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Allianz Football League – Division 1

Galway 1-14 Monaghan 0-16

Pearse Stadium, Salthill
January 26th 2020 @2:30pm,
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

The Padráic Joyce era got off to a winning start in front of over 7,600 at a crisp Pearse Stadium this afternoon. They did it the hard way, holding on late into stoppage time to a single point lead.

Padráic Joyce celebrating after Galway’s slender win over Monaghan. Photo Credit: Shane Tighe

Joyce has yet to show his full hand as Galway are still short some of their club contingent. Corofin captured their third All-Ireland Club crown on the trot last weekend. While Oughterard added the Intermediate All-Ireland for the county with a win over Monaghan’s Maghercloone in the curtain-raiser to Dublin v Kerry at headquarters yesterday evening.

Pre-season has shown promise for Galway new approach as the FBD title was secured with a win over Roscommon. But that would count for little, as Monaghan in top-flight action would be a more daunting proposition. Séamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney was back at the helm for the Farney men as they came in search of another win at Pearse Stadium. Two years ago Monaghan cruised to an easy win in a Super 8 game at the Salthill venue.

The home side started well with two early points from a Shane Walsh free and a cleverly dummied point from the inventive Finian Ó Laoí. The later coming into the starting side as a late change for Tomás Flynn.

Monaghan responded in-kind with two points from Conor McManus. McManus was also a late change to the Monaghan line-up. Not originally listed to start the veteran forward came into the side in a late reshuffle for full-back Drew Wylie. Needless to say, McManus did his work at the other end of the field as Ryan Wylie, Dessie Ward and Dermot Malone all dropped back a line.

Crucial Goal

A further two-point exchange between the sides saw the score tied at 0-4 apiece before Robert Finnerty struck for the games only goal. Shane Walsh showed great vision to pick out Michael Boyle, who in turn fed the goal scorer. Finnerty, the son of former Mayo stalwart Anthony, showed great composure to round Rory Beggan in the Farey goal before slotting the ball into the empty net.

Monaghan reduced the gap to a single point with scores from Kieran Hughes and Conor McCarthy, but the home side pushed on with a trio of unanswered points from Adrian Varley and Shane Walsh (0-2).

The drama continued unabated during this spell as there were goal chances at either end. Firstly a stray fisted back pass from Ryan McAnespie caught Beggan flat-footed and the keeper did well to prevent it from ending up in the net. Soon after at the other end, Monaghan had a glorious chance to square things up when Dessie Ward was fouled. However, Conor Gleeson in the Galway goal sprung to his right to parry away Connor McManus’s spot-kick. Gleeson, a former Galway United goalkeeper, is quickly gaining a reputation as a fine shot-stopper. He also saved two spot-kicks in Galway’s recent FBD final shoot-out win over Roscommon.

Conor Gleeson pushes away Conor McManus’ penalty effort late in the first-half. Photo credit: Shane Tighe.

Monaghan Kepper’ Rory Beggan drove over a 45’ and Tuam Stars wing-back Gary O’Donnell shot over at the other end to a goal separating the sides tied at the interval. Galway 1-08 v Monaghan 0-8.

Second-half

Galway outscored Monaghan 3 points to 1 after the restart to push the gap out to five points. Firstly Finnerty blazed over the bar when he could have had a second goal, before McManus responded for the Farney men. Paul Conroy and Walsh then added two more Galway scores.

At this stage it looked like the home side would pull away for a comfortable win. However, Padraic Joyce’s side then showed the failings of old. They took their foot off the gas and went the next twenty minutes without a score. Monaghan made hay during this spell. The tactic of Rory Beggan carrying the ball upfield unmolested reaped dividends. The Monaghan keeper’s forays up past his own 45’ created space for others. Five unanswered points from Kieran Hughes, McManus, McCarron and substitutes Chris McGuinness & Aaron Mulligan level up the game at 1-11 v 0-14 as the game entered the last ten minutes of regulation time.

A Shane Walsh free, after he had been cynically taken down, edged Galway back in front. Conor McManus then tied the game up again. A move that started with a goal-line clearance from Seán Mullkerrin led to a fisted point for Damien Comer. Matthias Barrett then added another point from the kick-out. Conor McManus cut the gap to the minimum with a sublime free-kick from the lefthand sideline.

Galway hung-on during five additional minutes at the end as the Farney men pressed for a draw. They survived a hop-ball inside their 22’ and an even later scare when they won a free out at the death.

Galway

Connor Gleeson (Dunmore)
Johny Duane (St.James)
Seán Mulkerrin (Oileáin Árann)
Johnny Heaney (Killanin)
Gary O’Donnell (Tuam Stars) 0-1
John Daly (Mountbellew/Moylough)
Cillian McDaid (Monevia/Abbey)
Finián Ó Laoí (An Spidéal) 0-1
Céin D’Arcy (Cathair Loisgreain). 0-1
Paul Conroy (St.James) 0-1
Michael Boyle (Killerrin)
Michael Daly (Mountbellew/Moylough)
Adrian Varley (Cortoon Shamrocks) 0-1
Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin/Clonberne) 0-6 5f
Robert Finnerty (Salthill/Knocknacarra) 1-01

Subs:
Damien Comer (Annaghdown) 0-1
Eammon Brannigan (St. Michael’s)
Matthais Barrett (Leitir Mór)
Liam Costello (Milltown)
Sean Kelly (Moycullen) 0-1

Monaghan

Rory Beggan (An Bhoth) 0-1 45’
Kieran Duffy (Leachtain) 0-1
Conor Boyle (Cluain Tiobraid)
Karl O’Connell (Tigh Thalainn)
Ryan Mc Anespie (Scairbh na gCaorach) 0-1
Ryan Wylie (Béal Átha Beithe)
Darren Hughes (An Bhoth)
Niall Kearns (Seán Mac Diramada)
Kieran Hughes (An Bhoth) 0-2
Michael Bannigan (Achadh na Muileann)
Dessie Ward (Béal Átha Beithe)
Dermot Malone (Fág An Bealach)
Conor McCarthy (An Bhoth) 0-1
Jack McCarron (Curraichín) 0-2 1f

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