Padraic Joyce and his Galway u20 team began their season with a comfortable 1-18 to 0-10 point victory over Kildare in their opening game of the John Kerins cup which was held in Pearse Park, Longford.
Galway are sure to face stiffer competition in their group in what is the first year of this league. Next Saturday at 1.30pm in Kilmallock they face a Cork side who have drawn their first two games of the group in two entertaining battles against Kerry and Dublin respectively.
Galway began the brighter of the two teams with the first two scores coming from the right boot of Dunmore man Padraig Costello, who won an enormous amount of tough ball throughout the contest. From there on the two teams went score for score for the majority of the first half in what was a very physical game around the middle third. Galway started to dominate the kickout as the first half wore on with midfielders Matthew Tierney of Oughterard and Maiteas Barrett of Leitir Mor putting in impressive aerial displays. Galway started to pull away towards the end of the half with scores from Darragh Silke, Rory Cunningham, and the tireless Tierney leaving four points between the sides at the interval.
The game was effectively killed as a contest in the first five minutes of the second half as Galway reeled off 1-3 without response to squeeze the life out of their opponents. The key score coming from Costello who tucked away a neat finish after a super ball in from Barret. This was followed by points from Cunningham, Tierney, and Silke which left Joyce’s side in total control.
Galway managed the remainder of the game superbly picking off scores when required while keeping it tight at the back. Seán Mulkerrin and captain Conor Campbell marshalled their defence excellently down the middle while corner backs Ross Mahon and Eoin McFadden were tigerish in the tackle. A mention must also go to wing backs Jack Kirrane and Liam Boyle who ate up every blade of grass.
Joyce will be very pleased with some of the exciting attacking play his team demonstrated, but will undoubtedly be under no illusions that there are tougher tests to come in this group. They are facing into a hectic schedule with three games in a week to come against Cork, Kerry, and Dublin, which will have them in good shape heading into their championship game on July 3 against either Leitrim or Roscommon.
Galway: O Burke, R Mahon, S Mulkerrin, E McFadden, L Boyle, C Campbell, J Kirrane, M Barrett, M Tierney, B O’Connell, G Burke, L Costello, D Silke, P Costello, R Cunningham.
With no intercounty action until June 16 there will be a round of league fixtures this weekend. Clubs will be without their county senior and u20 players.
Football league fixtures:
Division 1 fixtures:
Mountbellew Moylough v Salthill Knocknacarra (Sat ) 7pm.
Annaghdown vs Corofin (Sun ) 2pm.
Caherlistrane vs Tuam Stars (Sun ) 2pm.
St. Michaels vs Killanin (Sun ) 2pm.
Division 2 fixtures:
(All games Sunday 2pm )
An Ceathru Rua vs CLG Bhearna.
Moycullen vs Cortoon Shamrocks.
Oranmore-Maree vs Kilconly.
Oughterard vs St James.
Division 3 fixtures:
(All games Sunday 2pm )
Naomh Anna, Leitir Mor vs Headford.
Monivea-Abbey vs Kilkerrin-Clonberne.
Dunmore Machales vs Menlough.
Killererin vs An Fhiarce Clonbur.