Raymond secures a magnificent Sligo seven
Sligo SHC: Calry-St Joseph's 2-15 Western Gaels 3-10
The Calry-St Joseph's hurling juggernaut rumbled on at Markievicz Park as they claimed the Sligo title for the seventh time in a row yesterday, but their two-point defeat of Western Gaels was far from comfortable.
It took second-half goals from Brian Shannon and substitute Michael O'Callaghan to keep Calry-St Joseph's title dream on track.
The beaten finalists, previously champions for the first and only time in 2010, had Calry-St Joseph's rattled at half-time as they led by three points, 2-6 to 0-9, at the interval of a scrappy encounter.
First-half goals from Eamonn Kilgannon and Michael McGowan left Calry-St Joseph's reeling - Kilgannon netted in the opening minute and McGowan scored in first-half added-time - with Alan Cawley also chipping in with three first-half frees.
The champions relied on their top scorer and talisman, Keith Raymond, to keep them ticking over against a Western Gaels side who battled for everything, in what was an enthralling curtain-raiser to the day's Sligo SFC decider.
Western Gaels ultimately paid the price for 14 wides and a subdued second-half display.
Their third goal, which came in the eighth minute of stoppage-time, came as Joe McHugh fired a penalty to the net. But it was too little too late and St Joseph's had done enough.
SCORERS - Calry-St Joseph's: K Raymond 0-8 (3f, 2 '65'); M O'Callaghan 1-1; B Shannon 1-0; DCollery, E Doherty 0-2 each; L Reidy, C Griffin 0-1 each. Western Gaels: J McHugh 1-4 (1-0 pen, 2f); E Kilgannon 1-1; M McGowan 1-0, A Cawley 0-4 (4f); S Carrabine 0-1.
CALRY-ST JOSEPH'S: D Reidy; T Kelly, J Kenny, D Keown; F Coyne, L Reidy, D Hand; K Raymond, M Gilmartin; E McCarthy, D Collery, B Shannon; E Doherty, R Cox, K Gilmartin. Subs: C Griffin for Hand, h-t, M O'Callaghan for Doherty (41), D Cox for Shannon (60)
WESTERN GAELS: M Fitzsimons; M Connolly, G Ryan, T Cawley; F Ryan, D Kirby, J Hynes; S Wade, A Cawley; S Carrabine, L Ryan, E Kilgannon; A Morrison, M McGowan, J McHugh. Subs: E Moylan for L Ryan 58; D O'Boyle for Wade (59); H Gilroy for F Ryan (60); C Hallinan for Morrison (60)
Ref - John Doyle (Naomh Eoin)