Connacht FBD League: Galway triumph in the west
Connacht FBD League Final
GALWAY 1-18 ROSCOMMON 1-16
By Cian O’Connell at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome
An enjoyable Connacht FBD League decider concluded with Galway earning silverware.
Padraic Joyce’s team delivered a fine second half display to edge out a determined Roscommon, who were without a string of key St Faithleach’s and Padraig Pearses players.
Ultimately it was a satisfying win for Galway, who were inspired by captain Seán Kelly and Rob Finnerty.
The DCU student mined five points during an assured performance as Galway dominated the agenda in the third quarter.
That was when Galway took command, but early on Roscommon had settled briskly. The opening period moved along at a decent clip with Roscommon impressing accumulating a 0-8 to 0-4 advantage by the 22nd minute.
In attack the Smith brothers and Conor Cox were carrying a potent threat for Anthony Cunningham’s outfit.
Galway, though, replied pouncing for an important goal in the 24th minute when Seán Fitzgerald finished a clever move.
Cormac McWalter’s quick free was gathered by Dessie Conneely, who combined with Patrick Kelly to create a chance for Fitzgerald.
That major reduced the gap to the minimum, but two sweet points from Andrew Glennon and Cathal Heneghan edged them three clear.
Before the break Rob Finnerty, prominent for Galway, and substitute Tony Gill clipped points as Roscommon led 0-10 to 1-6 at the turnaround.
When the action recommenced Galway hit nine of the next 11 points with Finnerty, Johnny Heaney, Paul Conroy, and Seán Kelly influential.
That crucial Galway burst put Padraic Joyce’s charges 1-15 to 0-12 ahead by the 57th minute, but Roscommon came thundering back.
Enda Smith pounced to net a 59th minute goal, but two points from Galway substitute Cathal Sweeney were vital.
Roscommon remained defiant until the end, but Galway survived.
Scorers for Galway: Rob Finnerty 0-5, Seán Fitzgerald 1-0, Paul Conroy (1f) and Shane Walsh (3fs) 0-3 each, Cathal Sweeney and Johnny Heaney (1 45) 0-2 each, Seán Kelly, Tony Gill, and Matthew Tierney (45) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Roscommon: Enda Smith 1-3, Conor Cox 0-5 (2fs, 1m), Donie Smith 0-3 (2fs), Ultan Harney, Ciaran Sugrue, Andrew Glennon, Cathal Heneghan, and Patrick O'Malley (45) 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Conor Flaherty; Cillian McDaid, Seán Fitzgerald, Liam Silke; Dylan McHugh, Seán Kelly, Johnny Heaney; Paul Conroy, Paul Kelly; Cormac McWalter, Owen Gallagher, Finnian Ó Laoi; Patrick Kelly, Rob Finnerty, Dessie Conneely.
Subs: Shane Walsh for McWalter (26), Tony Gill for McDaid (26), Matthew Tierney for Conneely (HT), Cathal Sweeney for Ó Laoi (45), Tomo Culhane for Gallagher (50), Dylan Canney for Finnerty (55), Kieran Molloy for S Kelly (63), Jack Glynn for P Kelly (66), Liam Costello for Canney (69).
ROSCOMMON: Patrick O'Malley; Eoin McCormack, Colin Walsh, Richard Hughes; Ciaran Lawless, Ultan Harney, Dylan Ruane; Eddie Nolan, Shane Cunnane; Cathal Heneghan, Enda Smith, Diarmuid McGann; Andrew Glennon, Donie Smith, Conor Cox.
Subs: Keith Doyle for Cunnane (40), Cian McKeon for Glennon (44), Ben O'Carroll for Heneghan (48), Thomas O'Rourke for McGann (51), Brian Derwin for Nolan (53), Cathal Kenny for Lawless (56), Ciaran Sugrue for D Smith (61), Evan McGrath for Walsh (63), Adam McDermott for E Smith (63).
REFEREE: John Gilmartin (Sligo).