Sunday, August 11, 2019

Senior Football Semi-Final: Galway v Aidan McAnespies

Aidan McAnespies 4-16 Galway 1-10

Aidan McAnespies ended up with a comfortable win over Galway in the second semi-final Sunday.  It was a game where Galway needed to take their chances to have a chance of upsetting the apple cart, however the Westerners saw the ball drift wide all too often when the opportunity arose.  McAnespies were clinical in front of goal with a rampant Tony Brosnan creating openings over the first 20 minutes.  Two first half goals set the stage for a victory that sets up a double next weekend between McAnespies and Donegal whose junior A teams will also meet in the final Sunday.

Michael Branigan looking for room.
Galway got off to a good start with 3 points on the run after McAnespies had opened the scoring through Tony Brosnan.  Jamie Walsh, Michael Brannigan and Sean Carrabine all hit the mark as Galway looked to settle quickly.  McAnespies, however, with Brosnan at center forward and spraying the passes around with deadly accuracy, were not long getting into it.  After putting a lovely score over the bar, Brosnan hit Steven O’Hanlon with a beautifully floated ball, O’Hanlon then made the opening for Evan Cronin to finish into the net.  McAnespies now up by two points.

Brosnan, Declan Hughes, and O’Hanlon added three points in a row and McAnespies started to take a firm grip on affairs.  Galway got themselves back into it in terms of possession and created a number of good chances, but only had a Sean Carrabine point to show after some wayward shooting.  Before the break McAnespies had added another 5 points to their lead.  A second goal from Declan Hughes after a great Pierce Laverty run was followed by points from Evan Cronin and O’Hanlon.  A Galway chance at a goal was well stopped by the alert Robbie Croft between the posts, and at the break it was a nine point gap for the Westerners to bridge, 2-7 to 0-4.

Evan Cronin and Aidan McAnespies will meet 
Donegal in the final next Sunday.
An encouraging start to the second half by Galway was soon extinguished.  Brannigan and Cian Hanley pointed to chip at the gap between the teams, and Galway almost had a goal but Robbie Croft made a good save with his leg to deny Brannigan who tried to slide the ball low from close range.  McAnespies responded to the let off with points from O’Hanlon and Cronin, and another goal came for McAnespies to well and truly put a nail in it.  A Peter O’Connell run made the opening for O’Hanlon to finish.  Cronin followed with a point and at that stage the game was more or less over as a contest.

Each side started to empty the benches.  Galway managed a late goal from Michael Brannigan who found the corner past the outstretched arm of Croft.  It was a matter of playing out time at that stage, and an exciting final awaits between McAnespies and Donegal next Sunday.

Galway:  Jamie Kelly, Mark Mannion, Evan Wynne, Stuart Cullen, Danny Burke, Sean Melville, Jamie Walsh, Michael Moylan, Adam Gallagher, Cian Hanley, Shairoze Akram, Sean Carrabine, Michael Brannigan.

Macs:  Robbie Croft, Conor Maunsell, Ronan Murphy, Daniel Guinness, Pierce Laverty, Oisin McConvey, Declan Hughes, Barry Kerr, Anthony Cournane, Tony Brosnan, Evan Cronin, Steven O’Hanlon, Robbie Smith.
By Rory O'Donnell

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