The Galway and District league left it late before a last minute Simon Walsh winner gave them a 4-3 victory over the Mayo League in the Oscar Traynor Cup at Milebush yesterday afternoon.
Indeed it was the fourth occasion that the visitors had taken the lead and the first time they held on to it after they led by 2-1 at the break.
With both sides having defeated the Inishowen League in their opening matches this was a winner take all situation-although a draw would have been sufficient for Mayo to advance as they enjoyed a greater margin of victory in that contest.
An early Keith Ward strike put the visitors ahead, before Michael Duffy levelled matters on 38 minutes following a Tom O'Connor delivery. Right on the stroke of half time Galway restored the lead when Barry Moran applied the finish after a Walsh delivery put him in the clear.
However Mayo dominated matters on the restart and were rewarded when Brendan Nallen finished off a Dessie O'Malley cross to tie up matters at 2-2. Now while chances continued to go a begging at both ends, the visitors looked like they had taken a crucial lead on 73 minutes when a Simon Walsh shot looped over Emmett Peyton, but within three minutes Duffy got his second with a close range finish to level matters at 3-3.
As the minutes ticked away Mayo looked like they had done enough to advance, but on 89 minutes following a Cathal Fahy cross Walsh, with his second of the day headed home to make it 4-3 and secure a passage for Galway to the knockout stages.
There was just one game in the Premier League as a Mikey Creane brace helped NUIGalway defeat Colmanstown by 2-1 at Dangan, while in the First Division, Dynamo Blues were 3-2 away winners over Kiltullagh. John Farragher (2) and Mark Sweeney were on the mark for the visitors, while Kenny Burke (pen) and Alan Laffey replied for the home side.
In the Michael Byrne Cup, Jason Finn took the days individual scoring honours as he notched all four as St Bernard's defeated West United B by 4-2, while Athenry were comfortable 6-1 winners over Claregalway as Gary Forde (2), Stephen Rabbitte (2) and Brian Mannion (2) were all on the mark for the home side.
West Coast United came from behind to defeat Renmore 4-3 following extra time. Sean Kilroy and Eoin Noone were on the mark for the home side in normal time, with Stephen Heanue and Shane Lydon replying for the visitors as it finished at 2-2 following the ninety minutes action
In extra time it was the Connemara side who put themselves in the driving seat as efforts by Eoin O'Neill and Simon Heanue Joyce put them two clear before Noone with his second ensured it remained competitive until the final whistle.
East United were also comfortable winners in the Byrne Cup as goals by Kenneth Lydon (2) and Dave Henry gave them an easy 3-0 margin over Craughwell United.