Salthill/Knocknacarra qualify for county semi-final

Salthill/Knocknacarra were too strong for Killanin last weekend at Pearse Stadium, qualifying for this year's county semi-final by 0-12 to 1-6.

In a tight game, Salthill only squeezed through to face Mountbellew/Moylough in the last four, courtesy of two good points from substitute Robert Finnerty and some good play by full-forward Shane Maughan, who had a good last 10 minutes for his side.

Two times All-Star with Galway in 1987 and 1990 Val Daly is in charge of Salthill this season and he and his selectors Sean O'Dowd and Tommie Kelly will be pleased how their side came good in the last few minutes, having been rocked by a superbly scored penalty by Johnny Heaney for Killanin that brought the sides level with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Salthill midfielder Barry Kelly was his side's best performer in the first half, hitting three lovely points from play to show his forwards what was expected of them. Two other points from defenders Ruaidhrí McTiernan and Conor Halloran left Salthill ahead by 0-6 to 0-4 at half time when they should have been further in front.

Killanin had some good performers in defence with full-back David Walsh and Cathal Sweeney at centre-back getting on a lot of ball. Johnny Heaney worked very hard and had a great third quarter, while Diarmuid O' Connor and the lively Niall Walsh hit two mighty scores. Enda Kelly also popped a few over from frees.

Salthill had some solid displays from Finian Hanley at three, Gavin Duffy at six, Evan Wynne, midfielders Barry Kelly (0-4 from play ) and Conor Healy. 

Young Paul Butler worked hard for the cause too and Eoin O'Mahony hit one nice point. Full-forward Shane Maughan did some good things when he was needed near the end of the tie and he hit a fine point to calm Salthill nerves just after Killanin's penalty.

Substitute Robert Finnerty, who is a minor again next year, hit one lovely point with the outside of his left boot after he came on, and he did enough to push himself into contention for a starting place on Sunday week in the county semi-final.

No doubt there will be mixed emotions coming up to that game in the Daly house in Mountbellew as Val plots the downfall of the team he managed regularly in the past and won a county medal with in 1986, and with his two sons, Michael and John, also playing with Corofin.

Corofin sneak by Tuam 

Current county and All-Ireland champions Corofin, who have understandably looked quite flat in their past few games, had just  enough guile and enthusiasm to get by Tuam Stars by 2-9 to 0-11 in their replayed county quarter-final at Tuam Stadium on Sunday.

The two Corofin goals came from Michael Lundy and Martin Farragher in the first half and they were decisive.  Stephen Rochford's side had good displays from Tom Healy, Dylan Wall, substitutes Daithí Burke and Greg Higgins, and wing-forward Gary Sice who showed a lot of leadership when it was required. 

The Sylane man was by far Corofin's best player over the past two games and without his contribution they would be out of the championship now instead of facing Cortoon Shamrocks in the semi-final.

Tuam will regret not closing out the game the first day, and they had their chances last weekend too, including a saved penalty and a few bad wides from frees and play.

Jamie Murphy, Mickey Mannion, Gavin Connell and Gary O' Donnell all tried hard for the cause for Stars, who just lacked a bit of quality and guile up front when it was needed most.



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