It was a strong opening round for Galway Tribesmen as they comfortably dealt with the challenge of Sligo in the opening round of this year’s Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge.
Elsewhere in Group G, Roscommon came away with ten-points to spare over a brave mayo side while Donegal overcame Leitrim on a scoreline of 6-13 to 0-5.
Read a round-up of all the first round games below.
Galway Tribesmen Off To A Flying Start
Sligo – 1-9
Galway Tribesmen – 3-24
Galway Tribesmen showed their class in the first game against Sligo in Group G of the Celtic Challenge in Bekan on Wednesday.
The game was played in fine conditions with hardly a breeze. Sligo were first on the scoreboard with a point from full forward Ciaran O’Reilly. Galway quickly equalised with a point from Kevin Walsh.
The Tribesmen dominated the midfield area of the field with very effective work again by Walsh. Paul Kearns who was to earn the Best and Fairest Award was outstanding in this half. He powered through on a number of occasions and by half time he had scored 1-5 from play and two points from frees.
Eoin Kerrigan was excellent in goals for Sligo and made a number of terrific saves. It should be noted that Eoin doesn’t normally play in this position but after today’s performance, he will certainly be a contender in future games. Thomas Cawley scored three points from frees to leave the score at the break Sligo 0-4, Galway Tribesmen 1-14.
Sligo had an uphill battle to face in the second half and to their credit they did not give up. Thomas Cawley got the first point after the break but it was Paul Kearns again who found the net for Galway to extend his side’s lead. Sligo’s Ciaran O’Reilly got their only goal after getting a touch to the sliotar as both attackers and defenders scrambled for it in the forward line.
For the remainder of the game, it was Galway Tribesmen who dominated the scoring with points on the board from a number of players. The final goal of the game came from Reece Ryan. Sligo’s scores all came from frees taken by Thomas Cawley.
Fionn Moylan earned the Best and Fairest Award for Sligo. Fionn is captain of the team and he led by example making some terrific catches in midfield. Shane Molloy was excellent as full back for Sligo who will be hoping for a better outcome next Wednesday when they meet neighbouring rivals, Mayo.
Report by: Frances Hanley
Sligo: Eoin Kerrigan( Ben Bulben Gaels), Senan O`Rourke (Naomh Eoin), Shane Molloy (Easkey), Stephen Mahon (Naomh Eoin), Eoghan Donaghy (Ben Bulben Gaels), Paul Gallagher (Naomh Eoin), Cormac Heneghan (Naomh Eoin), Ethan Scully (Naomh Eoin), Fionn Moylan (Easkey), Thomas Cawley (Easkey) (0-8f), Anthony Fidgeon( Naomh Eoin), Harry O`Donnell (Easkey), Ciaran O` Reilly (Ben Bulben Gaels) (1-1), Liam O` Kelly Lynch (Naomh Eoin), Colm Ryan (Ben Bulben Gaels), Nathan Mc Ardle (Bern Bulben Gaels), Kenneth Mitchell (Easkey).
Galway Tribesmen: Jamie Doyle (Ballygar), Oisin O`Toole(Annaghadown), Gavin Summerville (Rahoon/ Barna), Tom Collins (Ballygar), Paul Ronan (Sylane), Bryan Horgan (Mountbellew/ Moylough), Jason Mc Donagh(Moycullen), Ryan Duffy(Ballygar), Kevin Walsh (Moycullen) (0-2), Oisin Dillon (Annaghadown) (0-2), Eamon Enright (Moycullen) (0-2), Phelim O`Reilly (Ballinasloe) (0-2(1f), Reece Ryan (Tuam) (1-(1f), Padraic Ó Conghaile (Spidéal) (0-5), Gary Cummins(Mountbellew/ Moylough), Jack Molloy (Moycullen), Evan Duffy (Ballygar), Thomas Halliday (Rahoon/ Barna), Eamonn Trayers (Ballygar), Aaron Barrett (Moycullen), Paul Kearns (Moycullen) (2-6(1f), Rory Mc Donnell (Salthill) (0-2), Austin Delaney (Mountbellew/ Moylough) (0-2), Ben O`Sullivan Moycullen) , Conor Corcoran (Moycullen).
Referee: Aaron Clogher
Kiernan & Donnelly Brace Gives Roscommon Strong Opening Win
In splendid conditions at the immaculate Tooreen GAA Grounds, Roscommon deservedly came away with the two points after this pulsating and at times very enjoyable hurling encounter.
The opening goal arrived after just two minutes with Roscommon full forward Adam Donnelly blasting to the net after a lovely intricate move and deadly accurate pass from Darragh O’Sullivan. The visitors never looked back and when Eoin Kiernan added a second major after fifteen minutes, the alarm bells were ringing in the Mayo dugout. This time Donnelly turned provider and after turning his marker he set up Kiernan who finished with aplomb.
Mayo to their credit finished the half much stronger with Conal Hession, Mark Gibbons, Danny Hill and the stylish Paddy Dozio all finding scores to narrow the gap to six.
The second half produced some blistering hurling with both teams going all out to win early points in this keenly contested competition. Roscommon again started the better with Michael Brennan twice landing remarkable scores from way out on the left wing. Cian Mulchrone, Gibbons and Dozio responded but the Rossies landed another killer blow eight minutes into the second half when the brilliant Sean Trundle cut through the Mayo defence and sent a pile driver into the corner of the net.
Trundle was outstanding for Roscommon from start to finish and deservedly received the Best and Fairest Award for his efforts. Eoin Kiernan then powered in from the right wing to burst the onion bag again for Roscommon. Evan Heraty, Oisin Farrell and Kevin Gannon came from the bench to steady the ship for Mayo but it was another magical swivel from Adam Donnelly that settled this encounter when he soared into the sky, turned and rifled the sliotar into the Mayo net.
Mayo reeled off 1-03 through the deadly accurate Paddy Dozio to narrow the gap, but the Roscommon lads had done enough at this late stage. Dozio was chosen as the Best and Fairest award recipient for Mayo after the game as his never say die attitude epitomised all that is good about the Celtic Challenge.
Report by: Pierce O’Reilly
Mayo: Niall Fleming, James Doyle, Danny Hill (0-01) Ruairi Haran, Ciaran Treacy, Tom Rushe, Aaron Ketterick, Cian Mulchrone (0-01) Tom Fahy (0-01), Mark Gibbons (0-02), Paddy Dozio (1-06) Rossa Horgan, Darren Murray, Conal Hession (0-01) Cathal Cosgrave.
Subs: Evan Heraty, Oisin Farrell, Kevin Gannon.
Roscommon: Michael Corcoran, Sean Creaven, Naoise Coyle, Michael Dillon, David Gacquin, Dara Finneran, Michael Lohan, Sean Trundle (1-0), Liam Egan, Trevor Fallon, Eoin Kiernan (2-03), Michael Brennan (0-05) Ethan Glennon, Adam Donnelly (2-01), Darragh O’Sullivan (0-01)
Referee: David Staunton