Footballers put London to the sword with ease

Galway’s Damien Comer in action against Seamus Hannon in the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship, Championship quarter-final in Emerald Park, Ruislip, London, England. Picture: Ray Ryan/SPORTSFILE

Galway’s Damien Comer in action against Seamus Hannon in the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship, Championship quarter-final in Emerald Park, Ruislip, London, England. Picture: Ray Ryan/SPORTSFILE

The Galway footballers started their Connacht championship campaign with a comprehensive victory over a disappointing London last Sunday in Ruislip.

London were very poor and never came out of the blocks at all.

However that was not Galway's problem, and Alan Mulholland's side did what had to be done with the minimum of fuss.

Galway enjoyed a flying start and continued to pile on the scores before romping home by 3-17 to 0-7 to set up a semi-final clash with Sligo at Markievicz Park on Saturday June 21 at 7pm. That game will be shown on Sky Sports.

Once Galway raced into an early lead, the London challenge faltered badly, and when the Tribesmen led by 1-6 to no-score after only 15 minutes, the outcome had been decided.

The positives for Galway is that Shane Walsh (1-6, 0-2fs, 1-45 ) and the lively Danny Cummins (1-3 ) and Michael Martin (1-3 ) were very sharp and efficient up front, and London had no answer to their pace and ball skills.

Team manager Alan Mulholland will know it is a job done, but it will be difficult to read too much into the victory, such was the paucity of London's challenge.

He admitted being surprised by the winning margin.

"I was a little taken aback by the margin of our win. We had expected a far tighter contest. However, it turned out that they were not nearly as strong as last year."

Indeed, once Galway got a foothold in the game and raced into their early lead, there was going to be no way back for Paul Goggins’ men.

"We were very sharp in the opening minutes and the early scores settled us down nicely. We played with a lot of pace and moved the ball very quickly which was good to see. The younger players are getting a bit more experienced too at this level and that is a positive," Mulholland said.

While it was a ruthless and efficient performance in Ruislip, the Galway players and management will know the challenge that Sligo will pose in four weeks at home will be far more difficult.

However, after this victory, the mood in the Galway camp will be positive and they will have a possible Connacht final target in their sights. The possibility of beating Sligo and then getting a crack at either Roscommon or Mayo in a Connacht final, is enough to whet the appetite of any Galway supporter.

The other positive is that hopefully by the Sligo game, team captain Paul Conroy, defender Joss Moore, and experienced forward Sean Armstrong will all be back from injury and available for selection which would strengthen the match day squad considerably.

The bottom line is that last Sunday was a good start to the 2014 championship. Galway did what they have to do and will head into the Connacht semi-final in good spirits and with options off the bench.

All in all, a good weekend’s work.

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