Minor footballers go under to Galway’s ruthless streak

Back 01/05/2022 @ 01:54 | mainnews | Minor footballers go under to Galway’s ruthless streak

Having had a bye in the first week of the five team round robin competition, Sligo’s minor footballers found their visitors from Galway ultimately too hot to handle in their first game in defence of the Tom Kilcoyne Cup which was played out in Markievicz Park on Friday evening (29th April)

The game was not without its high points for Sligo but ultimately, despite showing some excellent form in the opening 20 minutes of the second half and taking some excellent scores, the home side couldn’t overturn a seven-point half time deficit and ultimately saw a late surge by Galway stretch the final margin to a slightly flattering sixteen - 4-12 to 0-8.

The game started evenly enough and although Galway always looked to have more control in possession, and to be able to retain the ball more easily, Sligo maintained parity on the score board with each side getting two points in the first 13 minutes – Sligo’s scores coming from a towering point from distance by midfielder Ryan Gillespie and a Ronan Niland free after a foul on his St Mary’s clubmate Eli Rooney.

Galway however were looking increasingly dangerous and Sligo had goal keeper Diarmuid Henry to thank for a fine point blank save to keep his net intact in the 13th minute.

The reprieve was not to last long however and Galway got a rub of the green to go with their sharpness at getting inside the Sligo defence when first midfielder Jack Lonergan and then corner forward Stephen Curley benefitted from fortunate deflections or rebounds that left Henry helpless in the Sligo goal and raised two green flags in a minute for the Tribesmen.

Galway added their third point from an Eanna Monaghan free and although Niland got one back for Sligo for another foul on Rooney, the visitors added two more points and managed to keep Sligo at bay until half time to go to the dressing rooms eight points ahead, 2-5 to 0-3, despite losing midfielder Shay McGlinchey to a black card 7 minutes before the break.

Sligo emerged from the dressing rooms with a spring in their steps and from the off took the game to Galway. Conor Flynn joined the game at the beginning of the half with full forward Dillon Walsh moved to the centre field area and  both played a central role in building some periods of possession for Sligo from which they got the first three scores of the half – two points from Niland, one a free, one from play and a point for the energetic Walsh.

With centre forward Monaghan, who had a great battle throughout with Sligo’s Ronan O’Hehir, and full forward Colm Costello to the fore, Galway stayed managed to hold the seven point half time margin up to the 26th minute of the half when Monaghan knocked over a free top make it eight and then intercepted the resultant kickout and rifled home his side’s third goal to move the gap out to 11 points with three minutes of normal time remaining.

Having broken that Sligo resistance , Galway drove home their advantage and added further 1-2 in the last minute and four minutes of added time to run out 16 point winners - a margin that doesn’t tell the full story of the game bit does reflect Galway superiority on the night.