The Connacht GAA Senior Football Championship throws in this Sunday, 3rd May, at 3pm in Gaelic Park, with New York hosting Galway.
New York recently played Cavan in two games in the Mick Higgins Memorial Series at Gaelic Park, in their preparation for this fixture. The first game saw Cavan eventually win through on a score line of 1-15 to 0-15 following a late punched goal from Cavan’s Michael Argue. In this game New York showed nine changes from team that lost out to Mayo in the Connacht GAA Championship in 2014, and on the night New York had strong performances from Brian Connor at midfield and Wexford’s PJ Banville in the forward line. Game two of the series Cavan were much stronger throughout finishing out winners on a score line of 3-13 to 0-11. New York Manager, Ian Galvin will have learned a great deal from these two games in his preparations for this championship opener and has named a team showing six survivors from last years loss to Mayo. Wexford’s PJ Banville and Offaly’s Brian Connor are notable inclusions to the team. The team in full is;
1. Gavin Joyce (Cavan NY – Ballymartin, Down) 2. Ronan McGinley (Cavan NY – Errigal Ciarán, Tyrone) 3. Gerard McCartan (Kerry NY – Burren, Down) 4. Keith Quinn (Donegal NY – Mayobridge, Down) 5. Brian Gibbons (Kerry NY – Knockmore,Mayo) 6. Keith Scally (Westmeath NY – Tyrrellspass, Westmeath) 7. Colm Maginn (Cavan NY – Drumgath, Down) 8. Andrew Hope (Cavan NY – Lucan Sarsfields, Dublin) 9. Brian Connor (Donegal NY – Walsh Island, Offaly) 10. Ross Wherity (Kerry NY – St Eunan’s, Donegal) 11. Niall McFeely (Donegal NY – Foreglen, Derry) 12. Darren Freeman (Monaghan NY – Clones, Monaghan) 13. JJ Matthews (Longford NY – St Columba’s, Longford) 14. PJ Banville (Donegal NY – Horeswood, Wexford) 15. Gary O’Driscoll (Kerry NY – Skellig Rangers, Kerry)
This is Galway’s first visit back to Gaelic Park since 2010 when they had it all to do to eventually prevail over New York, finishing out 2-13 to 0-12 winners. Galway had a mixed Allianz league campaign, starting well with two good victories, losing three on the spin, and finishing off with two wins over Roscommon and Kildare. Kevin Walsh, in his first season as Galway manager tried out a lot of players throughout the campaign, with many few faces donning the maroon & white for the first time as some of the more Senior players were eased back into selection following injuries while also being without the Corofin contingent who were caught up in what was a successful All Ireland Club campaign. The Galway team announced is a much changed team from their last championship game, against Kerry, in last years All Ireland Series. In all there are eight personnel changes from that game with championship starts handed to twins Cathal & Patrick Sweeney, Peadar Og Griofa, and Liam Silke. The team also sees the return of Goalkeeper Brian O’ Donoghue, corner back Johnny Duane and All Ireland Club winner, Gary Sice.
Galway will be aiming to build on the positive performances of the Allianz League and push for a long championship campaign however New York have the added advantage this year of two good challenges from Cavan, something that will no doubt assist the team in their hopes of a first championship success.
The game throws in at 3pm, local time, (8pm- Irish time), and there will be regular Twitter updates from @ConnachtGAA for the game.