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Impressive Martin's goal touch gives Tribesmen crucial edge

Former minor star Michael Martin blasted home two excellent goals as Galway wrapped up their FBD League campaign with a win at Tuam Stadium yesterday.

Neither Alan Mulholland nor his former Galway colleague Kevin Walsh had anything worthwhile to play for in this final group game as NUIG and Mayo had qualified the previous week, but it turned out to be a useful exercise.

Martin, a member of the Galway minor team which won the 2007 All-Ireland title, scored an astonishing opening goal on his way to a haul of 2-3. He took a quick free from Michael Boyle, turned on the 20-metre line and let fly with a superb left-foot shot into the top right corner of the net.

He displayed his finishing touches again four minutes from the break when Joyce and Paul Conroy combined to send him through. That left Galway leading by 3-4 to 0-6 at the interval with Sligo using wind advantage to reduce the margin after the restart with a couple of points from Brendan Egan and Niall Murphy.

Sligo's Adrian Marren landed four points from play at full-forward, while teenager Murphy showed he is comfortable in this company with two fine scores.

But Galway, who got a glorious start with a Nicky Joyce goal in just 40 seconds, were able to crack holes in their defence. Sligo reduced the deficit to four points at 3-6 to 0-11 going into the final quarter, but wing-back Conor Halloran and sub Peadar O Griofa tacked on points. Any notions of a comeback were dismissed when Mark Hehir goaled five minutes from the end.

SCORERS -- Galway: M Martin 2-3 (2f), N Joyce 1-2 (2f), M Hehir 1-0, M Boyle, C Halloran, P O Griofa, S Maughan 0-1 each. Sligo: A Marren 0-4, N Murphy, S Coen (1f), B Egan 0-2 each, D Rooney ('45), M Breheny (f) 0-1 each.

Galway -- B Power; C Forde, F Hanley, K Kelly; G Bradshaw, G O'Donnell, C Halloran; JJ Greaney, T Flynn; M Hehir, P Conroy, M Boyle; M Martin, N Joyce, S Maughan. Subs: M Breathnach for Power (45), P O Griofa for Joyce (45), E Monahan for Hehir (47), T Fahy for Bradshaw (55), S Denvir for Halloran (58).

Sligo -- V Cadden; B Kennedy, J Martyn, N Ewing; P McGovern, S McManus, D Rooney; B Egan, E Mullen; M Breheny, P Hughes, F Quinn; S Coen, A Marren, N Murphy. Subs: D May for F Quinn (37), V Frizzell for Breheny (47), M Quinn for Rooney (58).

Ref -- D Corcoran (Mayo)

Irish Independent