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Galway's Shane Walsh celebrates at the final whistle.
Galway's Shane Walsh celebrates at the final whistle.

Allianz FL D1: Galway defeat Monaghan


Allianz Football League Division One

GALWAY 1-9 MONAGHAN 0-11

By Colm Shalvey at Inniskeen

Galway held on in a tense finish in Inniskeen to claim a hard-earned win over Monaghan. Johnny Heaney’s goal proved decisive as Galway took their second win in three games to stay in touch with the top teams, while back-to-back defeats for Monaghan have seen them fall adrift.

Both teams struggled to adapt to the windy conditions in a mostly dour encounter, where Galway could afford to kick eight wides with the elements in their favour in the first half and still dig out the win, despite changing ends a point behind.

Monaghan got the only two scores of an uneventful first ten minutes via frees from Jack McCarron and Conor McManus. McCarron extended the hosts’ lead with another free, before both sides had goal chances, with Dessie Ward seeing his effort deflected wide by Ruairí Lavelle at one end, before an attack by the visitors saw Pádraig Cunningham miss the target.

Galway finally got on the scoreboard with an outside-of-the-boot effort by Jonathan Duane in the 20th minute, but Monaghan restored their three-point lead when Vincent Corey punished a loose pass to swing over their first from play. Shane Walsh came into the game in the closing stages of the first half, as he kicked a brace of points and forced Rory Beggan to make a point-blank save, while David Wynne also had a goal opportunity that he blazed high and wide.

Darren Hughes finished a good Monaghan counter-attack with a point and although Walsh replied from a free, the home team led by 0-5 to 0-4 at half-time. Antaine Ó Laoi brought Galway level within a minute of the restart and even a trademark McManus point couldn’t kick-start Monaghan’s challenge, as Galway hit back with a brace of frees by Walsh and one from play by Pádraig Cunningham.

A McManus free ended 10 scoreless minutes, but Galway sub Michael Daly made a quick impact with a point, before another sub, Danny Cummins, set up Johnny Heaney to fire home the only goal from close range just short of the hour mark. Frees by McManus and Beggan cut Monaghan’s deficit to three, but despite putting pressure on, they had to wait until added time before Hughes fisted over their next score.

Beggan landed a ’45 to make it a one-point game late on, but Galway held on for a vital win.

Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 0-5 (3fs), Johnny Heaney 1-0, Michael Daly 0-1, Antaine Ó Laoi 0-1, Pádraig Cunningham 0-1, Jonathan Duane 0-1.

Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-4 (3fs), Rory Beggan 0-2 (1f, 1 ’45), Darren Hughes 0-2, Jack McCarron 0-2f, Vincent Corey 0-1.

GALWAY: Ruairí Lavelle; Eoghan Kerin, Seán Kelly, David Wynne; Gary O’Donnell, John Daly, Gareth Bradshaw; Thomas Flynn, Ciarán Duggan; Johnny Heaney, Jonathan Duane, Peter Cooke; Shane Walsh, Pádraig Cunningham, Antaine Ó Laoi.

Subs: Danny Cummins for Cunningham (55), Michael Daly for Cooke (56), Barry McHugh for Duane (59), Céin D’Arcy for Ó Laoi (73).

MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Vincent Corey, Barry Kerr, Colin Walshe; Darren Hughes, Fintan Kelly; Ryan McAnespie, Jack McCarron, Shane Carey; Dermot Malone, Dessie Ward, Conor McManus.

Subs: Neil McAdam for Kelly (inj., 7), Conor McCarthy for McCarron (45), Dessie Mone for McAdam (52), Owen Duffy for McAnespie (56), David Garland for K Duffy (inj., 61).

REFEREE: Cormac Reilly (Meath).

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