Galway minors on song after seven years

After seven years of heartbreaking narrow defeats, Galway secured this year's provincial minor crown, and they did it in style on a 3-14 to 1-3 scoreline.

There were 17 points between Mayo and Galway at the end, but it could have been 27 if Galway had kept up the pace they showed in the first half in the second period.

They led by 11 points at the break and had their place in the Connacht final already secured before the final 30 minutes of the contest.

Galway gave Mayo a lesson in every sector of the field, with Colm Brennan putting in a man-of-the-match display in the middle of the park and Conor Marsden running riot in attack.

Mayo, so long dominant at this level, were dealt two blows before throw-in with both Shairoize Akram and David Hanley pulled from the starting line-out. And Mayo were not helped when captain Barry Duffy was forced off after 18 minutes with injury.

However Galway were on a different level on Sunday, and hopes are now high that they will repeat their success seven years ago when they won the Connacht crown and went on to win the All Ireland.

Eric Lee opened the scoring for Galway inside the first minute with a well-taken point, but Mayo responded well initially, with Liam Byrne finding the back of the net.

It proved a false dawn for the home side as Galway reeled off 11 unanswered points in the next 25 minutes, with Cillian McDaid and Lee kicking four points each in the first half to put Galway into a healthy  0-12 to 1-0 lead.

Mayo, with the aid of a strong breeze in the second half, opened with Gerry Cannavan kicking a point, but there was no revival.  Conor Marsden found the back of the Mayo net twice in three minutes just after the 40 minute mark and a Finnian Ó Laoi goal six minutes later put the final gloss on the win.

Galway: Ronán Ó Beoláin; Caelom Mulry, Dylan McHugh, Ian Kent; Sean Kelly, Liam Kelly, John Daly; Colm Brennan, Cillian McDaid; Eric Lee, Conor Marsden, Finian Ó’Laoi; Colin Ryan, Michael Boyle, Ryan Forde. Subs: Ciaran Brady for Colin Ryan, Patrick O’Donnell for Fininan Ó’Laoi, Barry Goldrick for Ryan Forde, Eamon McDonagh for Ian Kent, Henry O’Toole.


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