Mannion leads scoring spree as Tribesmen return to full force
Galway 3-31 Laois 1-11
Galway may be confined to at least a second season out of the top flight, but Micheál Donoghue was pleased with the way they responded to a demoralising defeat to Wexford by taking Laois apart yesterday at Pearse Stadium.
The collapse in the closing stages at the Salthill venue two weeks earlier probably means that Galway, relegated last year in Donoghue's first season in charge, will not achieve immediate promotion.
However, as Donoghue rightly pointed out after this 26-point win, they can't stay dwelling on that.
He made seven changes yesterday, with Cathal Mannion marking his return in style, following his exploits with brother Padraic in guiding Ahascragh-Fohenagh to the All-Ireland intermediate final.
Cathal Mannion hit 1-5 from play and brother Padraic and fellow corner-back Paul Killeen also found the target on a day when 14 Galway players scored.
They shot out of the blocks with the wind behind them and opened up a 0-9 to nil lead after just eight minutes.
"We got a good start. We had the elements as well. A good start is half the battle. The lads racked up a few good scores early on and it gave us a good platform to push on for the rest of the game," said Donoghue.
"After the result two weeks ago we were collectively very disappointed with it. In fairness, the lads applied themselves really well in training and brought that to the game today."
Galway led by 0-20 to 0-5 at half-time, with all six home forwards finding the target by the 13th minute.
And they would have been even further ahead had goalkeeper Enda Rowland not produced superb saves to deny Jason Flynn and Joseph Cooney.
"We needed to get a good start against them," said Laois manager Eamonn Kelly.
"We knew they were going to come out all guns blazing after being beaten by Wexford here the last day. Galway were very sharp. We were disappointed that we didn't come to the plate a bit earlier in the game.
"We were nine points down in as many minutes. We responded a bit better after that. Our inside back-line were exceptional and for a team that was under pressure all day, I thought the three boys were outstanding."
Ross King pulled back a couple of points after the restart for Laois, but Galway outscored them by 1-8 to 0-2 in the third quarter against the wind.
The introduction of Joe Canning added further potency and he blasted home a penalty shortly after coming on, after Stephen Bergin got a goal moments earlier for Laois.
Conor Whelan became the 14th Galway player to score when he got their third goal five minutes from time.
Scorers - Galway: C Mannion 1-5, J Flynn 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 65), J Canning 1-2 (1-0 pen), P Flaherty 0-5, C Whelan 1-0, C Cooney & T Monaghan 0-3 each, J Cooney, David Burke, P Mannion, P Killeen, A Harte, Daithi Burke & J Coen 0-1 each.
Laois: R King 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 65), S Bergin 1-0, A Corby, P Purcell, C Taylor, B Conroy & A Dunphy 0-1 each.
Galway: J Skehill 7; P Killeen 7, J Hanbury 7, P Mannion 7; A Harte 7, Daithi Burke 8, S Loftus 7; J Coen 7, David Burke 7; C Mannion 9, J Cooney 7, P Flaherty 9; J Flynn 7, T Monaghan 8, C Cooney 7. Subs: J Canning 8 for J Cooney (44), E Burke 7 for Killeen (50), C Whelan 7 for C Cooney (53), G Lally 7 for P Mannion (55), M Keating 7 for Monaghan (66).
Laois: E Rowland 8; C Healy 7, L Bergin 7, D Palmer 7; S Downey 6, R Mullaney 6, P Whelan 6; C Taylor 6, P Purcell 7; E Lyons 6, A Corby 7, R King 8; W Dunphy 6, N Foyle 6, B Conroy 7. Subs: A Dunphy 7 for Lyons (30), S Bergin 7 for W Dunphy (51, blood), J Kelly 6 for Mullaney (62), E Killeen 6 for Corby (67), L O'Connell 6 for Palmer (75).
REF - Paud O'Dwyer (Carlow).