The new Galway football management team is using the Connacht FBD League to experiment with players before the upcoming National Football League.
Management are also without a good number of players who are tied to their colleges - Johnny Ryan, who was in fine form for GMIT last weekend and hit 1-5 from centre forward in their draw with Roscommon, and John Duane (GMIT ), Joss Moore and Greg Higgins (NUIG ) and Adrian Faherty and Danny Cummins (Sligo IT ). More experienced players such as Sean Armstrong and Joe Bergin are unlikely to be involved also.
As a result the Galway side that lined out at Tuam Stadium on Sunday was an experimental one with Seán Denver (Micheál Breathnach’s ), Eric Monahan (Caherlistrane ), Conor Rabbitte (Kilkerrin/Clonberne ), Michael Martin (Milltown ) and Keith Kelly (Ballinalsoe ) all in the starting line-up.
Finian Hanley and Gareth Bradshaw were also not selected and from that perspective the side’s 1-8 to 0-9 defeat to NUIG was understandable.
However as team manager Alan Mulholland pointed out after the game, it was still a contest they were disappointed to lose.
“We are trying out some young players, but we are also trying to gain momentum and from that perspective it was disappointing to lose. We had won our first game in the FBD and it would have been nice to collect another two points. However, we will have learnt a few things from the defeat and we will have to work at breaking down teams that play an extra few defenders at the back.”
There was only a point between the sides last Sunday at half time and Galway started the second half with early points from Michael Martin, Niall Coleman and Mark Hehir.
The key score in the game was a goal from NUIG’s Ian Galvin (Kerry ) who had come on as a substitute at half time.
His well taken goal midway through the second half gave the students an advantage they never lost despite pointed frees for Galway from Cormac Bane and Michael Martin.
Claregalway’s Barry Cullinane was back at midfield for Galway and he had fielded a few good balls before he had to go off with a shoulder injury before half time.
Athenry’s Thomas Flynn worked hard around the middle too and Paul Conroy did well on his introduction and he appeared to have bulked up a bit over the past few months.
Galway were due to play Leinster club champions Garrycastle last night in a challenge and they are fixed to play London this Sunday in Duggan Park at 1 pm.
Galway: M Breathnach, K McGrath, K Kelly, G Sice, S Denver, G O'Donnell, T Fahy, B Cullinane, T Flynn, N Coleman (0-1 ), M Hehir 0-3 (2fs ), M Boyle (0-1 ), E Monahan, M Martin (0-2 fs ), C Rabbitte (0-1 ). Subs: P Conroy for B Cullinane (inj 24 ), S Maughan for M Boyle, C Bane (0-1 f ) for M Hehir, C Kenny for E Monahan.
NUIG: D O'Sullivan (Limerick ); L Healy (Clare ), D Gavin (Mayo ), R Rochford (Mayo ); J Moore (Galway ), J Maloney (Offaly ), R Kiely (Tipp ); K Conroy (Mayo ), S Guing (Offaly ); K Conlon (Leitrim ) (0-1 ), F Deasmhunaigh (Cork ), C Freeman (Mayo ); N Douglas (Mayo ) (0-5, 4fs ), J Doherty (Mayo ), S Moran (Leitrim ) (0-2 ). Subs: I Galvin (Kerry ) (1-0 ) for Freeman, B Moran (Westmeath ) for Rochford, D Newcombe (Mayo ) for Moore, K Crowe (Mayo ) for Deasmhunaigh.