Galway cruise to promotion after convincing play-off win

Ryan Manning and Gary Shanahan to the fore in 5-1 aggregate win over Students

GALWAY FC 3 UCD 1 (Galway win 5-1 on aggregate)

Galway FC cruised to a convincing SSE Airtricity League promotion/relegation final second leg success at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Prompted by Republic of Ireland under-19 international Ryan Manning Galway were far too cool and classy for the Students. Manning, watched by Everton on several occasions during the past two years, scored one goal and was a constant menace throughout a match that will be fondly recalled in the west for years.

A youthful and enthusiastic Galway outfit dealt with the heavy burden of expectancy grabbing a critical goal on the stroke of half-time. Gary Shanahan, hugely influential throughout on the right, skipped into the UCD area confidently slipping the ball beyond UCD custodian Conor O'Donnell.


With the stakes piled so high it was an unsurprisingly tight and tense first half as Manning and Shanahan had previously gone close for Galway.

Still Tommy Dunne’s charges were content to depart at the break armed with the lead, confidence, and momentum. UCD were agitated by Galway’s vibrant approach and the Tribesmen sealed the deal in style.

After 72 minutes when Jake Keegan extracted another save from O'Donnell, but Manning tucked the rebound home. From then until the bitter end UCD struggled and Galway added a third in the 81st minute when Alex Byrne capped a fine display with a goal.

Further chances were manufactured by an utterly dominant Galway, the fact that they weren’t taken scarcely mattered as sufficient damage had been inflicted. The club will be renamed Galway United for the 2015 campaign and on this evidence Tommy Dunne’s tidy team can make an impact in the top flight.

Galway FC: Gleeson; Horgan, Barrett, Walsh, Ludden; Sinnott, Byrne (Curran, 84) ; Shanahan, Connolly, Manning (Molloy, 87); Keegan (Faherty, 84).
UCD: O'Donnell; Matthews, Douglas, Ryan, Langtry; Mulhall (Kavanagh, 79), Creevy, Benson, Molloy; Belhout, Cannon (Burke, 49).
Referee: D McKeon (Dublin).