Wednesday 25 April 2018

Galway's late rally stuns DIT

Galway 0-20
DIT 2-12

Galway's Andy Smith is pursued by DIT's Pat Hartley during their Walsh Cup quarter-final Ballinasloe yesterday. Photo: Ray Ryan / Sportsfile
Galway's Andy Smith is pursued by DIT's Pat Hartley during their Walsh Cup quarter-final Ballinasloe yesterday. Photo: Ray Ryan / Sportsfile

IT was always likely to be a peculiar occasion with this fixture being staged in Ballinasloe, and though dense fog enveloped Duggan Park a surprisingly thrilling game added another layer of intrigue.

Under John McIntyre, Galway attached significant emphasis to the Walsh Cup a year ago, but yesterday they struggled to contain a vibrant DIT and trailed by 14 points before summoning a remarkable salvage act.

A dozen unanswered points in the closing 25 minutes ensured Galway qualified for the semi-final to leave the shellshocked students reflecting on how they let a near certain win slip through their fingers.

Ravaged by a lengthy injury list, Galway encountered plenty of bother during a first half that was dominated by a determined DIT side.

Five of the students' pacy forward line landed scores during the opening period as DIT established a staggering 2-9 to 0-1 lead by the 26th minute.

Galway were extremely rusty early on and DIT's attack was precise as they struck over scores from a variety of distances and angles. Pat Hartley and Paul Ryan had pointed before DIT nailed a delightful eighth-minute goal as Harry Kehoe rattled the Galway net following a Paul Morris delivery. Andy Smith grabbed a point for Galway, but DIT responded briskly hitting 1-7 on the spin during an encouraging burst for the visitors.

The second DIT goal arrived in the 16th minute when Eoin Murphy's long free was met with an opportunistic Liam Og McGovern flick and Galway were in deep distress.

Incredibly, DIT were 14 points clear, but Galway summoned a brief pre-interval rally raising five white flags in a row to trim the deficit to 2-9 to 0-6.

Galway continued to battle after the restart with Ger Farragher effective when switched to centre-forward as Galway narrowed the gap.

DIT only managed three points in the third quarter and Galway finished with a flourish rifling over 12 scores without reply. Fittingly, a sweet Farragher point equalised with three minutes on the clock and then Eanna Ryan and Keith Kilkenny completed the comeback to edge Galway through.

Scorers -- Galway: G Farragher 0-10 (7f), A Smith, E Ryan, K Kilkenny 0-2 each, N Cahalan, D Burke, A Cullinane, I Tannian 0-1 each. DIT: L Og McGovern 1-3, P Ryan 0-4 (3f), H Kehoe 1-0, P Morris, M Maloney 0-2 each, P Hartley 0-1.

Galway -- J Grealish; D Collins, C O'Donovan, D Hayes; N Donoghue, J Lee, A Cullinane; N Cahalan, J Coen; E Ryan, K Kilkenny, A Smith; B Murphy, G Farragher, I Tannian. Subs: T Og Regan for Donoghue (36 mins), D Barry for O'Donovan (45), D Burke for Cahalan (50), N Healy for Murphy (52).

DIT -- F McGarry; P Phelan, O Walsh, P Donnelly; E Murphy, J Walsh, D English; P Hartley, C O'Shaughnessy; P Morris, M Maloney, J Mulrooney; H Kehoe, L Og McGovern, P Ryan. Subs: P Schutte for Barron (54 ), C O'Shaughnessy for Morris (69).

REF -- B Gavin (Offaly).

Irish Independent

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