Shannon Blues 3-6 Connemara Gaels 1-8
The Blues ground out a hard earned win over the Connemara Gaels in a game that began to resemble water polo the hour went on, such was the amount of rain. The Gaels got a good early start with a Sean Conneely goal, but the Blues applied themselves in the poor conditions to gain a half time lead and hold on to it for the rest of the game.
|Shannon Blues off the mark a win in the 2015 Championship.|
Barry Dwyer and Dara Roche each pointed from frees before the Blues earned a penalty that Trevor Wallace put away. Another goal followed from Dwyer with Denis McElligott and Roche also involved. With the Blues in the ascendancy McElligott added another point to open the gap to five, a large lead in the sloppy, sluggish conditions. The Gaels did not have much going their way, however Martin Farrragher had the final say in the half with an exquisitely pointed free.
A Roche goal mid-way through the second half more or less put the game away. Neither side could really gain total control as anything was possible with players were splashing in puddles, slipping and sliding as the rain came down almost horizontally at times.
Late in the game the Gaels introduced Jack Kielt and the Derry native pointed four times after entering play. A goal would be needed for the Gaels to pull off a comeback, and it did not look like materializing as the Blues closed off every Gaels attempt to find a path to goal. Two points for the Blues and back to the drawing board for the Gaels.
Blues: D. O’Brien, T. Wallace, S. Kelly, D. Clifford, L. O’Connell, C. Mullen, W. Guthrie, G. Horan, D. McElligott, P. Murray, D. Wallace, D. Roche, B. Dwyer. Gaels: E. Connolly, D. Leech, L. Purcell, D. Doollan, R. Caffrey, C. Mulkerrins, K. Rice, S. O’Connor, F. Cooney, N. Graham, M. Byrne, S. Conneely, M. Farragher.
By Rory O'Donnell