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Vol 4. Issue 7 May/June 2013

E x i l e s r e a c h h i s t
E x i l e s r e a c h h i s t o r i c f i n a l
Vol 4. Issue 7 May/June 2013 E x i l e s r e a c

OFFICIAL GAA PUBLICATION

2 .5 0

President’sNote

A CHAIRDE GAEL,

President’sNote A CHAIRDE GAEL, four provinces will bring a unique colour to July's final. It should
President’sNote A CHAIRDE GAEL, four provinces will bring a unique colour to July's final. It should

four provinces will bring a unique colour to July's final. It should also be recog- nised the style of game they play: they are playing traditional football, graced with high fielding, long kick passing and strong tackling. Long may

W HAT a special occasion it was to see the Lon-

don players, manage- ment and back room staff celebrate reaching their first ever Connacht final with victory over Leitrim in Dr Hyde Park. Reaching the Connacht final is a huge honour for any county, but for London to finally get there is a massive achievement. The volume of work that has gone on over there in the last few years is amazing, and their wins over Sligo and Leitrim in this year’s champi- onship goes to show what coaching and development of the game can bring. I was honoured to see all three of their games so far in the provincial championship and they really are a fine side. They physical strength is something to behold, and the prepara- tion that they have obviously put in while travelling across such an expan- sive city as London is really paying off. Fair play to them. It was a real pleasure to see so many players from Connacht representing London, and watching them meet up with their families and friends on the pitches in Carrick on Shannon and Roscommon was one of the highlights of the summer for me. I'm sure we'll see plenty of their families in attendance at the Connacht final and having other lads from all

it continue. I was very pleased to hear of Claregalway's victory in the football Féile All-Ireland in Derry re- cently. To win the division one title is a huge achievement for any club and it shows that all their efforts at underage level and the development of their club facilities is paying off. On the hurling front, it really has been a summer of shocks with defeats for many of the big names, but hope- fully like they did last year, we might see Galway carve a long championship summer for themselves after their Le- inster final. I was also delighted to see Roscom- mon pick up the Connacht intermedi- ate title when they defeated Mayo recently. This is a fixture I hope to see built on in the future for the develop- ment of the game in the province. But now, as we approach the Con- nacht final, I wish everyone an enjoy- able day, and who knows what result we might see!

Is mise,

FRANK BURKE, President, Connacht Council GAA

Secretary’sNote

Secretary’sNote W W H H A A T T E E V V E E R

WW HHAATTEEVVEERR yyoouu ssaayy aabboouutt tthhiiss yyeeaarr''ss CCoonnnnaacchhtt cchhaammppii--

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JJOOHHNN PPRREENNTTYY RRuunnaaii,, CCLLGG CCuuiiggee CCoonnnnaacchhttaa

G C C u u i i g g e e C C o o n
G C C u u i i g g e e C C o o n

Page 2

‘Into the West’

KKeeeepp yyoouurrsseellff iinn tthhee lloooopp

ccooppyy ooff tthhee mmaaggaazziinnee eemmaaiilleedd ddiirreeccttllyy ttoo yyoouurr IInnbbooxx TToo ssiiggnn uupp,, eemmaaiill mmaaggaazziinnee@@ccoonnnnaacchhttggaaaa iiee

SSiiggnn uupp ttooddaayy ffoorr yyoouurr ffrreeee eelleeccttrroonniicc

‘Into the West’ is produced by the Connacht GAA Council. Editor: John Fallon. Published by: Pádraig Corcoran.

News and photographs for inclusion can be emailed to magazine@connachtgaa.ie. To obtain an electronic copy of the magazine each quarter, free of charge, email magazine@con- nachtgaa.ie.

• Next edition: July/August 2013. Deadline for advertising and copy: Friday, August 9, 2013. www.connachtgaa.ie.

CCoovveerr PPhhoottooss Main Picture: The London team prepare to face Leitrim in their Connacht football championship semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

to face Leitrim in their Connacht football championship semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
to face Leitrim in their Connacht football championship semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
to face Leitrim in their Connacht football championship semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
to face Leitrim in their Connacht football championship semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
to face Leitrim in their Connacht football championship semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
to face Leitrim in their Connacht football championship semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Mayo man Sean Kelly celebrates London's win over Leitrim Leave the daft talk behind –
Mayo man Sean Kelly celebrates London's win over Leitrim Leave the daft talk behind –

Mayo man Sean Kelly celebrates London's win over Leitrim

Mayo man Sean Kelly celebrates London's win over Leitrim Leave the daft talk behind – says

Leave the daft talk behind – says Horan

win over Leitrim Leave the daft talk behind – says Horan Galway hurler David Burke recov-

Galway hurler David Burke recov- ered from an eye injury to take on Laois in Leinster semi-final

from an eye injury to take on Laois in Leinster semi-final Galway – U-21 All-Ireland cham-

Galway – U-21 All-Ireland cham- pions.

