Galway SFC: Maigh Cuilinn win thriller
Galway Senior Football Championship
MAIGH CUILINN 4-9 ANNAGHDOWN 2-14
By Cian O'Connell at Pearse Stadium
When Maigh Cuilinn, Mountbellew-Moylough, Annaghdown, and Mícheál Brethnach were placed in the one group drama was inevitable.
In the second round of fixtures a Damien Comer powered Annaghdown knew only victory would suffice against Maigh Cuilinn, semi-finalists last year.
This turned into a high quality and compelling match in Salthill with Maigh Cuilinn, prompted by Dessie Conneely’s 1-6 haul, gleaned the spoils.
The opening period was eventful with Annaghdown accumulating a 0-7 to 0-3 advantage before Niall Walsh netted a goal for Maigh Cuilinn.
Unperturbed Annaghdown battled on with Eoghan Kerin’s enterprise rewarded in the 28th minute when mining a fine goal.
Moments later Annaghdown’s cushion had been extended to 1-10 to 1-4, but Maigh Cuilinn finished the half strongly.
Dessie Conneely, prominent throughout, landed a free, Paul Kelly fisted a goal, and Walsh added a point ensuring only the minimum divided the teams at the turnaround, 1-10 to 2-6.
It was similarly entertaining after the restart with Annaghdown leading by three points in the closing stages when Maigh Cuilinn substitute Owen Gallagher was fouled for a penalty.
Conor Bohan’s initial attempt was saved by James Healy, but the Maigh Cuilinn reacted promptly to drill home the rebound.
Maigh Cuilinn edged ahead seconds later when the excellent Conneely rifled over a delightful score for Don Connellan’s charges.
Connelly palmed a goal in the 59th minute, and while Frankie Burke replied with an Annaghdown major deep into stoppage time it was merely a consolation.
Scorers for Maigh Cuilinn: Dessie Conneely 1-6 (2fs, 145), Niall Walsh 1-2, Paul Kelly 1-1, Conor Bohan 1-0.
Scorers for Annaghdown: Damien Comer 0-6 (5fs), Frankie Burke 1-2, Eoghan Kerin 1-0, James Healy 0-3 (2 45s, 1f), Eoin Reddington, Conor Scully, and Conor Moloney 0-1 each.
MAIGH CUILINN: Seamus Friel; Max Payton, Seán Kelly, Tomas Gilson; Gareth Bradshaw, Adam Claffey, David Wynne; Mark Lydon, Tom Clarke; James McLoughlin, Conor Bohan, Tommy McNeela; Paul Kelly, Niall Walsh, Dessie Conneely.
Subs: Owen Gallagher for McNeela (27), Neil Mulcahy for Bohan (60+2), D Lee for Gilson (60+5).
ANNAGHDOWN: James Healy; Eoghan Kerin, Anthony Pender, Joseph Kerin; Enda Mullarkey, Ciaran Potter, Adam Quirke; Damien Comer, Conor Scully; Jonathan Creaven, Mathias Coleman, Diarmuid Kilcommins; Conor Moloney, Frankie Burke, Eoin Reddington.
Subs: Jonathan Farragher for Quirke (HT), Keith Greaney for Reddington (58), Reece Burke for Kilcommins (58), Diarmuid Kilcommins for Creaven (59).
REFEREE: Frank Kinneen.