Monday, August 14, 2017

Senior Football Semi-Final: Shannon Blues v Galway

Galway 0-14 Shannon Blues 2-13

Shannon Blues put in a dominant second half performance to overturn a five point half-time deficit and end with a 5 point win.  The Blues won the lion’s share of second half possession and when Galway did manage to get into scoring range, the Blues defence smothered any opportunity of scoring.  A Darren Wallace second half goal spurred the Blues comeback, and a further six points unanswered turned the tables in the Blues favour.

Trevor Wallace and Ryan Forde.
It was a fast and furious opening to the game.  The Blues carried the ball well and attacked in waves from deep.  Trevor Wallace found himself in range on a couple of occasions, while Brian O’Seanachain made some forays into the Galway back line.  The Blues threatened the Galway goal line on a handful of occasions.  One ball came off the crossbar after Hurley attempted to palm it into the net, and Jamie Kelly was called upon to save from close range on another.  The Blues opened a 5 points to 3 lead with Hurley, Greg Horan and Wayne Guthrie pointing – but that was about to change.

Galway came into their own in the latter stages of the half.  The westerners defended well, Ruairi Greene did a diligent job in his corner with Josh Ryan to contend with.  Meanwhile at the other end the forwards capitalized on a wealth of possession.  Brian Reape and Cian McMonagle converted, and a monster score from Cian D’arcy roused the Galway faithful in the stands.  Galway continued to move the ball well with Ryan Forde, Alan Egan, and Jamie Keogh combining well.  Half time saw Galway into a 0-10 to 0-5 lead.

Kieran Hurley and David Kenny under the high ball.
The Blues however, erased the Galway lead within 20 minutes of the restart.  With a decided advantage in possession the Blues eventually netted through Darren Wallace.  Greg Horan was involved and played Wallace through, and the Blues captain fired the ball into the roof of the net.  Galway lost their way on several occasions, at times overplaying the ball when in the shooting zone or trying to go it alone to try and get a much needed score.  Two early points was the entire return for the half.  Josh Ryan, who was well marshalled, put the tying score over the bar, while Barry Hartnett and Cormac Coffee opened a lead as the Blues looked unstoppable.

With Galway now chasing the game and clock ticking the Blues dominated possession.  On the occasion that Galway worked the ball into the Blues half, Blue and Gold defenders worked hard to close down the Maroon attackers and force Galway into mistakes or taking bad shots.  The Blues had scored 1-6 before Galway pointed again through McMonagle, and with a few minutes to go a goal would be needed for Galway.    McMonagle pointed a free and in the final stages Galway made one final push for a goal.  However, with numbers committed forward the Blues broke away and Josh Ryan provided Kieran Hurley with the pass to net, and with the goal the game was over.  The Blues back into the final with Brian Kennedy at the helm and looking to book a trip to San Francisco.

Galway:  James Kelly, David Kenny, Ruairi Greene, Stuart Cullen, Dylan McHugh, Ryan Forde, Cian D’arcy, Eoghan Kavanagh, Jamie Keogh, Kevin Cummins, Alan Egan, Brian Reape, Cian McMonagle.  Subs: Ciaran Molloy, Craig Kennedy.

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

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