Darragh Small reports from Markievicz Park
LIAM SILKE INSPIRED reigning champions Galway to the Connacht final with victory over Sligo.
Galway haven’t put provincial crowns back-to-back since 2003 but moved one step closer at Markievicz Park.
Kevin Walsh’s men were 0-5 to 0-3 in front after a dull first half. The game came to life on the resumption with two quickfire goals from Silke and Johnny Heaney turning the game in Galway’s favour.
Sligo tried for a comeback but that was cancelled out by Walsh as the Galway bench came on to shore up the result and Martin Farragher scored 1-1 after Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh was sent-off.
It was a hectic opening salvo with Sligo captain Niall Murphy and Galway corner back Liam Silke on target inside three minutes, but there wouldn’t be another score for a quarter of an hour.
Sligo’s Adrain McIntyre with Liam Silke of Galway.
Source: Evan Logan/INPHO
Corofin’s club footballer of the year Kieran Molloy departed with a serious looking injury in the 15th minute when he collided with a combination of Shane Walsh and Sligo’s Paul Kilcoyne.
That was a huge blow for Galway but the players responded well on the field after the introduction of Gary O’Donnell. Galway scored three points in a row between the 18th and 24th minutes.
Fiontán Ó Curraoin sent over a nice point from the right, Walsh added a free and Michael Daly scored a brilliant effort from another tight angle to put Galway a goal in front.
Walsh could have scored the first goal of the game shortly afterwards, but he blazed his shot right and wide of Eamonn Kilgannon’s goal.
Sligo were still in the game despite being dominated and a couple of points from Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch and Kilcoyne reduced the arrears to the minimum on the half-hour mark.
Silke doubled his tally with two minutes of normal time remaining and a poor first half finished on a desperate whimper.
The second half started as the first had ended and Michael Daly drove two Galway chances wide. Sligo opened the scoring through Murphy’s second free.
Galway’s first point of half arrived through Walsh and he tapped over a free for a 0-7 to 0-4 advantage with seven minutes gone.
Sligo’s Paddy O’Connor and Gareth Bradshaw of Galway.
Source: Evan Logan/INPHO
Galway ripped Sligo to shreds in the 44th and 45th minute when first Heaney fisted across and Silke tapped into the net. And then Michael Daly’s shot came back off the post and Heaney was there to finish the killer second goal.
Murphy continued to take the fight to Galway, and he landed an exquisite score with the outside of his boot in the 50th minute, adding a similar effort two minutes later.
Then Seán Carrabine squeezed in a point from the left and all of a sudden there was just two goals between the teams. But those scores were consolations as Walsh tagged on his third free.
Michael Daly scored and substitutes Eamonn Brannigan and Farragher (goal) were on target either side Ó Ceallaigh’s second yellow card.
Scorers for Galway: Liam Silke 1-2, Shane Walsh 0-4 (0-3f), Martin Farragher 1-1, Johnny Heaney 1-0, Michael Daly 0-2, Fiontán Ó Curraoin 0-1, Eamonn Brannigan 0-1.
Scorers for Sligo: Niall Murphy 0-4 (0-2f), Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch 0-1, Paul Kilcoyne 0-1, Seán Carrabine 0-1.
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1 Bernard Power (Corofin)
2 Eoghan Kerin (Annaghdown)
3 Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh (Leitir Mór)
4 Liam Silke (Corofin)
5 Kieran Molloy (Corofin)
6 Gareth Bradshaw (Maigh Cuilinn)
7 John Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough)
8 Thomas Flynn (Athenry)
9 Fiontán Ó Curraoin (Michéal Breathnach)
10 Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin-Clonberne)
11 Michael Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough)
12 Johnny Heaney (Killannin)
13 Antaine Ó Laoi (An Spidéal)
14 Ian Burke (Corofin)
15 Danny Cummins (Claregalway)
23 Gary O’Donnell (Tuam Stars) for Molloy (16)
17 Eamonn Brannigan (St Michael’s) for Cummins (55)
22 Robert Finnerty (Salthill/Knocknacarra) for Ó Laoi (61)
25 Cillian McDaid (Monivea-Abbey) for Heaney (64)
21 Martin Farragher (Corofin) for Burke (66)
20 Johnny Duane (St James’) for Bradshaw (68).
1 Eamonn Kilgannon (St Farnan’s)
3 Peter Laffey (Coolera/Strandhill)
2 Michael Gordon (Curry)
7 Paul McNamara (St John’s)
8 Adrain McIntyre (Tourlestrane)
6 Darragh Cummins (Calry/St Joseph’s)
12 Nathan Mullen (Coolaney/Mullinabreena)
5 Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch (St Mary’s)
9 Paul Kilcoyne (St Mary’s)
4 Keelan Cawley (Coolera/Strandhill)
13 Paddy O’Connor (St Farnan’s)
10 Mikey Gordon (Easkey)
11 Sean Carrabine (Castleconnor)
17 Pat Hughes (Geevagh)
15 Niall Murphy (Coolera/Strandhill)
14 Adrian Marren (Curry) for Hughes (53)
18 Neil Ewing (Drumcliffe Rosses Point) for Gordon (53)
19 Karl McKenna (Shamrock Gaels) for Cawley (61)
26 Luke Nicholson (St Mary’s) for McNamara (66)
20 David Quinn (Shamrock Gaels) for O’Connor (68).
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).
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