An Spidéal are worthy intermediate champions

It took them two games and extra-time to get there, however An Spidéal did just enough to see off near neighbours Micheál Breathnach’s last weekend at Pearse Stadium in an enthralling contest and be crowned Galway intermediate champions for 2018.

They fully merited their 1-13 to 1-11win, especially as they were reduced to 14 players after a red card just before half-time, and as a result of this famous victory, the West Board club will play senior football in 2019.

The game was a cliffhanger which had both sets of supporters on the edge of their seats. In injury time it took a dramatic and inspired intervention by An Spidéal goalkeeper Maghnus Breathnach to push the game into extra time.

His side were a point down, staring defeat in the face, when Maghnus left his goal, took a ball on the run, and won a free that he expertly converted to level the game.

The former Galway custodian, who had already saved a penalty in the first half, first showed considerable conviction to tear up the field and then plenty of self-belief to nail the free which he slotted over with supreme confidence.

It was a game of very tight margins and he was a tad fortunate to have won the free that he scored. Some referees would have given a free against him for his collision with a Breathnach’s defender on his run a moment earlier. That said, fortune favours the brave, and without his sally up the field and coolness to slot the free, his club would not be champions and that is what will be remembered for the next 50 years.

They had other big displays from midfielder Dara Mac An Rí, who scored a super goal after a stunning pass from full-forward Cormac Ó Laoi. Others to catch the eye were wing-back Séamus Ó Droighneáin and team captain Ciarán Ó Laoi.

The Galway champions are due to play Bellmullet in the Connacht clubsemi-final on Saturday week (November 10 ) in Tuam Stadium, with the winners contesting the final on Sunday November 18.

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