An exhibition of point-scoring from man of the match Cormac Bane helped the Galway Garda to their first All Ireland interfirms football title this week.
Having suffered a heartbreaking defeat in last year’s decider, the Galway Garda led from start to finish for a deserved 1-17 to 2-6 victory over GAA Coaches (Dublin ) in Westmanstown this week.
It was a superb all-round performance from the Connacht side. Ahead by four points at the interval, the Tribesmen turned on the style with another 13 points, eight of which were scored by the Caherlistrane sharpshooter.
The midfield partnership of Brendan Ryan and Shane Walderon swung the midfield battle in the westerners’ favour, while goalscorer Niall Lydon worked hard throughout, winning possession and linking well with Bane inside. Barry Burke and Pat Kelly were the pick of the defence.
The Galway men got off to a blistering start and were five points clear in as many minutes. The crucial score of the half arrived early a fine passing movement set up Niall Lydon who crashed home from close range. Stephen Behan opened the Coaches’ account after 10 minutes, but Pat Kelly replied a few minutes later.
Despite being on top for most of the match, the Galway men were guilty of a number of wides and failed to add to the account for 15 minutes. The Coaches battled hard to get into the match and points from James Glancy and Paul Faughnan left Lydon’s goal separating the sides after 20 minutes.
Both sides struggled in front of the posts and Pauric O’Connor had the final say of the opening period with a fine individual point three minutes from the interval as Galway led 1-4 to 0-3.
Bane fired over two early points to stretch the Garda’s advantage to six, and when Brian Meaney pointed moments later, the Tribesmen seemed to be coasting.
However they were rocked in the 40th minute when slack marking in the Galway defence allowed Ciaran Farrelly in for an opportunist goal.
Galway soon regained the initiative with a superb sideline kick from Cormac Bane, and his sixth point came moments later when he cut in from the right to land a fine score. By the end of the quarter they were seven points up, and Bane, who could do no wrong, Brian Meaney and Shane Walderon added to the Galway tally, and although Coaches grabbed a late consolation goal, there was no denying the Galway side this year.
Galway Garda: A Keane, Pauric Kelly, B Burke, S Durcan, R McIntyre, Pat Kelly (0-1 ), C Boyle, B Ryan, S Walderon (0-1 ), N Lydon (1-2 ), P O’Conner (0-2 ) B Meaney (0-1 ), D Fawl, M Walkin, C Bane (0-10 ). Subs, S Prendergast, P McBride, S Igoe, N Lennon, M O’Sullivan.