Galway Garda ease into Connacht final

Garda (Galway) 2-14       Prison Officers (Roscommon) 1 - 06

The Galway Garda eased into the Connacht Interfirms Senior Football Championship final after a convincing victory over Prison Officers from Castlerea this week.

They will now play the winners of the Mayo Teachers v Sligo Garda clash.

After a shaky opening against the Prison Officers, when they were second best for large stages of the first half, the Garda clicked into gear at Kiltoom. The deadly accurate Cormac Bane led the way both from play and placed balls as the Galway men found the range for a comfortable win.

The Prison Officers enjoyed a dream start when Fergal Fannon’s speculative shot found the way to the Garda net.

Cormac Bane reduced the arrears from a close-in free soon after before Mark Gavin replied for the Roscommon boys. However rhe Garda were on level terms when Shane Prendergast rifled home from close range after 10 minutes.

In a tough, but exciting contest, both sides continued to exchange points. Cormac Bane was on target for the Garda before Mark Gavin replied from a placed ball, but the Prison Officers were on top, an d two John Higgins points left the Castlerea men two clear with eight minutes of the opening period remaining.

Then the Garda wrested control, striking six unanswered points before the interval. The Roscommon rearguard struggled against a slick Galway attack and Bane punished any indiscretions with three quickfire points from placed balls.

The Garda finished the half the stronger with Emmett Rocke, Niall Lydon and Bane again all finding the range to lead by 1-08 to 1-04.

The Prison Officers battled hard to get back into the contest, but the Galway men’s fitness was the telling factor. Enda Gormally had the first score of the second period seven minutes in but Cormac Bane replied minutes later for the Galway men. The Garda dominated the remaining stages with points from Colm Boyle and Bane before Brian Meaney slotted home his sides’s second goal. Two further Bane scores and an effort from substitute Mick Gallagher wrapped up the scoring.

Garda: S Nallon, N Delaney, Padraig Kelly, S Durcan, J Kelly, Pat Kelly, C Boyle (0-1 ), S Prendergast (1-0 ), E Rocke (0-1 ), M Walkin, M Caffery, N Lydon (0-1 ), B Meaney (1-0 ), C Bane (0-10, 5f ), A Prender. Subs, S Fitzmaurice, D Fawl, N Lennon, C Barrett, M Gallagher (0-1 ).

Prison Officers: C Scannell, B Kearney, D Farrell, D Coyne, M Scanlon, R Cox, M Dolan, J. Higgins (0-2 ), N McDermott, P Maguire, E Gormally (0-1 ), S Kiely. M Gavin (0-2 2f ), P Durcan, F Fannon (1-0 ). Subs, A Connaughton, P.Kilcommins, N Caulfield.

Referee: Keith Crehan (Kiltoom ).

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