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Galway U21s see off Spirited Leitrim Comeback

March 11th, 2017

Galway U21s see off Spirited Leitrim Comeback

EirGrid Connacht U21 Football Championship Quarter Final 2017

11th of March



Galway and Leitrim played out a classic example of a game of two halves today at Tuam Stadium in the EirGrid U21 Connacht Football Champioship Quarter Final, with Galway eventually advancing to play against Mayo on the 25th of March.

The Tribesmen led by 4-8 to 0-2 after playing with the aid of a strong wind at half time, enjoying almost complete dominance at midfield with Mícheál Daly and Peter Cooke fielding some spectacular ball and supplying their inside forward line with quality possession. Robert Finnerty kicked Galways first 1-2 of the game, after Leitrim’s Ryan O’ Rourke opened the scoring with a lovely point off his left from the right wing. Further Galway goals from Dessie Conneely, Eoin Finnerty and Cillian McDaid before the interval gave Galway the most commanding of half time leads. The pick of their points in the first half came from a Mícheál Daly free struck sweetly with the outside of his boot from the right touchline. Despite the dismissal of wing back Kieran Molloy for a second yellow card on 25 minutes, it would have been hard to find anyone in attendance enjoying the beautiful spring sunshine in Tuam stadium to predict a comeback from Leitrim at half time.

However, Leitrim showed tremendous character to roar back into the game, playing with the wind they reeled off 2-8 without reply to leave the score 4-8 to 2-10 with 8 minutes remaining. Leitrim’s goals came from a scrambled effort from centre back Dean McGovern and a fisted effort from impressive full forward Keith Beirne, who finished with a personal tally of 1-4. On top of this there was some beautiful long range points from Conor Gaffney and Mark Plunkett in particular. In this period, Keith Keegan was dismissed for Leitrim for a second yellow card but it did little to deter them as they continued to come at Galway in waves, with sub Conor Cullen very prominent at midfield. However, points from Conor Conneely and Paul Mannion towards the end were enough to steady the ship for Galway and see them home, and they now look forward to the challenge of a meeting with rivals Mayo in two weeks time.

Scorers for Galway: Robert Finnerty and Dessie Conneely 1-2 each, Cillian McDaid and Eoin Finnerty 1-0 each, Paul Mannion 0-2, Colin Brady, Peter Cooke, Michael Daly (sideline) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Leitrim: Keith Beirne 1-4 (4fs), Dean McGovern 1-0, Mark Plunkett and Jack Heslin 0-2 each, Ryan O’Rourke, Robbie Cunningham, Conor Cullen, and Conor Gaffney 0-1 each.

GALWAY: Ronan O’Beolain; Liam Kelly, Dylan McHugh, Ruairi Greene; Sean O’Ceallaigh, Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh, Kieran Molloy; Peter Cooke, Michael Daly; Colin Brady, Paul Mannion, Cillian McDaid; Robert Finnerty, Eoin Finnerty, Dessie Conneely.

Subs: Conor Tarpey for Sean O’Ceallaigh (27), Colm Brennan for Peter Cooke (44), Cein Darcy for Eoin Finnerty (46), Antaine O’Laoi for Conor Tarpey (50), Michael Boyle for Robert Finnerty (57), Colm Mannion for Cillian McDaid (59).

LEITRIM: Jack Burke; James Mitchell, Keith Keegan, Liam Ryan; Donal Feely, Brian Leyden, Oisin Madden; Dean McGovern, Mark Plunkett; Jack Heslin, Conor Dolan, Conor Gaffney; Ryan O’Rourke, Keith Beirne, Robbie Cunningham.

Subs: Conor Cullen for Ryan O’Rourke (7), Pearce Dolan for Donal Feely (19), Niall McGovern for Conor Dolan (27).

REFEREE: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon).