Galway retain FBD League with two point win over young Rossies

Roscommon unable to build on strong start as both teams empty their benches in final

Galway’s Owen Gallagher in action against Roscommon in th FBD League final. Photograph: Tom Maher

Galway’s Owen Gallagher in action against Roscommon in th FBD League final. Photograph: Tom Maher

 

Galway 1-18 Roscommon 1-16

Galway got an early season boost when they staged a good revival after the break to beat an experimental Roscommon team and retain the Connacht FBD League title as both sides got a good workout ahead of their league campaigns.

Once again the indoor setting at the splendid Connacht GAA Air Dome ensured a fast and furious encounter with Roscommon, and in particular Conor Cox, doing most of the early running to lead by 0-5 to 0-3 after just eight minutes.

Rob Finnerty’s second point for Galway narrowed the margin before two efforts from Donie Smith and one from brother Enda saw Anthony Cunningham’s men lead by 0-8 to 0-4 before Galway full-back Sean Fitzgerald continued a run forward to finish to the net after the ball was worked back in by Paddy Kelly and Dessie Conneely.

The Roscommon response was good with points from Andrew Glennon and Cathal Heneghan but Galway’s ability to attack at pace was evident as debutant Owen Gallagher, the former Antrim player, set up Johnny Heaney but he rattled the crossbar.

Outscored

Galway finished the half well to reduce the margin to 0-10 to 1-6 at the interval and then took over after the restart and outscored Roscommon by 0-6 to 0-2 as both sides emptied their benches to lead by 1-13 to 0-12 at the second water break.

Conroy and Heaney extended that lead for Galway but then the excellent Enda Smith got a goal for Roscommon after a turnover by substitute Cian McKeon to reduce the margin to three points after 57 minutes.

Two points from Galway replacement Cathal Sweeney pushed that out to five before Cox and Ciaran Sugrue got it back to a goal with two minutes left but Shane Walsh’s fourth pointed free extended the lead.

An exciting finish ensued when Ultan Harney and Cox cut the gap again to two but Galway held on for their 10th crown in the competition.

Galway: C Flaherty; C McDaid, S Fitzgerald (1-0), L Silke; D McHugh, S Kelly (0-1), J Heaney (0-2, 0-1 ‘45); P Conroy (0-3, 0-1 free), P Kelly; C McWalter, O Gallagher, F Ó Laoí; P Kelly, R Finnerty (0-5), D Conneely. Subs: S Walsh (0-3 free) for McWalter, T Gill (0-1) for McDaid (both 25), M Tierney (0-1 ‘45) for Conneely (half-time), C Sweeney (0-2) for Ó Laoí (45 mins), T Culhane for Gallagher (48 mins), D Canney for Finnerty (48 mins), K Molloy for S Kelly (61 mins), J Glynn for P Kelly (66 mins), L Costello for Canney (69 mins).

Roscommon: P O’Malley (0-1 ‘45); E McCormack, C Walsh, R Hughes; C Lawless, U Harney (0-1), D Ruane; E Nolan, S Cunnane; C Heneghan (0-1), E Smith (1-3), D McGann; A Glennon (0-1), D Smith (0-3, 0-2 frees), C Cox (0-5, 0-2 frees). Subs: K Doyle for Cunnane (38 mins), C McKeon for Glennon (43 mins), B O’Carroll for Heneghan (47 mins), T O’Rourke for McGann (53 mins), B Derwin for Lennon (53 mins), C Kenny for Lawless (56 mins), A Lyons for Ruane (57 mins), C Sugrue (0-1) for D Smith (58 mins), E McGrath for E Smith, A McDermott for Walsh (both 60 mins).

Referee: J Gilmartin (Sligo).

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