One last challenge for United in title-winning season

Galway United close their season tomorrow night in Eamonn Deacy Park when they host Wexford FC (7.45pm ). Whatever the score, the season will end in triumph.

The men’s first team will lift their first silverware in 26 years as they hoist the first division trophy at the end of an incredible season.

And on the night, the last Galway team to win a national senior league will also be honoured with the stalwarts of the 93/94 campaign in attendance.

The gap between their success and the current crop demonstrates to the scale of the achievement. However, it has been a marvellous season by any metric.

Club records have tumbled. And should United defeat a Wexford side with one eye on the play-offs, they will finish the season with an unprecedented 100 per cent home record. Their points total would climb to 94, unparalleled in the club’s history. They will have achieved that feat having already scored an astonishing 96 and conceding a stingy 18.

The heroes are too numerous to mention. However, David Hurley’s 21 league goals from midfield deserve recognition. Hailed recently by captain Conor McCormack as their most important signing of the season, veteran keeper Brendan Clarke will be aiming for an astounding 19th league clean sheet of the season.

The form of the side since clinching the title in Tralee has been testament to the players' character and professionalism - even more so since their heartbreaking loss to Bohemians in the FAI Cup semi-final.

United had another eye-catching result and performance in Limerick last Saturday, defeating play-off chasing Treaty United by 4-1.

There were common themes in the win. The electric Ed McCarthy got them off to a flying start with a well-taken goal. The side’s spiritual leader Stephen Walsh never takes days off. He secured a deserving goal for his work-rate to make it 2-0.

And there was impact off the bench again. After Treaty clawed it back to 2-1, Francely Lomboto, whose season had looked over through injury, re-established the two-goal lead. Summer signing Wassim Auoachria completed the scoring, making another positive contribution since his arrival from Waterford, while there was a first competitive start in Limerick for youngster Steven Healy, who was as impressive as ever.

Manager John Caulfield has used these games to give United’s younger talent their chance. Yet focus has been retained, and the selections and performances have remained strong. It augurs well for 2024.


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