Footballers crash to heavy defeat

Monaghan 0-19     Galway 0-14

The Galway footballers were 5/2 in the bookies to be relegated from division one this time last week, but following their poor and inept second-half performance last Sunday against Monaghan (the other team expected to go down ), they have been made outright favourites at 4/7 to make the drop to the second tier.

Galway started brightly last weekend and led by 0-5 to 0-1 after only 11 minutes with good early points from Gary O’Donnell and Eddie Hoare, but that was as good as it got and it proved to be a false dawn.

Once the Farney men settled at midfield and supplied ball to Paul Finlay, Conor McManus and the impressive Christoper McGuinness, they looked very dangerous.

Galway’s failure to score for almost half an hour in the second half tells its own story and the Farney men outscored the visitors by 10 points to four in the second half.

The hosts were allowed to hit eight points without reply in that period too, and when that kind of stuff happens, there invariably is only one outcome.

Monaghan’s Dick Clerkin and Neil McAdam took complete control at midfield for long periods in the second half and, when Clerkin powered through for a few inspirational points, it really knocked the stuffing out of the Galway lads.

It was demoralising stuff, to be honest, and all the more so as it had all looked so much more promising when Galway led by one, 0-10 to 0-9 at half-time.

However once the eight Monaghan debutants settled to their task and Clerkin started bossing midfield, it was all one-way traffic.

Galway manager Tomás Ó Flathárta was rightly disappointed his side was not able to build on the bright start.

“We have a lot of learning to do. In the first 20 minutes we played some very good football. We just have to keep that going for the full 70 minutes,” he said.

The problem now is that the games will be coming thick and fast and unless that learning is of the super quick, crash course variety, his team will be out of division one by the time the lessons are learnt.

With Down (away ) and Kerry (away ), Cork and Dublin to come in the next month or two, and no obvious solution to the ongoing midfield quandary and no sign yet of Michael Meehan or Padraic Joyce to saddle up and ride to the rescue, it is only the most positive Galway supporter who believes salvation from relegation will be ours.

A victory for St James in the All-Ireland intermediate final on Saturday night would be a boost for flagging morale and the availability of Paul Conroy and Eoin Concannon would be a plus for the coming games.

However Galway could badly do with entering the transfer market and spending a few million on a young version of Kevin Walsh or Darragh Ó Sé.

Galway scorers: S Armstrong 0-4 (2f ), E Hoare, C Bane and M Clancy (1f ) 0-2 each, G O'Donnell, G Higgins, G Sice and D Cummins 0-1 each.

Galway: A Faherty; K Fitzgerald, F Hanley, K McGrath; G O'Donnell, N Coyne, A Burke; G Bradshaw, E Hoare; G Higgins, C Bane, G Sice; M Clancy, C de Paor, S Armstrong. Subs: D Reilly for K Fitzgerald (35 ), N Coleman for C de Paor (46 ), D Cummins for M Clancy (51 ), B Flaherty for N Coyne (64 ).


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