Friday 24 November 2017

Three in a row for Tribesmen as goal rush secures 28th Connacht title

Galway 3-11 Sligo 0-10 Connacht MFC final

Captain Sean Mulkerrin lifts the cup for Galway following their victory in the Electric Ireland Connacht GAA Football Minor Championship Final against Sligo. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Captain Sean Mulkerrin lifts the cup for Galway following their victory in the Electric Ireland Connacht GAA Football Minor Championship Final against Sligo. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Galway boss Stephen Joyce said it was a huge honour to win the last ever Connacht minor title - but now he wants to have a crack at the All-Ireland.

Galway were runners-up to Kerry in last year's All-Ireland minor final and had far too much power for a Sligo side bidding for their first Connacht crown since 1968.

Goals from Padraic Costello and Daniel Kenny in the second-half saw Galway claim the win, but Conor Campbell's goal after 17 minutes was a key moment.

Galway finished with 14 men when Conor Newell was shown red midway through the second-half, but it hardly interrupted their canter to a third title in a row. They now face either Derry or Cavan in the quarter-final.

"It's the last Connacht minor final, so there's a bit of history as well, it's a good feeling," said Galway manager Stephen Joyce.

Breeze

Galway's Evan Murphy sends the ball forward. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Galway's Evan Murphy sends the ball forward. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

"The ultimate aim is to get back to where we were last year and go one better. But that's always the aim. Our only aim at this point is the next game."

With the stiff Salthill breeze at their backs Sligo got off to a good start and Conall Ryan pointed after 12 seconds. Less than a minute had elapsed before Luke Towey gave Sligo a 0-2 to 0-0 lead.

Darragh Silke put Galway on the board on five minutes, but Sligo were fluid in attack and Red Óg Murphy and Ryan soon worked a three-point lead for their team.

Martin Kerrigan and Silke (2) soon levelled matters, but Campbell's solo goal in the 17th minute put Galway on top and they led 1-6 to 0-6 at the interval.

Gavin Burke breaks through a challenge by Conall Ryan of Sligo. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Gavin Burke breaks through a challenge by Conall Ryan of Sligo. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Two quick points from Matthias Barrett and a third from Padraic Costello gave Galway a six-point lead by the 36th minute, and once Kenny flicked Evan Murphy's long delivery to the net there was no way back for Sligo.

Newell's red came with his side eight points up, but three minutes later Murphy set up Costello for Galway's third goal and they won at their ease.

Scorers - Galway: D Silke 0-4 (3f), P Costello 1-1, C Campbell 1-0, D Kenny 1-0, M Barrett 0-2, L Boyle, E Murphy, M Kerrigan, R Cunningham 0-1 each.

Sligo: C Ryan 0-3, R Óg Murphy 0-3 (2f), N Closh, B Gorman, L Towey, R Walsh 0-1.

Galway: O Burke; E McFadden, S Mulkerrin (c), G Burke; J Glynn, S Fitzgerald, L Boyle; M Barrett, E Murphy; B Harlowe, D Silke, M Kerrigan; C Newell, P Costello, C campbell. Subs: D Kenny for Harlowe (half-time), L Costello for Kerrigan (49), R Cunningham for P Costello 51), C Potter for Boyle (53), J Kyne for Burke (60).

Evan Lavin of Sligo beats the tackle by Liam Boyle of Galway. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Evan Lavin of Sligo beats the tackle by Liam Boyle of Galway. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Sligo: A Davey; J Ellis, B Cox, E Lyons; B Tuohy, E Lavin, O Conlon; N Closh, B Gorman (c); L Towey, C O'Dowd, K McKenna; R Anderson, R Óg Murphy, C Ryan. Subs: M Cahill for O'Dowd (29), J Stephenson for McKenna (30+2 BC), J Weir for Tuohy (46), R Walsh for Anderson (49), J McMunn for Lavin (57), O Grehan for Colsh (73).

Ref - L Devenney (Mayo).

Conor Campbell shoots to score Galway's first goal of the game. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Conor Campbell shoots to score Galway's first goal of the game. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

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