Westmeath draw comfort in comeback
Westmeath's goalkeeper Gary Connaughton saves a goal bound effort from John O'Brien of Galway. photograph: james crombie/inpho
Galway 0-13 Westmeath 1-10:Westmeath staged an impressive second-half recovery mission to preserve their unbeaten start to the campaign at Tuam Stadium yesterday.
Pat Flanagan’s men seemed poised to lose their 100 per cent start to the league when they trailed by 0-8 to 0-2 at the interval, having played with the breeze.
“We decided at half-time that we were going to get stuck into breaking ball, especially around the middle of the park. We got nothing around there in the first-half and the boys showed huge character to come back in the second-half,” said Flanagan.
Paul Conroy was superb at centre-forward for Galway and they made good use of midfield dominance to build up their interval lead, but they were unable to hold on to it after the restart. “You’d have to think that was a point lost,” admitted Galway boss Alan Mulholland.
“It was a bit disappointing straight after half-time, we conceded a lot of scores and allowed them to go two ahead of us. But the positive we can take is unlike last week where we didn’t respond when the pressure was put on us, at least we came back this time,” he said.
Galway goalkeeper John Egan did well to deprive Callum McCormack and Ger Egan during the opening half but Kieran Martin led the fightback after the restart as Westmeath hit four points without reply.
Conroy again steadied Galway with a point before the crucial score of the game came when Ciarán Curley set Denis Cooroon up for a 54th minute goal which put Westmeath in front for the first time.
Galway sub Michael Martin kicked three points from frees for Galway in response to scores from McCormack and Denis Glennon. Gareth Bradshaw edged the Tribesmen in front but John Heslin secured a draw three minutes from the end when he kept his nerve to land a 20-metre free three minutes from time and secure a draw which was probably the fairest outcome.