Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sun July 9 - Senior Football: Galway v Shannon Blues

Shannon Blues 3-17 Galway 4-16

The final game of the day has to have been one of the most dramatic seen in Canton for manys a year.  The Shannon Blues started off with a blitzing of Galway and were ahead by a 2-7 to 1-0 score after 15 minutes.  Plenty of the crowd moved in the direction of the gate, Galway looked dead and buried already, it’s over.  Galway pulled off the win of the century however, having only started to play in the second quarter.  Helped by a somewhat fortunate goal in the first half, and a great opening to the second, the Tribesmen came through in the final minutes when the chips were down, outscoring their opponents 6 points to one.

Cormac Coffee and the Blues were rampant early on.
It was an extraordinary first half.  The Blues had 2 goals and 7 points on the scoreboard to a goal from Galway after 15 minutes.  A blowout was on the cards.  The Blues were lording it, and Galway seemed to have no answers.  The first goal came from Josh Ryan, a fisted effort from the edge of the small square.  With the Blues streaming forward in waves, points came from Darren Wallace, Ryan, Kieran Hurley, and Cormac Coffee who made a run all the way from corner back.  A sideline kick that never entered the field of play seemed to underline Galway’s woes and the mumbles in the stands changed to people leaving their seats.

The Tribesmen did not give up.  Cian McMonagle found his range and put a couple of points over the bar to settle the side.  A somewhat fortunate goal came from Alex Kenny who shot from distance, and the bounce, with help from the glare of the sun, beat Darragh O’Shea and roof of the net billowed.  Galway had life again.  But the Blues sought to extinguish that, and a third goal almost did just that.  Some great work by Darren Wallace and O’Seanachain resulted in the ball in Hurley’s hands and the Kerryman’s shot hit the back of the net.  It still seemed like it was just the Blues taking their foot off the gas temporarily. Galway still came back though, like that persistent nag that will not stop no matter how hard you try to ignore them. Kevin Cummins erased the Blues goal with a third strike for Galway and the teams were level in the goal column.  The teams traded points to end the half, with the Blues up by 3-10 to 3-5.

But Galway steadied the ship and came out winners.
Galway had leveled affairs within 5 minutes of the second half throw in following a blistering start.  Two points from Kenny were followed by a goal from Kevin Cummins as the Tribesmen were quick out of the blocks.  Roscommon’s Connacht championship win must have given the Michael Glavey’s man a lift.  Galway then proceeded to take the lead, a concept that was unthinkable at the same stage of the first half.  Alex Kenny pointed twice for the Tribe as the Blues tried to rally from the stunning comeback. 

As the changes were made with each side trying to freshen up the pace it was the Blues who gained an edge.  Points from Wallace, Coffee and Hurley had the Blues back ahead until a McMonagle free leveled it yet again.  A sweeping Blues move out of defence saw Hurley convert, that followed a great dead ball kick from Wayne Guthrie.  Crunch time approaching and the Blues with the edge.  Hurley made the lead three, and the omens favoured the Blues men.  McMonagle pulled one back for Galway but they would need more than that.  Edge of the seat stuff for the final few minutes, those who remained were on their feet.  It was Galway who came through in the end.  McMonagle converted two frees and one from play to level it, and then it was Cummins with a hard earned score following a scramble in the box as the Blues defenders desperately tried to cover and block.  McMonagle made it a two point lead, and a goal would now be required from the Blues.  With injury time seeming to never end for the Galway supporters, Hurley pointed a free, but the final score of the game came from substitute Brian Reape to to seal the win.  A huge boost to Galway’s championship credentials, and for the Blues it will require picking themselves up for the next encounter against Aidan McAnespies next week.

Galway:  James Kelly, David Murphy, Ruairi Greene, Kieran Molloy, Dylan McHugh, Stuart Cullen, Cian Darcy, Eoghan Kavanagh, Alan Egan, Alex Kenny, Ryan Forde, Kevin Cummins, Cian McMonagle.  Subs:  Brian Reape, David Kenny, Minitor.

Blues:  Darragh O’Shea, Fionn O’Herlihey, Cormac Coffey, Trevor Wallace, Barry Hartnett, Denis McElligott, Greg Horan, Wayne Guthrie, Lee O’Donoghue, Darren Wallace, Brian O’Seanachain, Kieran Hurley, Josh Ryan.  Subs:  Conor Kerins, Maurice Young, Brian Fanning, Luke Nicholson, James Maher.
By Rory O'Donnell

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