Valeo power to interfirm title

Reigning Galway junior champions Valeo of Tuam retained their county title with a convincing 4-14 to 1-9 victory over Avaya in the Galway final played in Corofin.

Avaya, appearing in their first county final, put in a spirited display, but could not match their opponents' strength.

Avaya started brightly with two Colm Cleary frees inside the opening eight minutes, but thereafter it was all Valeo. Points from Shane Walsh and Cathal Mulryan levelled the contest before Mark McDonagh struck Valeo’s first goal after 13 minutes. 

Three minutes later McDonagh set up Barry Dever for his side’s second goal, and scores from Damien Reilly and a Shane Walsh free stretched their lead before Reilly found the  Avaya net again.  

Avaya replied with a third Colm Cleary free and a fine effort from Paul Ruane before Darren Durcan and an excellent effort from Shane Walsh left Valeo leading by 3-6 to 0-4 at the break.

Jason Naughton edged the winners further in front early in the second half, but  Avaya replied with a well-deserved goal when Martin Murphy converted from the spot. Both sides exchanged scores in an entertaining second quarter. 

However experienced Valeo side finished with 1-3 without reply in the next five minutes with points from Paul Varley, Damien Reilly and Martin Newell before a second Barry Dever goal.

Avaya kept battling and were rewarded with points from Martin Murphy, Colm McDonnell and Patrick Stewart, but it was never enough to deny Valeo a second Galway title in succession. Valeo now play the Leitrim champions in the Connacht semi final.

Valeo: D Steede, Michael Newell, C Reilly, D Reilly (1-3 ), P Rowsome, A Tierney, P Varley (0-1 ), D Lambe, S Walsh (0-3 ), D Durcan (0-2 ), C Mulryan (0-1 ), Martin Newel(0-1 ) J Naughton (0-1 ), M McDonagh (1-0 ), B  Deve (2-0 ). Subs: B Cawley (0-1 ), J Donnellan (0-1 ). 

Avaya: J Redington, L Hayes, C O Boyle, J Brennan, P Kelly, E Lee, C McDonnell (0-1 ), D Geary, P Ruane (0-1 ), A Miskell, S Kelly (0-1 ), T Bennett, C Clery (0-3 ), M Murphy (1-1 ), P Stewart (0-2 ). Subs: E Tummon, J Cormican, P D’Arcy, B O’Brien, G Carty.

Referee: F Kinneen (St James ).

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