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Galway's Eoghan Tinney celebrates at Dr Hyde Park.
Galway's Eoghan Tinney celebrates at Dr Hyde Park.

Electric Ireland Connacht MFC: Galway triumph in the west

Electric Ireland Connacht Minor Football Championship Final


By Billy Coss at Dr Hyde Park

Goals from Eoghan Tinney and Conor Raftery, as well as five points from man of the match Matthew Cooley, helped Galway to their fourth successive Connacht Minor Football crown against Roscommon.

Donal Ó Fátharta's charges never trailed in perfect conditions at Dr Hyde Park and though Roscommon trimmed a nine-point deficit back to three when Fearghus Lennon rattled the net on 40 minutes, the winners pulled clear with Raftery's 54th minute strike sealing a well-merited win.

Roscommon struggled with their finishing throughout, their wide count reaching double figures by the finish, and though full-forward Adam McDermott kicked five points, Galway always held the edge in front of goal.

Cooley, Daniel Cox and two Ryan Monaghan frees gave them a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after the opening quarter. Paul Staunton's team had four early wides and hit the upright twice before Ruaidhrí Fallon and Enda Cawley opened their account.

Galway struck for the half's only goal soon after, Tinney turning the ball home after clever approach work from his Salthill-Knocknacarra clubmate, Aidan Halloran.

The Tribesmen kicked on from there with points from Paul Kelly, Halloran as well as two more apiece from Monaghan and Cooley. They were also indebted to keeper Donie Halleran for a fine save from Enda Crawley on their way to a 1-10 to 0-6 lead at the change of ends.

Roscommon began the second half with renewed vigour and were back within touching distance when Lennon cracked home from close range.

They dominated kick out possession, but were unable to convert it into scores. Cooley, who was extremely sharp throughout, came up with the next two points to extend Galway's cushion before Raftery finished Galway's second goal and the game as a contest with conviction.

Shane Cunnane finished a penalty deep in added time for Roscommon but Galway were always safe in the closing stages.

They move on to an All-Ireland quarter-final with Clare on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Roscommon, meanwhile, are pitched against Kerry who are currently on a 27-match unbeaten run at the grade.

Scorers for Galway: Matthew Cooley 0-5, Ryan Monaghan 0-4 (4fs), Eoghan Tinney 1-1, Conor Raftery 1-0, Paul Kelly, Daniel Cox and Aidan Halloran 0-1 each.

Scorers for Roscommon: Adam McDermott 0-5 (3fs), Shane Cunnane 1-1 (1-0 pen), Fearghus Lennon 1-0, Enda Crawley, Darragh Murray and Ruaidhrí Fallon 0-1 each.

GALWAY: Donie Halleran; Cian Deane, Seán Black, Ethan Walsh; Ryan Monaghan, Tony Gill, Cathal Sweeney; Paul Kelly, Conor Raftery ; Liam Judge, Aidan Halloran, Oisín McCormack; Eoghan Tinney, Daniel Cox, Matthew Cooley.

Subs: Conor Halbard for Gill inj (35), Sean Horkan for McCormack (56), Oisin Gormally for Judge (59).

ROSCOMMON: Daniel Connolly; Robbie Dolan, Kealan Gunning, Cathal Brogan; Jonathan Hester, Darragh Murray, Jack Lohan; Enda Crawley, Shane Cunnane; Ruaidhrí Fallon, Eoghan Derwin, Richard Walsh; Fearghus Lennon, Adam McDermott, James Fitzpatrick.

Subs: Liam Ormsby for Derwin (41), Aaron McDermott for Walsh (50), Charlie Carthy for Crawley inj (51), Colin Walsh for Lennon (60).

REFEREE: John Gilmartin (Sligo).