The battle between the 2011 All Ireland senior and junior interfirms football champions did not disappoint when they met in the eagerly awaited Galway senior final in Ballyhaunis recently.
The All Ireland senior champions just had enough to edge the contest (0-10 to 0-8 ) over a gallant Medtronic side which was participating in the senior grade for the first time.
Medtronic started the brighter and, playing with the aid of the breeze, opened with points from Michael Farragher and Barry O’Donavan before Padraig O’Connor opened the Garda’s account after nine minutes.
Medtronic could have been in a comfortable position but lacked composure in front of the posts before David Hogan intercepted a poor Garda clearance to add a third point for Medtronic.
A Cormac Bane free kept the All Ireland senior champions in touch, but Robert Holian was at the end of yet another good attack to stretch Medtronic’s advantage once more.
Winning the breaks around the centre, the Garda were on level terms approaching half time with points in succession from Bane and O’Connor to help Garda into a 0-5 to 0-4 lead.
Robert Holian levelled with a close in free inside the opening minutes, while Alan Keane in the Garda goal denied David Morris a certain goal. And Medtronic took a deserved lead again with converted frees from Robert Holian and Barry O’Donovan.
The double All Ireland champions seemed to be in trouble, but once again Cormac Bane led the revival.
An effort which just squeezed inside the uprights in the 18th minute was followed by a placed ball moments later and the sides level for a third time with 10 minutes remaining.
O’Donovan, with his third point, edged Medtronic back in front, but the Garda quickly replied through Mark Walkin. And it was two late points from Bane that sealed the victory for the Galway Garda who now face Mayo Teachers in the Connacht semi-final.
Galway Garda: A Keane, J Kelly, Padraig Kelly, A Pender, C Boyle, Pat Kelly, S Durcan, E Rocke, R Molloy, P O’Connor(0-3 ), M Caffrey, N Lydon, C Bane(0-6 ). M Walkin, N Lennon. Subs, S Nallon. J Gallagher.