Sligo boss Flanagan blasts new rules after heavy loss
Galway 3-10 Sligo 0-8
There was plenty to occupy the minds of the few hundred who braved the icy rain and wind as they headed home sodden and frozen from Tuam Stadium after this opening FBD League clash.
The black card made its first appearance, just before the break, when Sligo corner-back Neil Ewing got his marching orders, apparently for something he said to Roscommon referee Paddy Neilan, ironically, after Sligo were awarded a free out.
His forced substitution didn't unduly impact on Sligo, who were already in trouble and heading for an inevitable defeat in Pat Flanagan's first match in charge, when they went in trailing by 1-2 to 0-4 at the break, despite having played with the elements.
Flanagan has only had a few weeks to work with his new charges and while he was pleased to get a look at them in a competitive match, he has misgivings about the new rules and was baffled as to why Ewing got the line.
"I think he made a comment to the referee, but he said he was 20 yards away from him, so I don't know. I was told you have to be extremely aggressive in a referee's face. Neil made a comment that he has to play the ball. he might have said it in a stronger tone than that, but he only made the one comment.
"It's going to be very difficult to police, totally up to the interpretation of the referee; what one referee might see, another mightn't see, so it's going to probably create a little bit of inconsistency -- especially in conditions like we had today."
His side faced an uphill battle once Eoin Concannon, who finished with 2-2, rattled the net after 10 minutes, as only Adrian Marren, in the opening half, and sub, Colm McGee, after the restart, offered any Sligo resistance.
Michael Martin got Galway's second goal after 41 minutes, before Concannon got his second. However, the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for man of the match James Kavanagh when he landed a 52nd-minute point.
The former Kildare player was outstanding from start to finish and Galway manager Alan Mulholland was delighted with the performance of the garda who has been based in Galway for over a year.
"It was a day for people to show the correct attitude -- the weather was bad, the underfoot conditions were very soft and James has brought that attitude to the panel in the last few weeks since we've gone back training," he said.
Scorers -- Galway: E Concannon 2-2, M Martin 1-2 (1f), M Hehir 0-2fs, A Tierney, E Hoare, J Kavanagh, S Armstrong 0-1 each. Sligo: A Marre, C McGee 0-2 (2fs) each, M Breheny (f), B O'Mahony, V Frizzel, ('45'), J Hynes 0-1 each.
Galway -- T Healy; J Moore, A Tierney, E Murray; T Fahy, G Higgins, E Walsh; P Conroy, D O'Connell; G Bradshaw, M Martin, M Hehir; E Hoare, E Concannon, J Kavanagh. Subs: K McGrath for Moore (h-t), D O'Neill for Fahy (40), S Armstrong for Martin (45), D Cummins for Concannon (45), F Hanley for Tierney (58).
Sligo -- V Cadden; G Gilsenan, G Ryan, N Ewing; C Harrison, L Bree, R Connolly; J Quinn, M Quinn; C Griffin, M Breheny, V Frizzel; A Marren, B O'Mahony, N Murphy. Subs: J Kelly for Ewing (29, BC), C McGee for Marren (43), C Breheny for Frizzel (45), J Hynes for O'Mahony (55), K Sweeney for Murphy (55).
REF -- P Neilan (Roscommon).