McDaid late show thwarts Yeats men
Galway 0-7 Sligo 1-4
Sligo's 47-year wait for their third provincial title at this level goes on as Cillian McDaid's late point forced a replay.
Connacht MFC final
The sides will meet again next weekend in Galway, but for long periods it looked as if Patrick O'Connor's first-half goal had edged it for Sligo.
Sligo manager Aidan Rooney admitted that his side will need to improve hugely to have any hope in the replay.
"We are blessed, we are just after saying a good prayer here. We got out of jail," said Rooney.
Galway started well with the wind as midfielder Colm Ó Braonáin curled over a neat point and then Finian Ó Laoi cut in off the right to double the lead.
Sligo got on the board thanks to Liam Gaughan's point in the 13th minute, but Galway, who shot nine wides in the opening half, soon reopened their two-point advantage when Ó Laoi made the most of a rebound from Eric Lee's long-range free that crashed off the post.
Gaughan kept Sligo in touch with a free four minutes from the break, before the game's only goal came a minute later when Patrick O'Connor's long punt from the left wing squeezed under the body of Ronan Ó Beoláin.
That fortuitous goal gave Sligo a 1-2 to 0-3 half-time lead and they looked good for a first title in almost half a century when Gaughan slotted a free in the 35th minute.
The impressive Ó Laoi showed well for Galway again two minutes later with a point from play, before Darragh Cummins kicked the point of the match after a slick move involving Finnian Cawley and Gaughan.
Sligo led by three at that stage but Galway rallied well. Eric Lee landed a badly needed '45' for the Tribesmen 13 minutes from time and Ó Braonáin added a fine individual effort four minutes later.
And after he was fouled himself, McDaid tapped over the leveller to force the replay.
"It looked for a while as if it wasn't going to be our day so we are happy to come away with a draw," said Galway boss Stephen Joyce.
Scorers - Galway: F Ó Laoi 0-3, C Ó Braonáin 0-2, C McDaid (1f), E Lee ('45') 0-1 each. Sligo: L Gaughan 0-3 (2f), P O'Connor 1-0, D Cummins 0-1.
Galway - R O Beolain; I Kent, D McHugh, C Mulry; S Kelly, L O Cellaigh, J Daly; C O Braonain, C McDaid; E Lee, C Marsden, F O Laoi; R Forde, M Boyle, C Brady. Subs: C Ryan for Marsden (36), P McCormack for Boyle (57), E Conroy for Brady (57).
Sligo - E Kilgannon; B Mahon, E McGuinness, M O'Dowd; N Mullen, F Cawley, S Power; D Cummins, P Kilcoyne; L Gaughan, N Rooney, S Carrabine; K Cawley, P O'Connor, M Gordon. Subs: A Kearins for Mahon (35), C Herron for Carrabine (38), K Banks for Kilcoyne (54), R Kennedy for Gaughan (57), A McLoughlin for K Cawley (60).
Ref - P Neilan (Roscommon)