Galway eased to victory in the top of the table clash against Derry in Owenbeg this afternoon. The Tribesmen played with a strong breeze in the first half and took full advantage.
Despite a laboured start, Galway got the first score of the game on the back of a great mark by John Daly who laid it off to Johnny Heaney to kick a superb point. Derry responded with a score from Lauchlan Murray to leave the sides level after six minutes.
The Westerners began to stamp their authority on the game after that, as Paul Conroy and Dessie Conneely traded scores to open a two-point gap. The Tribesmen struck for their first goal in the ninth minute after a devastating counterattack allowed Matthew Tierney to palm the ball into the net.
Tierney added to his tally with a long range free which was followed up by another pair of scores, first from Emmett Bradley and then Conneely. Galway pulled clear of the visitors with a second goal. This time it was Damien Comer who finished expertly following some good play by Liam Silke, to give the Tribesmen a 2-5 to 0-2 lead.
Niall Loughlin responded by kicking over Derry’s third point from a free before Galway began to run riot, as further scores from Conroy and Tierney was followed up by Galway’s third goal after a bad kickout by Derry goalkeeper Odhran Lynch landed straight to Cillian McDaid, who found Conneely to finish to leave the scores Derry 0-4 – 3-8 Galway 3-8 at half-time.
Galway rubber stamped the victory shortly after the interval after Heaney broke down the wing and had his effort half blocked, but it fell to substitute Tomo Culhane who slotted the ball into the net to put Galway up by 16 points.
The rest of the game was played in a slow pace with the result already secured. The one sour note of the afternoon for Padraic Joyce’s men came midway though the second half when talismanic midfielder Conroy was sent off, believed to be as a result of striking his opponent after he initially won the free. He will now miss next week’s clash against Roscommon.
Derry: Odhran Lynch, Chrissy McKaigue, Brendan Rogers, Padraig McGrogan, Gareth McKinless, Conor Doherty, Conor Glass, Emmett Bradley (0-3, 2f), Ethan Doherty, Oisin McWilliams, Ciaran McFaul (0-3), Benny Heron, Niall Loughlin (0-3f), Paul Cassidy (0-1), Lachlan Murray (0-1).
Subs: Padraig Cassidy for Conor Doherty, 46; Niall Toner (0-1) for B Heron, 46; Conor McCluskey for L Murray, 59; Shea Downey for O McWilliams, 67; Ben McCarron for E Doherty, 73.
Galway: Conor Flaherty, Jack Glynn, Kieran Molloy, Liam Silke, Dylan McHugh, John Daly, Cillian McDaid (0-1), Paul Kelly, Paul Conroy (0-3), Matthew Tierney (1-3, 0-1f), Sean Kelly, Johnny Heaney (0-1), Robert Finnerty, Damien Comer (1-1), Dessie Conneely (1-2, 0-1f).
Subs: Owen Gallagher for R Finnerty, HT; Tomo Culhane (1-0) for D Comer (inj), 38; Johnny McGrath for J Glynn, 48; Niall Daly for P Kelly, 57; Tony Gill for D Conneely, 70; Sean Fitzgerald for S Kelly (blood sub), 70.
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)
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