Medtronic pull away in second half

All Ireland champions Medtronic have retained their Galway senior title after overcoming the Galway Garda by 1-11 to 0-6 in Tuam Stars Stadium during the week.

Despite the eight points win, this was a hard-earned victory for Medtronic.

Both sides were without a number of regulars, but both teams served up an intense encounter played in inclement weather conditions.

The crucial score came from a cracking Martin Shaughnessy goal seven minutes into the second half. This score put Medtronic six points clear. The Garda rallied to narrow the gap to four, but Medtronic finished stronger to retain their county crown.

The wintery conditions made it difficult for both sides, although Medtronic started brighter with two points inside the opening three minutes. Colm O’Donavan had opened the scoring for the winners after good work from Shane Hennelly, quickly followed by a Justin Burke effort.

James Kavanagh opened the Garda’s account after six minutes when he converted a close-in free. Medtronic continued to dominate in the early stages and a brace of Colm O’Donavan points had Medtronic three clear at the end of the opening quarter.

With Emmett Rocke working hard around the centre, the Garda fought their way back into the match. Mark Caffrey started the fightback with a long-range effort in the 18th minute, and two Shane Nallon frees levelled the contest with four minutes remaining in the first half.

However it was Medtronic who finished the tight first half on top with a third point from O’Donavan and a Joe Canny effort.

O’Donavan edged Medtronic three clear before Martin Shaughnessy’s fine solo goal. Winning the ball out on the left, he cut through before unleasing a piledriver to the roof of Alan Keane’s goal, putting his side six clear early in the second half.

The Garda, however, refused to concede. A brace of Shane Nallon points, the first of these from a placed ball, brought the margin down to four 10 minutes into the second half.

However Medtronic finished with unanswered points from Enda Malarkey, O’Donavan (2 ) and substitute Aaron McHugh to set up a Connacht final with either Corrib Natural Gas from Mayo or Advantcard from Leitrim.

Medtronic: D Morris, R McDermott, K Dooher, A Warde, G Cafferky, E Malarkey(0-1 ), R Rogers, D Higgins, M Shaughnessy (1-0 ), M Kelly, J Canney(0-1 ), K Murphy, C O’Donavan(0-7 ), J Burke(0-1 ), S Hennelly.Subs: A McHugh(0-1 ) K Kilroy, D Hogan, D Morris.

Galway Garda: A Keane, A Pender, Padraig Kelly, S Durcan, R Molloy, Pat Kelly, D Mullahy, E Rocke, D Connellan, N Leydon, M Caffrey(0-1 ), S Nallon(0-4 ), N Lennon, J Kavanagh(0-1 ), P Moran, Subs, P McBride, J Kelly, N O’Brien, C Barrett.

Referee: F Kinneen (St James ).

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