United draw league opener against Shels

It was a tight and tense encounter at Eamonn Deacy Park

Ruairi Keating in action for Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Ruairi Keating in action for Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park.


On the opening evening of any season hope accompanies every team in the land so this was always going to be a revealing fixture on the banks of the Corrib.

Ultimately Shelbourne's resilience ensured the spoils were divided at the end of a feisty battle.

Considering Ian Morris' charges played the entire second half with 10 men following the 40th minute dismissal of Glen McAuley, the Dubliners left the west content.

When United managed to unleash a couple of second half shots Shels' experienced custodian Brendan Clarke thwarted Ruairi Keating and Padraic Cunningham.

At the opposite end Shels substitute Michael O'Connor drilled a splendid effort off the woodwork with United fortunate to survive that particular scare.

From the outset it was apparent two well organised outfits would defend in solid fashion and that was a theme of the game.

The first half was tight, chances were scarce,  but five minutes before the break McAuley was red carded for a foul on Maurice Nugent.

Despite the numerical superiority United were repeatedly denied by Shels' strong defensive unit, who impressed.

Clarke made a couple of saves and though United had plenty of possesion parity prevailed.

Several clubs in a competitive First Division will firmly believe top flight status can be secured. Next on the agenda for United is a demanding trip to Lissywoolen next Friday. Crucial fixtures are set to arrive thick and fast for John Caulfield's side. 

GALWAY UNITED: Kearns; Nugent, Boylan, Walsh (Kelly, 82 ); O'Keeffe, McCormack, Duggan, Hurley (Waweru, 90 ); Rowe (Doherty, 61 ); Keating, Cunningham.

SHELBOURNE: Clarke; Quinn, Kouogun, Gilchrist; Wilson, Poynton (Farrell, 85 ), Lunney, K O'Connor; Brennan (McManus, 61 ); Mahdy (M O'Connor, 46 ), McAuley.

REFEREE: Eoghan O'Shea.


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