Ulster Bank edge Garda in Galway final

The winning Ulster Bank team in the Galway Interfirms Football final.

The winning Ulster Bank team in the Galway Interfirms Football final.

The Ulster Bank, in their first final, have won the Galway Interfirms Football final after an epic one-point victory (1-24 to 4-14 ) over the Galway Garda in a cracking final in Renmore on Monday.

It was hard luck on the Garda, who were in control before the Ulster Bank, with a late rally, forced extra time and took control.

The Garda had first use of the stiff breeze and a Niall Walsh goal after eight minutes put them in command early on, but points from Pat Lynch and Keith Ruttledge kept the Ulster Bank in contention.

Early in the second quarter, two John Kerrigan points stretched the Garda advantage before goals from Dave O'Connell and a second goal from Niall Walsh left them nine clear. Ruttledge and Darragh Joyce reduced the lead, but Ulster Bank were still behind by 3-6 to 0-8 at the break.

However they immediately made inroads after the restart and two Pat Lynch efforts and an Aidan Geraghty point reduced the arrears to four early in the second half.

Both sides exchanged points as the Garda led by six points with 10 minutes remaining, but Ulster Bank rallied with points from Joyce and an OG after a defensive mix-up to level the contest with minutes remaining.

Ruttledge edged the Ulster Bank in front for the first time, before a last-gasp John Kerrigan free forced extra time, 3-11 to 1-17.

Ulster Bank then took charge. Two Aidan Geraghty points put them in front at the break, and they stretched it to five early in the second period. This time the Garda staged a late rally, and John Kerrigan, with the final kick of the match, had a fourth Garda goal, but it was not enough to deny the Ulster Bank who held on to qualify for the Connacht championship later in the year.

Ulster Bank: R Meehan, C Kirrane, M Walsh, B Crowe, J Healy, S Killeen, S Ruttledge, A Geraghty (0-3 ), P Lynch (0-7, 5f ), D Joyce (0-6, 3f ), P Healy, N Daly (0-1 ), K Ruttledge (0-6 ), J Macken (0-1 ), R Moran. Subs: P Flaherty, C De Lamport, S Brady.

Galway Garda: C Fitzmaurice, B O’Loughlin, B Sweeney, P McBride, M Gallagher, G Brady, J Durcan, E Rocke, J Kerrigan (1-7, 6f ), N Lennon (0-1 ), M Caffrey, C Barrett (0-1 ), N Walsh (2-2 ), D O’Connell (1-0 ), N Lydon (0-3 ). Subs: S McHugh.

Referee: F Kinneen.



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