Galway see off Roscommon with second-half revival

The joy of winning:  Galway players with the cup after winning the Connacht Senior Football Championship final against Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park on Sunday. 
Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

The joy of winning: Galway players with the cup after winning the Connacht Senior Football Championship final against Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

The Galway footballers won their second Connacht senior title in three years when they saw off a stout Roscommon challenge at Hyde Park on Sunday.

Kevin Walsh's squad prevailed 0-16 to 2-06 and were by far the more dominant and superior team for the final 10 minutes when they hit Roscommon for five points without reply.

The players would be the first to acknowledge how poorly they performed in the first half, lacking composure and patience when in possession, and gifting the Roscommon defenders a host of soft turnovers.

The maroon men trailed by 1-05 to 0-5, but they came out far more focused and determined in after half-time and kept Roscommon scoreless from play for the entire second half.

After Roscommon's best forward Diarmuid Murtagh hit a free, Shane Walsh hit 0-5 (four frees ) in a row for Galway, which left the score 0-10 to 1-06. Interestingly after 60 minutes, only Walsh and Ian Burke had scored for the visiting team.

Young Seán Kelly then hit a super point to push Galway further ahead, before Conor Devaney scored a stunning penalty to put the Rossies back in front.

Kevin McStay's forwards took the wrong option a good few times in that second half - hitting seven wides - and two lobs into Ruairí Lavelle's hands really sucked the energy out of the team.

Galway's subs made a big impact

A big positive for Galway was that all their substitutes, Seán Armstrong, Kieran Duggan, Eoghan Kerin, Peter Cooke and Adrian Varley, made a positive impact, with both Armstrong and Varley slotting over lovely points.

Kerin did well too on his introduction, and if fully fit for Croke Park, he will surely be in contention.

Galway had good performers at different stages of the game, but when leadership was needed in the first half, Shane Walsh was the main man. Ian Burke also did well and they scored 0-5 between them.

Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh worked hard, and his sally up the field early in the second half that led to a point for Walsh from play, was a big moment in the game.

Team captain Damien Comer worked hard with limited supply, but his two points to take the lead and go one up in the last 10 minutes really put the Roscommon lads to the sword.

Super Eights- here we com4e

Gareth Bradshaw went forward once in the second half with effect too and won a big free that Walsh scored, and a huge moment in the game was an interception by Declan Kyne in the second half that stopped a likely goal for the home side.

It was certainly a huge turnaround from the opening half, and they will know another similar first-half display against the likes of Kerry in Croke Park would be fatal. If it was to be Kerry on the second weekend in July, then Paul Geaney, David Clifford and James O' Donoghue are unlikely to be so profligate in front of the posts.

All in all though, another Connacht title is pleasing and, having been well beaten by Roscommon in 2017 in Salthill, it was great for the players, management and supporters to regain the Nestor Cup in Hyde Park.

Super Eights - here we come.

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