Marsden leads rampage to bridge 10-year gap
Galway 3-14 Mayo 1-3
Galway ended a 10-year wait by beating arch-rivals and defending champions Mayo at Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar on Saturday to set up a provincial final meeting with Sligo on July 19.
It was back in July 2005 that Galway last beat Mayo in this grade. Since then they had lost the last four encounters.
However, there was no denying the Tribesmen on this occasion as they outplayed and outclassed Mayo from start to finish.
Playing with the aid of a strong wind, Galway opened the scoring with a point from the impressive Eric Lee.
However, three minutes later they found themselves two points down when Liam Byrne stabbed home a Mayo goal.
But that was as good as it got as Galway replied with 11 unanswered points before half-time to lead 0-12 to 1-0.
Driven on by man of the match Colm Ó Braonain, they scored some delightful points.
Three of these points came from Lee, along with four from midfielder Cillian McDaid to put them firmly in control.
Although Gerry Canavan got an early point for Mayo on the resumption, the game was put out of their reach in the 39th minute when Conor Marsden scored a brilliant goal.
The same player added a second four minutes later, and they got a third in the 46th minute when Finnian Ó Laoi found the back of the net, before Sean Kelly had a penalty saved.
SCORERS - Galway: C Marsden 2-3 (0-2fs), E Lee 0-5 (2fs, 1'45), C McDaid 0-4 (2fs), F Ó Laoi 1-0, C Ryan, C Ó Braonain 0-1 each. Mayo: L Byrne 1-1, D Cannon, G Canavan 0-1 each.
Galway: R O'Beolain, C Mulry, D McHugh, I Kent, S Kelly, L Kelly, J Daly, C Ó Braonain, C McDaid, E Lee, C Marsden, F Ó Laoi, C Ryan, M Boyle, R Forde.
Subs: C Brady for Ryan 36, P O'Donnell for Ó Laoi 50, B Goldrick for Forde 56, E McDonagh for Kent 57, H O'Toole for Daly 60.
MAYO: P O Malley, D Cosgrove, T Keane, J Maughan, P Lambert, R Collins, D Cannon (0-1), B Duffy, J Burke, D Quinn, R Egan, L Byrne (1-1, 1f), J Carr, G Canavan. Subs: J Irwin for Duffy 18, C Reape for Lambert 23, C Moran for Quinn 40, D Hanley for Lyons 43, P Walsh for P. O'Malley 51 (BC), K Quinn for Egan 55.
REF - J Gilmartin (Sligo)