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Galway too good for Mayo in Connacht Minor Final



Connacht Minor Football Championship Final


By Declan Rooney at Pearse Stadium

Desmond Conneely’s second-half goal saw Galway claim consecutive Connacht minor football titles for the first time in 12 years as they easily accounted for Mayo in Pearse Stadium.

Galway led by two points at the interval, but with Evan Murphy outstanding at centre-forward the Tribesmen kicked on to the win and into the All-Ireland quarter-final.

In horrible wet and windy conditions at Pearse Stadium, the home side enjoyed the best of the first-half, although a two-point advantage following 30 minutes of wind advantage was not what Stephen Joyce’s side would have hoped for.

And they had put in a very bright opening 12 minutes as Evan Murphy picked a part Mayo to help Conneely to the opening point after four minutes, before Robert Finnerty kicked a simple free for Galway and Conneely then did likewise for a 0-3 to 0-0 lead.

Galway were well on top at that stage and the conditions played their part in a goal chance going astray as Finnerty’s final pass to Finian Ó Laoi skidded off the wet surface in the 15th minute.

Evan Murphy extended Galway’s lead to four points nine minutes from the break, but despite the loss of midfielder Colm Murphy, Mayo finished the half strongly as Oisín McLaughlin’s point on the turn was added to by Ryan O’Donoghue to leave it 0-4 to 0-2 at the interval.

As conditions deteriorated after the restart, both teams came close to the opening goal of the game. Ryan Forde looked to have won Galway a penalty after 38 minutes but his claims were waved way before Conor Stenson rattled the post at the other end less than a minute later.

But the goal did arrive 15 minutes from time when Conneely flicked to the net after Finnerty unselfishly passed to his teammate in a better position, while Dara Silke’s point straight after gave Galway a comfortable last quarter.

Galway scorers: D Conneely 1-4 (1f), E Murphy 0-2, R Finnerty 0-1 (1f), D Silke 0-1, R Forde 0-1.

Mayo scorers: R O’Donoghue 0-2 (2f), O McLaughlin 0-1, P Lambert 0-1, C Moran 0-1, E Gibbons 0-1

Galway: C Haslem; E Deeley, S Mulkerrin, E McFadden; A Quirke, E McDonagh, F Garvey; S Raftery, R Murphy; F Ó Laoi, E Murphy, R Forde; R Finnerty, D Conneely (c), B McGoldrick. Subs: D Silke for R Murphy (41), S Thornton for Garvey (62).

**Mayo: **A Byrne; C Horan, D Cosgrove (c), J Cunnane; B O’MAlley, M Macken, J Maughen; C Murphy, N Moran; P Lambert, R Egan, O McLaughlin; C Moran, R O’Donoghue, N McGhee. **Subs: **C Stenson for Murphy (29), S McGreal for McGhee (49), E Gibbons for Egan (53), J Healy for McLaughlin (56), L Kelly for Horan (62).

**Referee: **John Gilmartin (Sligo).