Galway see off dismal Sligo in cruise towards Connacht final
The Tribesmen will meet Roscommin in the final for a third year in a row after easy win
Galway’s Damien Comer is fouled by Adrian McIntyre of Sligo during the Connacht SFC semi-final. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Galway 4-24 Sligo 1-12
Galway eased their way into a Connacht final with Roscommon for the third year in a row, but rarely have they had such a canter to victory of late.
From the off they were ruthless and determined to show they could mix the good, the bad and the ugly, and as it turned out this was as pretty a show as the Tribesmen have put on in years.
With their players pressed up on the beleaguered Sligo defence, Galway went on several unanswered scoring sprees and there was no sign of the tight, defensive showing that got them past Mayo in the quarter-final.
Just what Galway will show up to try and dethrone Kevin McStay’s Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park remains to be seen, but Walsh was happy to see his side reach the final with a real flourish.
Cathal Corey’s side had survived the drop from Division 3 with a last round win over Derry, but here they faced a side clearly superior to them. They had 10 points to spare over London in the first round, but it seemed to have little impact on their performance here.
Adrian Marren got them up and running after three minutes, but seven unanswered points came from the Tribesmen who surged clear by the 17th minute.
Pat Hughes and Niall Murphy managed to stem the tide with a couple of points for Sligo, but again Galway responded comprehensively with an attacking blitz, while Sean Kelly’s well taken goal – which was laid on by a sweet Damien Comer pass – put them well in control by the interval. The ultra attacking philosophy of Galway surprised Corey.
With Comer stationed in the full-forward line for the most part and with Ian Burke and Barry McHugh hunting around him Galway looked really dangerous.
Shane Walsh looked as comfortable as he ever has in the Galway shirt and added five points for his side from centre-forward, but it was Comer who drew the fire.
Comer contributed two points to that early flurry of scores and then added two goals in the space of a minute at the death for his side.
Galway definitely went hunting goals in the closing stages and they could have had a couple more, but with Burke already helping himself to a second-half goal, this win was a long time in the bag.
Galway: R Lavelle; D Kyne, S Ó Ceallaigh, D Wynne; C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, S Kelly (1-2); T Flynn, P Cooke (0-2); J Heaney (0-2), S Walsh (0-5, 0-1 free), E Brannigan (0-3); D Comer (2-2), I Burke (1-2), B McHugh (0-3, 0-2 frees).
Subs: P Sweeney (0-1) for McHugh (43 mins), M Daly for Flynn (49 mins), G O’Donnell (0-1) for C Sweeney (58 mins), F Burke (0-1) for I Burke (60 mins), J Duane for Bradshaw (65 mins), D Cummins for Walsh (66 mins).
Sligo: A Devaney; C Harrison, R Donovan, K McDonnell; G O’Kelly Lynch, A McIntyre, E McHugh; P O’Connor, N Murphy (0-2); N Ewing, L Gaughan (0-3, 0-2 frees), C Henry; A Marren (0-4, 0-1 free), P Hughes (0-1), Kyle Cawley (1-2).
Subs: S Carribine for Henry (21 mins), C Breheny for Hughes (28 mins), L Nicholson for Harrison (half time), Keelan Cawley for O’Kelly Lynch (60 mins), F Cawley for McHugh (63 mins, black card), D Cummins for McIntyre (66 mins).
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan).