Valeo from Tuam are through to the Connacht interfirms Junior Football final after a hard-fought 2-8 to 1-9 victory over Vistamid from Leitrim.
In a cracking contest between two well-matched sides in the Connacht Centre of Excellence, two first-half goals laid the foundations for this victory with Valeo avenging defeat at the same stage last season. Although Vistamid were on top for most of the second half, the accuracy of Paul Varley led Valeo to victory.
Chris Dineen, with a fine point, opened Vistamid’s account, but they failed to add to this early score despite dominating the opening exchanges.
After Martin Newell levelled for Valeo in the sixth minute with a close-range free, Darren Durcan reacted fast from the kickout, and soloed through before slotting home Valeo’s opening goal.
The pendulum swung Galway's way with Paul Varley adding to the score before Vistamid’s keeper Mark Tarmey thwarted a certain goal from Joseph Donnellan. However Barry Regan reduced the margin to three after 11 minutes, and Valeo were lucky minutes later when Paul Cassidy's rebounded off the post. Moments later Vistamid missed another goal chance, but from the breaking ball, Gavin Tully pointed to narrow the margin to two.
Valeo, however, finished the half the stronger with a Paul Varley goal, taking a 2-3 to 0-4 lead after Barry Regan fired in injury time for Vistamid.
The Leitrim team picked up where they left off, bagging 1-3 without reply to take the lead for the first time. Valeo, however, regained the upperhand with points from Paul Varley and Darren Durcan.
Although Gavin Tully converted a ’45 to level again, Valeo finished with a flourish. Points from John Cleary, Bernard Cawley and Aonghus Tierney left three between the sides with time running out.
Valeo will play Allergan from Westport in next week's Connacht final.
Valeo: P McVeigh, G Flynn, D O’Dea, D Reilly, C Dyar, A Tierney (0-1 ), P Varley (1-3, 2f ), Michael Newell, C Reilly, D Durcan (1-1 ), Martin Newel (0-1 ), J Cleary, B Dever, J Donnellan, P Golden. Subs: M Buckley (0-1 ), B Cawley (0-1 ), J Naughton, P Heatley, J McDermott.