Galway SFC SF: Maigh Cuilinn win thriller
Galway Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
MAIGH CUILINN 3-14 TUAM STARS 1-15
By Cian O'Connell at Pearse Stadium
Maigh Cuilinn will contest a Galway SFC Final for the first time since 1977 following a thrilling victory over Tuam Stars.
A gripping game unfolded at the Salthill venue with Paul Kelly's 53rd minute goal the decisive score as Tuam Stars' spirited resistance was eventually overcome.
Tuam Stars staged a gutsy revival mission after the restart when reeling on a seven point deficit to draw level with 10 minutes remaining.
Despite the Stars' admirable passion, Maigh Cuilinn, managed by former Roscommon footballer, Don Connellan, stayed composed.
Kelly, the splendid Irish underage basketball international, concluded a sweeping move as Maigh Cuilinn finished with a flourish.
The Stars trimmed the gap back down to one again, but Maigh Cuilinn reeled off four points without reply in the closing stages to seal the deal.
From the outset this match provided serious excitement with Owen Gallagher and Dessie Conneely netting goals inside the first five minutes.
Tuam continued to battle even though they trailed by 2-9 to 0-8 at the turnaround.
Two minutes after the restart Gavan Connell struck for a goal and suddenly Tuam were back in the reckoning.
The Stars did restore parity, but Maigh Cuilinn refused to be perturbed, and Kelly's major supplied the inspiration.
Scorers for Maigh Cuilinn: Dessie Conneely 1-5 (3fs, 2ms), Owen Gallagher 1-2, Paul Kelly 1-1, Niall Walsh 0-3 (1m), Conor Bohan 0-2, James McLoughlin 0-1.
Scorers for Tuam Stars: Cormac McWalter 0-6 (4fs), Gavan Connell 1-1, Jamie Murphy 0-3 (1f), Noel Henry and Ben O'Connell 0-2 each, Shane Curtin 0-1.
MAIGH CUILINN: Seamus Friel; Aidan Claffey, Sean Kelly, Greg Bohan; Gareth Bradshaw, Neil Mulcahy, David Wynne; Tom Clarke, Mark Lydon; Paul Kelly, Conor Bohan, James McLoughlin; Owen Gallagher, Neil Walsh, Dessie Conneely.
Subs: Eoin Kelly for G Bohan (52), Daniel Cox for C Bohan (60), Max Peyton for Mulcahy (60+3), Tommy McNeela for Gallagher (60+4).
TUAM STARS: Jonathan Trayers; Rory O'Connor, Aonghus Tierney, Brian O'Donnell; Gary O'Donnell, Daragh O'Rourke, Shane Curtin; Seamus Kelly, Conor Rhatigan; Noel Henry, Jamie Murphy, Gavan Connell; Cormac McWalter, Brian Mannion, Ben O'Connell.
Subs: Michael Collins for Kelly (57).
REFEREE: James Molloy.