Wednesday 22 August 2018

Grealish blow only concern for Galway

Galway 1-20 Offaly 0-8 - Bord Gais Leinster u-21 HC

Galway’s Evan Niland in action against Michael Gilligan (left) and Joe Maher at Bord Na Móna O’Connor Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Galway’s Evan Niland in action against Michael Gilligan (left) and Joe Maher at Bord Na Móna O’Connor Park. Photo: Sportsfile

independent.ie Sportsdesk

Galway made a winning start to their campaign as they eased passed Offaly at Bord Na Móna O'Connor Park last night to set up a semi-final clash with Kilkenny next Wednesday.

That game will be a much sterner test of their mettle but they are where they want to be - in a Leinster semi-final.

Liam Forde of Galway in action against Cathal O'Brien of Offaly. Photo: Sportsfile
Liam Forde of Galway in action against Cathal O'Brien of Offaly. Photo: Sportsfile

They had little trouble in accounting for the Offaly men who were on home soil, with Evan Niland in fine form for the winners with nine points.

The only negative from a Galway point of view was an injury to Jack Grealish, who left the field on a stretcher in the final minute of the game.

Galway had the game signed, sealed and delivered well before Seán Loftus grabbed their goal with five minutes to go with Offaly having to play the final 12 minutes with 14 men due to the dismissal of Oisín Kelly.

After a quick opening exchange of points, Galway eased their way into control of the game. While not firing on all cylinders, the Tribesmen still opened up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 12 minutes with wing forward Cianan Fahy landing two of those.

Cian Salmon of Galway in action against Cathal O'Meara of Offaly. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Salmon of Galway in action against Cathal O'Meara of Offaly. Photo: Sportsfile

Niland was proving reliable on the frees as he hit four in the opening half with Wayne Mooney hitting Offaly's only score from play in the half on 13 minutes.

Seán Blehane landed three points in the last three minutes of the half as Galway held a comfortable 0-11 to 0-4 half-time lead.

The second half saw Galway continue to dominate with wing-back Loftus popping up with a fine score from distance on 40 minutes to put them 0-14 to 0-5.

Galway led by eight when Kelly was sent off on 48 minutes but the floodgates well and truly opened after that as they found even more time and space on the ball.

Faded

As Niland continued to rack up the frees, Offaly faded out of the game and Loftus raided up from wing-back to fire the game's only goal five minutes from time to make it 1-16 to 0-7.

Offaly did hit late points from Cathal O'Brien and Eoin Woods but Galway were never in doubt of not setting up that big semi-final clash.

A seriously outclassed Offaly were no match for Galway, with substitute Jack Canning landing the final score of the game to give them a 15-point win in the end.

 

Scorers - Galway: E Niland 0-9 (8f), S Loftus 1-2, C Fahy 0-4 (1f), S Blehane 0-3 each, B Concannon and J Canning 0-1 each. Offaly: B Duignan 0-5 (4f, 1 '65), W Mooney, C O'Brien and E Woods 0-1 each.

Galway - E Murphy; S Bannon, F Burke, I O'Shea; C Mulry, M Hughes, S Loftus; T Monaghan, J Grealish; S Blehane, B Concannon, C Fahy; R Murphy, E Niland, K Cooney. Subs: J Canning for K Cooney (45), C Salmon for R Murphy (45), A Greaney for I O'Shea (52), C Caulfield for C Mulry (52), L Forde for S Blehane (56).

Offaly - E Cahill; D Watkins, M Gilligan, C O'Meara; R Connaughton, B Conneely, C O'Brien; J Keenaghan, P Delaney; W Mooney, O Kelly, L Langton; B Duignan, D Buckley, C Langton. Subs: J Maher for R Connaughton (h-t), C Cleary for W Mooney (44), E Callaghan for C Langton (44), E Kelly for L Langton (45), E Woods for B Duignan (53).

Ref - D Hughes (Carlow)

Irish Independent

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