Connacht Senior Football Semi Final
By Brían Mangan
The Tribesmen set up a mouthwatering Connacht Final with Roscommon in two weeks time after they swept Sligo comfortably aside in Salthill today with a swashbuckling display of fast, aggressive, attacking football.
Galway started the game like a house on fire, with their forward line proving far too hot to handle for the Sligo backs in the first period. Sligo used a fulltime sweeper and began with their captain Kevin McDonnell picking up Galway’s talismanic captain Damien Comer. Comer however was in absolutely irresistible form, kicking three super points in that first half and providing the pass of the match in the 37th minute to spot Seán Kelly alone in the D, who duly goaled with aplomb to drive a dagger into the Sligo hearts and put the result beyond doubt, making the score 1-15 to 0-6 at the break. The likes of Kelly, Brannigan and Heaney flooded forward with blistering speed at will in that first period and Sligo just could not cope with them, and with Shane Walsh at his irresistible best on the 40 and Tom Flynn and Cooke lording it at midfield, Galway were a different class to the Yeats county men. Their stingy defence, superbly marshalled by Garreth Bradshaw reduced Sligo to speculative long range efforts, with Liam Gaughan and Niall Murphy successful with two of these, landing two beauties to keep Sligo somewhat in touch.
Sligo needed a fast start to the second half to try close the 12 point half time gap and they got just that, Carrabine taking on Bradshaw down the wing and putting in a teasing cross which Kyle Cawley just reached ahead of Lavelle to fist to the empty net, making it 1-15 to 1-6. Cawley and Adrian Marren were impressive for Sligo kicking 1-2 and 0-4 respectively, but in truth they were living off scraps throughout. It was a false dawn however, as Galway didn’t take the foot off the pedal and continued their dominance, tagging on a further 3-9 in the second period. In the 45th minute Ian Burke, who was classy as ever, tapped home a simple finish after Shane Walsh put on the afterburners and left the Sligo defence in his wake to set him up. Galway subs Patrick Sweeney, Gary O’ Donnell and Frank Burke tagged on points before Damien Comer capped off his superb captains display with two goals 60 seconds apart in the 30th and 31st minutes to seal an extremely emphatic win for the Tribesmen.
GALWAY: R Lavelle, D Kyne, S A Ó’Ceallaigh, D Wynne, C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, S Kelly (1-2), P Cooke (0-2), T Flynn, E Brannigan (0-3), S Walsh (0-4 ,0-2fs), J Heaney (0-2), I Burke (1-2), D Comer (2-3), B McHugh (0-3, 0-2fs) SUBS P Sweeney (0-1), M Daly, G O’Donnell (0-1), F Burke (0-1), J Duane, D Cummins
SLIGO: A Devaney, K McDonnell (c), E McHugh, R Donovan, C Harrison, N Ewing, A McIntyre, G O’Kelly-Lynch, N Murphy (0-2), P O’Connor, L Gaughan (0-3, 0-2fs), C Henry, K Cawley (1-2), P Hughes (0-1), A Marren (0-4, 0-1f) SUBS S Carrabine, C Breheny, L Nicholson, E McDonagh, Keelan Cawley, F Cawley, D Cummins, P Laffey