We decided last Sunday for a change of scenery to travel out the Curragh line and cut across via Belclare to Tuam Stadium rather than the usual N17 route, for the FBD clash between NUIG and Galway.
And that decision provided the most excitement of the day for me and my two young passengers, which says something about the football, as it turned the 20-mile journey into a near rally driving experience - trying to avoid the all too numerous potholes.
Some of the craters en route to the game would buckle Darragh Ó Sé in full flight if you hit them at speed, never mind a fancy set of alloys.
No doubt it will take a good while for the county council boys to get out and about to solve all the pothole problems in the county, we won’t hold our breath, and likewise no Galway football supporter who was in the paltry crowd at Tuam will be expecting swift solutions to Galway’s senior football woes.
Tomás Ó Flaharta shuffled the deck a little from the side that beat Sligo the previous week, but he will not have been overly pleased by a rather disjointed display from his starting 15.
Admittedly ‘College. who are managed this season by John Maughan and Tomás Tierney, are in Sigerson Cup action in two weeks time and are at a very different level as regards preparedness for serious championship action, but notwithstanding that fact, it was a poor display by Galway.
There was a cold and stiff breeze at the stadium and it was not conducive to quality football but NUIG were still able to retain possession well and they caused awful trouble for the Galway defence when they ran at them from deep, especially in the second half against the wind.
Galway struggled at midfield throughout where Sligo’s Stephen Gilmartin and Westmeath’s Denis Coroon won a lot of possession and linked play reasonably well.
They got a lot of support too from a rampant Peadar Gardiner at wing-back and the impressive Ciaran Conroy (Mayo ) at centre-back.
It took Galway a long time to settle and they were 0-4 to 0-0 behind before they got off the mark, when Sean Armstrong pointed. A Matthew Clancy punched goal gave Galway the lead, but a terrific five-man move put Mayo’s Neil Douglas in one-on-one with Eoin Ó Conghaile and he made no mistake, to leave them 1-7 to 1-3 ahead at half time.
An early second-half goal for NUIG left Galway six points behind and they never looked likely to get the goal they needed to salvage anything from the game.
The Galway management team will probably give game time to a few different players next Sunday when they take on Sligo IT in Tuam again and they will be looking for a sharper, more cohesive display.
The team that played last Sunday was down eight or nine players such as Joe Bergin, Kieran Fitzgerald, Gareth Bradshaw, Diarmuid Blake, Paul Conroy, Eoin Concannon, Nicky and Padraic Joyce and Michael Meehan, who all played championship last year, so the defeat itself is immaterial in many ways.
However, you would like to see a few new faces really coming to the fore and making genuine claims for regular slots and starting jerseys for the first league match against Monaghan in two week’s time.