Connacht MFC final replay: Galway canter to first minor title since 2007
Galway 4-12 Sligo 1-8
A bright second quarter saw Galway devour Sligo and claim their 25th Connacht minor football title.
Goals from Paudie McCormack and Finnian Ó Laoi gave Galway an unassailable nine-point, half-time lead and Sean Kelly goal and a late fourth from Desmond Connelly after the break made sure of the win for the Tribesmen.
The loss of Brian Mahon to concussion in the build-up to the game was severe for Sligo, but when goalkeeper Eamon Kilgallon was injured two minutes before throw-in Sligo could have felt the gods were against them.
But they got off to a flyer playing against the wind in Tuam Stadium. A third-minute free from Nathan Rooney gave the Yeats men the lead, before Kyle Cawley slotted a point from a tight angle to double the lead a minute later.
Galway had a shocking day in the drawn match with a tally of 15 wides, and they didn't fare much better in the opening action yesterday with six more in the opening eight minutes.
But once Paudie McCormack got them off the mark in the ninth minute the Tribesmen settled and five consecutive scores saw them lead 0-5 to 0-2 by the 14th minute.
Galway were on top throughout the first half, but Cathal Herron punished a slip from Ian Kent to level the game with an excellent Sligo goal after 15 minutes.
Ronan Ó Beolain kept his side in the game with a great save to deny Liam Gaughan, and at the other end Galway hit a deserved goal six minutes from the interval through McCormack.
And three minutes later Finnian Ó Laoi put Galway in total control when he rattled his side's second goal, which gave them a 2-9 to 1-3 lead at the break.
Points from Finnian Cawley and Gaughan hinted at a Sligo revival as they cut the deficit to seven points, but once Liam Ó Ceallaigh sent Sean Kelly in for Galway's third goal in the 38th minute the win was beyond doubt.
Scorers - Galway: P McCormack 1-2 (1f), S Kelly 1-1, C McDaid 0-3 (2f), F Ó Laoi, D Connelly 1-0, J Daly 0-2 (1f), E Lee (1'45), C Marsden (1f), C Ryan, C Brady 0-1. Sligo: C Herron 1-0, L Gaughan 0-3 (2f), F Cawley 0-2 (1f), N Rooney (1f), K Cawley, A McLoughlin 0-1.
Galway - R Ó Beolain; C Mulry, D McHugh, I Kent; S Kelly, L Ó Cellaigh, J Daly; C Ó Braonáin, C McDaid; E Lee, F Ó Laoi, C Brady; M Boyle, P McCormack, R Forde. Subs: C Marsden for Forde (h-t), C Ryan for McDaid (39), P O Domhnaill for McCormack (49), B Goldrick for Kent (57), D Connelly for O Braonain (58).
Sligo - C McGovern; O Gilmartin, E McGuinness, M O'Dowd; N Mullen, F Cawley, S Power; D Cummins, P Kilcoyne; L Gaughan, N Rooney, C Herron; K Cawley, P O'Connor, M Gordon. Subs: A Kerins for Gordon (7-9 blood), S Carrabine for Gilmartin (39), R Kennedy for Herron (47), A McLoughlin for O'Connor (58), K Banks for Cummins (60 BC).
Ref - D Corcoran (Mayo)