Footballers must beat Laois in round three

Following two consecutive defeats to Meath and Donegal, the upcoming game against Laois on March 1 takes on greater significance for the Galway footballers.

Another defeat in the National League would see Alan Mulholland's men genuinely staring at possible relegation, pointless from three games, and running on empty in the confidence department. A win in Portlaoise would be huge, and is badly needed.

To be honest, few supporters expected Galway to stop Donegal last Sunday and, apart from a flurry of points at the start of the second half, there was only one team in control throughout the contest.

Jim McGuiness and his side fully merited their 1-16 to 0-12 victory.

Both teams have been operating at different levels over the past few years, and it showed.

Donegal were stronger in the tackle, more cohesive all over the field, and played to their support and tackling system with aplomb. They all knew, including subs, what their roles were.

On the other hand, Galway were headless in the first half, and did not really seem to know what they were at.

They appeared to have no real kick-out strategy and Donegal lorded the middle of the Park.

On too many occasions in that first half, with the wind at their backs and when they won possession, it was humped up to Michael Martin and Eoin Concannon who were left isolated, and were heavily outnumbered.

The inside men had no real support runners coming to their aid, and it was no surprise Galway only registered four points in that first 35 minutes.

Thankfully Galway showed a good bit more urgency and pep in the third quarter and, with Concannon shooting three fantastic points, the home supporters started to hope for a reprieve. It was a forlorn hope, and Donegal hit back with Paddy McBrearty to the fore to run out comfortable winners.

Galway need to come up with a plan and system of play and stick to it. And they badly need a strategy to retain possession from their own kick-outs.

Johnny Duane, Joss Moore, Gary Sice, Paul Varley and Eoin Concannon all worked hard last Sunday, but there will be much more leadership and direction needed from some of the other more experienced players if Galway are to progress over the coming games.

For the next two weeks, it is a matter of refocusing, getting everyone back to full fitness and targeting the Laois game.

The games come hot and heavy in March and a victory over Laois would be a great boost before the visit of Down to Tuam and the away game to Louth.

Avoiding relegation over the next two months is hugely important. Heading into championship on the back of a poor league display is not the way to go.

Scorers: P Conroy 0-3, E Concannon 0-3, G Sice 0-2, P Varley 0-1, S Armstrong 0-1, M Martin 0-1, D Cummins 0-1.

Galway: M Breathnach, D O’Neill, F Hanley, J Duane, P Varley, J Moore, S Denver, P Conroy, T Flynn, G Sice, S Armstrong, G Bradshaw, M Martin, E Concannon, J Kavanagh. Subs: A Tierney for F Hanley( inj ), G O’Donnell for Denvir, D O’Connell for Bradshaw, D Cummins for Martin,

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