Sunday 22 April 2018

Late call-up Comer's class display hard to stomach for New York

Galway 2-18 New York 0-8 Connacht SFC

Danny Cummins, Galway, in action against Keith Quinn, New York
Danny Cummins, Galway, in action against Keith Quinn, New York
Damien Comer, Galway, in action against Gerard McCartan, New York
Paul Conroy, Galway, in action against Brian Connor, New York
Damien Comer, Galway, in action against Gerard McCartan and Darren Freeman, New York
Sean Denvir, Galway, in action against Jason Kelly, New York Newsdesk

Damien Comer inspired Galway as they advanced to face Leitrim in the next round of the Connacht Senior Football Championship after a leisurely victory over New York at Gaelic Park in the Bronx last night.

Man of the Match Comer wasn't even due to start but was parachuted into the starting 15 after a stomach bug hit the Galway panel and he duly responded with an impressive 1-4 tally.

It may have been the least comprehensive of recent defeats suffered by the Exiles on their home turf but it was never in doubt after Galway rode the initial New York dominance.

Former Donegal star Ross Wherity failed to beat the hamstring injury that had bothered him since the defeat to Cavan and was replaced in the starting line-up by Jason Kelly.

But the worries were greater for the Tribesmen, who lost goalkeeper Brian Donoghue as well as key forwards Michael Lundy and Patrick Sweeney to the mysterious bug.

PJ Banville led the way for New York in the opening stages, converting two early frees as the Galway men started slower.

Comer - who replaced Sweeney - and centre-forward Shane Walsh brought Galway back level by the 11th minute before a 20th minute point from Banville had the hosts in front again.

Comer was finally hitting his stride and a few scores by him had the visitors in the lead and in control as the half hour mark ticked by.

An injury to one of New York's key men, Brian Connor, proved a further blow and Galway began the second half with a five-point advantage, 0-9 to 0-4.

Banville hit another free before Walsh hit back for Galway, blasting a low shot to the corner past New York keeper Gavin Joyce. The sides traded scores until Peadar Og O Griofa's free made it 1-11 to 0-6.

Points from Paul Conroy, Sean Denvir and O Griofa killed off any fight New York had left in them before Comer punched home the second goal of the day after a fine move down the right.

The game petered out from there with Galway coasting their way to a 16-point victory.

Galway - T Healy; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney (P Naughton); L Silke (0-1), G O'Donnell, S Denvir (0-1) (P Varley); F Ó Curraoin (0-1), P Conroy (0-1, capt, T Flynn); G Sice (M Martin), S Walsh (1-4, 1f), E Hoare (M Lundy); P Ó Gríofa (0-4, 2f), D Comer (1-4, 2 45s, A Varley), D Cummins (0-1). Other scorer - sub M Martin (0-1)

New York - G Joyce; R McGinley; G McCartan, K Quinn, B Gibbons; K Scally (capt), C Maginn (K Moynagh); A Hope (G McCullagh), B Connor (D Nation (McGeeney)); J Kelly (E McPhilips), N McFeely, D Freeman; JJ Mathews (0-1), PJ Banville (0-7, 4f), G O'Driscoll.

Ref - C Branagan (Down).

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