried each shot – the goals came a minute apart.  The Gaels had looked like they were settling first, but the double strike looked like a potential knockout blow.  The white and green answered in fine fashion, their own big man, Michael Rogers won a dropping ball on the edge of the Galway square and showed great agility to finish on the turn with his left.  Three goals and the game barely 15 minutes old.  The score had the game at 2-1 for Galway to 1-2 for the Gaels.  Galway continued to press.  The forward line played the ball around well and as importantly, did not allow the Gaels to clear it comfortably.  One point from Walsh was the result of working to stop the ball coming out, Walsh intercepted the pass out of defence and pointed himself.  The Gaels eventually found some rhythm again and began to find Monaghan in the corner with the long ball.  Points came from Moran, Rogers, and Noel Graham.  The final score of the half came from O’Rourke who showed some of the free taking skills of his famous uncle, Colm, with a great point from a dead ball 45 yards out near the sideline.  The Gaels had managed to drag themselves back into the game and at the half Galway led by 2-6 to 1-6.

Galway hit the Gaels with a goal about 10 minutes into the second half, and it was a beauty.  Danny Reddin opened it up with a run down the middle and after drawing the defender, handpassed to O’Rourke who tipped the ball over the head of the outcoming Brian Joyce to put Galway two goals to the good.  The Gaels had opened the half by missing at least three good scoring opportunities, and Monaghan accounted for the solitary point in the Gaels column.  Galway proceeded to slice through the Gaels rearguard to such an extent that it looked like by the time all was said and done Galway would be celebrating a comfortable win.  Eoghan Kavanagh, Graham Cullen, and O’Rourke extended the Galway lead to eight points and with 15 minutes left it looked like that was all she wrote as frustration crept in for the Connemara men.  If the Gaels were to have any hope a goal would be required, and Monaghan duly obliged after wing back Padraig Cunningham created the opening.  It was all Gaels now as Galway died a sudden death and seemed to be unable to win anything in the middle of the field.  Ball after ball fell to the white shirts as the Gaels attacked the Galway rearguard in waves.  The main outlet for scores continued to be Eric Monaghan, the former U-21 twisted and turned the Galway rearguard.  Delaney and Monaghan pointed to bring the Gaels within a goal, and with less than five minutes to go the Gaels leveled with another goal from the Caherlistrane man that leveled the scores.  Unbelieveable stuff.  Galway brought O’Rourke out from corner forward in an effort to win some ball, but to no avail.  The Gaels back line backed up the midfield well and anything that made it past midfield was won back by the rearguard, who it must be said looked dead and buried 10 minutes earlier.  Cunningham put the go ahead score over the bar with time almost up, but O’Rourke leveled with a lovely point and a draw looked probably.  The Gaels got one more chance and it was midfielder Sean Moran who put the winner over in what was quite an incredible final 15 minutes of football.  Galway will surely be disappointed as the game looked all but wrapped up, while the Gaels are probably still trying to figure out how they ended up winners.

Referee:  Tadhg Lucey (Co. Cork)

Man of the Match:  Eric Monaghan (Gaels)

Galway:  P. McComiskey, S. O’Donnell, J. O’Callaghan, D. Wynne, E. Whelan, J. Kehoe, E. Kavanagh, O. Doherty, D. Reddin, T. Walsh, G. Cullen, P. O’Rourke, K. O’Grady.  Gaels:  B. Joyce, S. Conneely, C. O’Donnell, C. Mulkerrins, C. Sweeney, P. Cunningham, J. Greaney, S. Moran, N. Graham, D. Hayden, G. Delaney, E. Monaghan, M. Rogers. 

By Rory O'Donnell 

No comments: