Offaly will regroup Dan Dwyer for a couple of his runs. Aiden McInerney and the excellent Donie Broderick, despite the fact that he didn’t score, battled throughout.
Finbarr Flood did well in his first senior hurling outing as a referee. Good to see a former player stepping up. For five years it didn’t happen on a consistent basis at all.
Galway: 1 Ger Corcoran, 2 Pa Geaney, 4 David Kelly, 5 Liam Butler, 6 Luke O’Loughlin (0-1), 7 Alan Sherlock, 8 Robbie Jackson (1-8), 9 Eoin Hogan (0-2), 10 David Fahy (1-0), 11 Aaron Farrell, 12 John Madden (0-5), 13 John Beirne (1-0), 15 Aiden Roche (1-1). Subs: David King (0-1).
Offaly: 1 Brian McNaughton, Killian Lenard, Mark Quinlan, 5 Terry Grogan, 6 Eoin Dillon (0-1), 7 Ethan O’Brian, 8 Dan Dwyer (0-2), 9 Calim O’Hare, 10 Paudie Kyne, 11 Aiden McInerney (1-5), 12 Donie Broderick, 13 Brendan Blackwell, 15 Shane Sweeney (1-1). Subs: Eoghan Kyne, Niall Marshall (2-1).
Referee: Finbarr Flood
Man of the match: Robbie Jackson (Galway).
Quiet Win for Leitrim
Leitrim 2-9 Armagh 1-7
THE calm after the hurling storm. It is always difficult for a football encounter to live up to the rapid fire scoring of a hurling contest, and that was the case Sunday when Leitrim quietly took the points against Armagh on Sunday.
Two goals, one each side of the halftime whistle, set them up for the victory, and the defense never allowed Armagh any clear cut chances in the second half.
Leitrim jumped out into a two point lead in the first six minutes, with Donal Hartnett getting two and Rory Woods crashing a bullet of the crossbar.
After Cian Reynolds and Paddy King swapped scores, Hartnett had a further brace to give his side a 0-6 to three lead with 22 minutes gone.
Armagh actually had their best period in the aftermath. Kevin McGeeney was instrumental, with Shane Conlon, Morgan and McGeeney himself all on the mark while Paddy Kelly had a score at the other end.
With the half reaching its conclusion, Armagh appeared to relax and Leitrim took advantage. A four player move that involved Woods and Hartnett at its fruitation finished with Dan Doona having the easy task of fisting to the net.
They added 1-1 in the first 14 minutes of the second half and never allowed Armagh to threaten the posts.
Armagh did have a unique goal from Chris Morton when he met a cross from Conlon with a cracking header but they were always playing catch-up. A source said that the last man to head a goal at the Mecca was the brilliant Brian McCabe.
Mark Dobbins and McGeeney traded scores to complete the afternoon and Leitrim were home free.
Leitrim will be very happy with the defensive showing in this one. Mike Creegan was his usual energetic self and Shane Maher was tremendous throughout, always throwing his body around.
Paddy Kelly was effective while Kenny O’Connor did a lot of good work in front of the keeper when Armagh was raining ball into the box. He also barreled into the pressbox and it certainly felt as if he shifted it.
Donal Hartnett continues his shooting prowess; he has a sweet touch for scores. Mark Dobbins returned to senior football and came into the game as it progressed.
Armagh had good performances from John Lynch, Kevin McGeeney and Seamus McDaid, who did a lot of good spade work in the trenches. They need some fire power in front of goal, however.
Leitrim: 1 Conor O’Loughlin, 2 Mike Creegan, 3 Damien Walsh, 4 James Grant, 5 Henry Mitchell, 6 Darren Walsh, 7 Shane Maher, 8 Paddy Kelly (0-1), 9 Ken O’Connor, 10 Cian Reynolds (0-1), 11 Rory Woods, 12 Emmitt Killeen, 13 Mark Dobbins (0-2), 14 Dan Doona (1-1), 15 Donal Hartnett (1-4). Subs: Danny O’Sullivan, Paddy Daly, James Mitchell.
Armagh: 1 Alan Hearty, 2 Collie Fearan, 3 Patsy Martin, 4 Raymie Kane, 5 Aiden Morton, 6 Stuart Stokes, 7 John Lynch, 8 Paddy King (0-1), 9 Kevin McGeeney (0-3), 10 Gary Nugent, 11 Seamus Toner, 12 Seamus McDaid, 13 Ken Cox, 14 Richie Morgan (0-2), 15 Matthew Cartman. Subs: Ciaran Conlon (0-1), Chris Morton (1-0).
Referee: Sean Jones.
Man of the match: Shane Maher (Leitrim).
Exciting Tie Goes to Gaels
ROCKLAND and Shannon Gaels started Sunday’s day with a junior hurling contest. While the game was set for 1 p.m., there was a ladies game on before it and the contest was ready to go about 15 minutes later.
With Jo Jo Sullivan the junior chairman on hand, both sides agreed to the status of all players before the ball was thrown in.
Amazingly, the teams were then given 20 minutes for the first half, and 25 for the second. With a large number of Irish Americans on the field and one of the strong purposes of the junior division to encourage and promote hurling, it made little sense not to play the full hour of hurling that was set out on the card for Sunday. Hopefully the board can learn from this mistake and it won’t happen again.
The game itself was a close battle. Shannon Gaels had a 2-5 to 2-3 lead at the break before Rockland made a storming comeback.