Connacht SFC: Galway best in the west
Connacht Senior Football Championship Final
GALWAY 0-16 ROSCOMMON 2-6
By Cian O'Connell at Dr Hyde Park
Prompted by the splendid Shane Walsh, who married substance with style, Galway returned to the western summit.
Kevin Walsh’s charges produced a dominant second half display to overpower Roscommon, who had set the agenda early on.
Roscommon, who motored smoothly initially, endured severe issues after the restart as Galway outwitted the holders by 0-11 to 1-1 after the restart.
That Roscommon failed to register a score from play in the last 35 minutes confirmed how gritty and resourceful Galway were.
The opening period showcased Roscommon’s ability in attack with the majestic Murtagh brothers inflicting plenty of damage.
Diarmuid contributed four points, including three sweet efforts from play, while Ciarain supplied a gorgeous 22nd minute goal.
That major was all about a blend of speed and skill as the St Faithleach’s clubman manufactured just enough space to make the Galway net dance.
It was a moment of sheer daring and class, while at the opposite end Galway relied on Shane Walsh and Ian Burke for scores and inspiration.
Walsh mined three first half points, kicking two fine efforts from play, while the Kilkerrin-Clonberne forward crafted two further scores for Burke.
Still despite Walsh’s craft Roscommon were content to be departing armed with a 1-5 to 0-5 advantage at the interval.
Galway’s response, though, was loaded with character and following a Diarmuid Murtagh free Galway reeled off six points without reply to seize the initiative.
Walsh struck five of those before Sean Kelly landed an important point, but Roscommon did manage to pose one more serious question.
A foul on Diarmuid Murtagh resulted in a penalty which was converted by Roscommon captain Conor Devaney with six minutes remaining.
Suddenly Ross led by 2-6 to 0-11, but Galway came thundering back once more. Substitute Sean Armstrong restored parity and two Damien Comer points edged the Tribesmen ahead.
Another replacement Adrian Varley and Burke sealed the deal with late points for Galway, who advance to the All Ireland Quarter Final round robin series.
Scorers for Galway:Shane Walsh 0-8 (5fs), Ian Burke 0-3, Damien Comer 0-2, Sean Kelly, Sean Armstrong, Adrian Varley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Roscommon: Diarmuid Murtagh 0-5 (2fs), Ciarain Murtagh and Conor Devaney (pen) 1-0 each, Donie Smith 0-1.
GALWAY: Ruairi Lavelle; Declan Kyne, Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh, David Wynne; Cathal Sweeney, Gareth Bradshaw, Johnny Heaney; Paul Conroy, Tom Flynn; Eamonn Brannigan, Shane Walsh, Sean Kelly; Ian Burke, Damien Comer, Barry McHugh.
Subs: Ciaran Duggan for Conroy (45), Sean Armstrong for McHugh (48), Eoghan Kerin for Wynne (49), Peter Cooke for Heaney (65), Adrian Varley for Brannigan (69), Gary O’Donnell for O’Ceallaigh (70)
ROSCOMMON: Colm Lavin; David Murray, Niall McInerney, Peter Domican; John McManus, Fintan Cregg, Conor Devaney; Cathal Compton, Tadhg O’Rourke; Enda Smith, Niall Kilroy, Brian Stack; Donie Smith, Diarmuid Murtagh, Ciarain Murtagh.
Subs: Ultan Harney for Compton (31), Fergal Lennon for Murray (53, BC), Cathal Cregg for Stack (56), Finbar Cregg for C Murtagh (60), Conor Delaney for O’Rourke (63), Ronan Stack for Kilroy (70)
REFEREE: David Coldrick (Meath).