The Galway minors, under the management of Gerry Fahy, Noel Meehan and John Conole, qualified for the Connacht final after a 0 - 13 to 0 - 9 win over Sligo in Pearse Stadium on Sunday. They now meet either Mayo or Leitrim on July 18.
Galway, with the wind at their backs in the first half, led at half time by 0-8 to 0-2 thanks to a huge amount of possession won by Thomas Flynn and team captain Eanna Ó hEeochaidh at midfield.
The displays of the tenacious Colm MacDonnacha (Leitir Mór ) at corner back and James Shaughnessy (Ballinasloe ) at full-back really caught the eye. They were left isolated in a two man full-back line, but they won the majority of the ball played into their zone, with MacDonnacha particularly lively. He won a load of possession throughout the opening half, but he gave some ball away far too cheaply.
Up front in the first half Niall Quinn, Fiach Ó Bearra and Niall Breathnach hit some nice scores from play and the powerful Shane Maughan (St Michael’s ) shot 0-3, 2fs, with Paul Varley also raiding with good effect from wing-back to notch a fine individual score.
Maughan went on to have a huge role to play in the second half too as the Sligo defence found him difficult to control.
What was striking about the St Michael’s player, who is minor again in 2011, is that he used his possession so well.
He rarely lost the ball and invariably took the right option, including laying the ball off when team mates were in a better position.
He should have raised a green flag too, when, after selling a beautiful dummy to the Sligo keeper, he opted to bury the ball into the net rather than picking a spot and his shot cannoned off the crossbar.
Others who had impressive games for Galway were Philip Ezergalis (Moycullen ), Fiontán Ó Curraoin (Ml Breathnachs ) and Niall Breathnach (Killanin ) at full-forward who won good ball in front of his man.
Gerry Fahy was delighted to have made a winning start to this year’s championship campaign and he will be hopeful that his panel of players can annex the minor title in three weeks’ time.
Based on what they produced last Sunday and the improvement they can make over the coming weeks that is not an unrealistic expectation.