Galway clubs enjoyed mixed results on opening night of the Airtricity League first division.
New entrants Mervue United forced a deserved 1-1 draw with Limerick FC at Terryland Park, while Salthill Devon, in their second season, fell to Athlone Town 1-0.
Mervue manager Tom French will be happy with the opening result, particulatly with only three players, captain Eric Browne, Damien O’Rourke and Gerry Burke, aged over 20. They were missing several of last season’s regulars. Nicky Curran and David O’Dowd are currently suspended, while David Goldbey, Mark Ludden and Mike Tierney were all absent.
"Over all I am happy with the result and it was nice to get our first point on the table,” said French. “I thought the lads showed great character to come back from one down.”
Although Mervue opening brightly, Limerick started to get on top for 20 minutes, and carving out several chances, they eventually broke through for a goal before half time.
“After half time we settled a bit better, got more on the ball, and created a few chances plus equalising. Limerick were a strong physical side with a good bit of experience with the likes of Sean Kelly who played with Galway Utd last year in the middle. They won’t be far away from top four this season.”
French said the opening match was a learning curve for his youngsters.
“It’s a long season and I believe we will get stronger along the way.”
Mervue’s next fixture is Saturday (7.30pm ), away to Athlone Town who overcame Salthill last weekend. Salthill are away to Finn Harps on Friday (8pm ).