Galway see off Derry in seven goal Tuam thriller
Tribesmen put in a strong second half performance to increase promotion chances
Galway manager Kevin Walsh will be pleased with his team’s win over Derry on Sunday. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho
Galway 5-15 Derry 2-15
Galway’s drive to end their six-year exile from the top flight took a major upturn in a thriller at Tuam Stadium when they finished strongly to take the points.
Derry, minus their Slaughtneil contingent, looked good for victory when they led by six points approaching the interval after goals from Benny Heron and Emmett McGuckian and a penalty save by Thomas Mallon from Galway full-forward Barry McHugh.
But Galway, who enjoyed a great start with a Danny Cummins goal after three minutes, struck a telling blow just before the break when Tom Flynn drilled home a fine goal to cut Derry’s lead to 2-10 to 2-7 at the break.
The pace of the game did not relent after the restart with Galway drawing level before Derry again pulled three points clearing going into the final quarter.
But Galway took over from there, with Johnny Heaney fisting home a goal 10 minutes from the end for a lead they never surrendered.
A second Galway penalty was slotted home by Eamonn Brannigan, with Derry corner-back Oisin Hegarty, already booked, dismissed for a black card.
Shane Walsh got Galway’s fifth goal and in the closing stages Ruairi Lavelle produced a superb save to deny McGuckin with a late penalty.
Galway: R Lavelle; L Burke, D Walsh, C Sweeney; G O’Donnell (0-1), G Bradshaw, J Heaney (1-1); P Conroy, F Ó Curraoin; G Sice (0-2, 0-1 free), T Flynn (1-1), E Brannigan (1-3, 1-0 pen); D Cummins (1-1), M Daly (0-3), B McHugh (0-2, 0-1 ‘45).
Subs: S Walsh (1-1) for Cummins (50 mins), M Lundy for Sice (55 mins), M Farragher for Bradshaw (57 mins), L Silke for Heaney (70 mins), F Hanley for Burke (72 mins), E Tierney for Conroy (74 mins).
Derry: T Mallon; C McGrogan, C Nevin, N Keenan; M McEvoy, M Craig, N Forester; C McAtamney, J Kielt (0-5, 0-3 frees); D Tallon (0-1), B Heron (1-2), C McWilliams (0-1); E Lynn (0-1), E McGuckin (1-0), N Loughlin (0-5, 0-2 frees, 0-1 ‘45).
Subs: O Hegarty for McGrogan (20 mins), R Bell for Loughlin (50 mins), C Kielt for Nevin (50 mins), P Hagan for Tallon (66 mins), J Rocks for McAtamney (69 mins, black card).
Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)