Walsh leads from the front for Galway

Tribesmen secure FBD League title with six-point win

Galway 1-14 Roscommon 0-11

Shane Walsh played a captain's part, firing Galway to FBD Connacht League glory to give Padraig Joyce his first silverware as the Tribesmen's senior football manager.

The Kilkerrin/Clonberne forward hit 1-8 in a superb individual display to take the sting out of Roscommon’s positive start that saw the home side lead 0-5 to 0-2 after 22 minutes.

But 1-7 without reply either side of half-time swung the pendulum very much in Galway’s favour, and with Walsh, now detailed further out the field, conducting the orchestra, the manner of this victory will have been music to Joyce’s ears ahead of a challenging league campaign, which commences at home to Monaghan next weekend.

Niall Kilroy opened the scoring for Roscommon after the hosts had hit four wides inside the opening eight minutes. The excellent Walsh got Galway back on level terms before Andrew Glennon bisected the posts from 40 metres after being set up by Enda Smith who was shown a black card later in the half.

Ciarán Lennon pushed Roscommon further ahead after Galway were dispossessed on their own kickout.

Michael Boyle pared the margin back to a single point, but Roscommon will feel they should have grabbed the opening goal when Richard Hughes' effort, following an excellent move, just shaved the top of the crossbar.

When Donie Smith stretched the margin out to three points with a free from an acute angle, Roscommon were in a decent position. But Anthony Cunningham's side lost their way as Walsh, Adrian Varley and Robert Finnerty began to win their battle with the Roscommon full-back line.

Two scores from Finnerty were followed by Walsh punishing the Roscommon indiscipline with a hat-trick of frees to leave Galway 0-7 to 0-5 ahead at the break.

Barely 30 seconds into the second half, Walsh won his side a penalty, which he converted, to firmly put Galway in the driving seat. When the captain tagged on another couple of frees to open up a 1-9 to 0-5 lead, the game had well and truly been turned on its head, even though Galway had lost Cillian McDaid to a black card.

Ciarán Lennon's 43rd minute free, which ended his side's 20-minute scoring drought, ignited a mini-revival as the Clann na nGael player, with two further points, and Cathal Cregg reduced the arrears even further.

But, led by Walsh, Galway kept the scoreboard ticking over, despite losing Eamon Brannigan to a red card after the wing-back missed a simple goal chance.

Full-back Seán Mulkerrins and substitute Paul Conroy also got in on the scoring act to confirm Galway as champions.

Galway: R. Ó Beoláin; C. Murray, S. Mulkerrin (0-1), J. Duane; E. Brannigan, J Daly, C. McDaid; T. Flynn, C. Darcy; S. Kelly, F. Ó Laoi, M. Boyle (0-1); R. Finnerty (0-2), S Walsh (1-8, 1-0 pen, 0-6f, 0-1 mark), A. Varley. Subs: C. Campbell for Murray (5m), P. Conroy (0-2) for Kelly (25), G. O'Donnell for Boyle (50), D. Comer for Finnerty (53), D. Connelly for Ó Laoi (61).

Roscommon: P. O'Malley; D. Neary; M. Richardson, D. Murray; R. Daly, N. Daly, R. Hughes (0-1); L. Mollahan, S. Killoran; N. Kilroy (0-1), E. Smith, F. Cregg; A. Glennon (0-1), C. Lennon (0-5, 0-3f), D. Smith (0-2, 0-1f). Subs: C Cregg (0-1) for Mollaghan (37), H Darcy for F. Cregg (43), G Patterson for Neary (43), C McKeon for Glennon (50), D Ruane for Killoran (66).

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).

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