HistoricConnachtdeciderforLondon

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ConnachtMinorSemi-Finals

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ConnachtGAAWriters’ PersonalitiesofMonth

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Twodown, fourtogo–MayovRoscommon

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LondonvSligo-ConnachtQuarter-Final

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KearinsSettobeHonoured

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AProfessional HitasMayoDestroyGalway

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GalwayEdgePastLaois-LeinsterSFCSemi

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All-IrelandU-21Final -GalwayTriumph

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Skehill ReadyforAction

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MortimerStill LoomsLarge

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BradshawLeavesGalwayPanel forUS

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VaughanCognisantofReputations

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HomeComfortsforO’Shea

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KeepingtheGameAliveDownUnder

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FocusonGalway

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FocusonLeitrim

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FocusonMayo

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MickMulderrig-MayoGreatPassesAway

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AHistoricDayforStCroan’s

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FoxusonRoscommon

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BrianMcDermott(RIP)-AnAppreciation

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FoxusonSligo

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NewCamogieClubinLeitrim

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FocusonCamogie

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FocusonLadiesFootball

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FocusonHandball

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KnowledgeableNoel

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67 FocusonHandball 74 KnowledgeableNoel 76 Mortimer still looms large. Mick Mulderrig - Mayo great

Mortimer still looms large.

74 KnowledgeableNoel 76 Mortimer still looms large. Mick Mulderrig - Mayo great passes away. Keeping the

Mick Mulderrig - Mayo great passes away.

still looms large. Mick Mulderrig - Mayo great passes away. Keeping the Game Alive Down Under

Keeping the Game Alive Down Under - Special feature

great passes away. Keeping the Game Alive Down Under - Special feature St Cran’s facilities officially

St Cran’s facilities officially opened.

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL REPLAY The London squad before victory in their Connacht football championship

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL REPLAY

The London squad before victory in their Connacht football championship semi-final replay against Leitrim.

Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Historic London march on

London

2-11

Leitrim

1-13

By JOHN FALLON

Media West Ireland

T HIS was hardly the first champi- onship game involving London which looked to be done and dusted

by the break but the Exiles are not just in- tent on making history this year, they seem to want to do it with a panache and suspense befitting the West End rather than the west of Ireland. Even if this game was played in the other Hyde Park — the big one beside Buck House rather than the Roscommon version — London couldn’t, in their wildest dreams, have envisaged enjoying a 14 points lead in a Connacht SFC semi- final. Not only that, but they were worth every bit of their remarkable lead. And yet they almost blew it all, hanging on in the end as Leitrim, who reduced the deficit to

Colin Daly shoots for goal with Fabian McMorrow at close quarters. Photo: Barry Cregg /
Colin Daly shoots
for goal with Fabian
McMorrow at close
quarters.
Photo: Barry Cregg /
SPORTSFILE

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL REPLAY

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL REPLAY to first Connacht decider just a point, wasted two good chances

to first Connacht decider

just a point, wasted two good chances at the death to force extra-time. It was gripping stuff — and it’s a long time since that was said about a Leitrim v London fixture.

Leitrim, Sligo and Mayo have been aware of that in recent years as they es- caped from Ruislip with fortuitous victo- ries. Sligo got snared this year and now London have come over and won their first

But what of Mayo? Can they dream the impossible? Surely they won’t win that as well? “You can do anything,” noted Coggins with an assassin’s smile. “But we will

London’s interval lead of 2-10 to 0-2 might have been more reflective of the contrasting population bases — 12 million versus 32,000 — but it was simply a case

championship match on Irish soil, having being unfortunate to be forced to a replay by Leitrim the first day. The win — and a final date with Mayo

enjoy tonight first. Mayo are a fabulous team, let’s not go anywhere regards that. But we will work hard for the next few weeks, we are a good team and we will go

of one side knowing how to use a lead and

in

Castlebar — is a huge boost to the GAA

into the final and do our best and let’s see

another whose challenge was weakened

in

Britain and manager Paul Coggins,

what happens.”

by further injuries when midfielder Darren Sweeney and skipper Emlyn Mulligan were forced off through injury.

calm as ever despite the magnitude of the win, knows how significant it is. “It has taken us three years to build this

The former Cavan player Lorcan Mul- vey laid the foundation with a string of good frees as the exiles slipped into a 0-7

“It was mystifying how we were so off the pace in the first-half,” said Leitrim joint

team but it goes back much longer than that and for us to get to a Connacht final is

to 0-1 lead after 19 minutes and then four minutes later it looked like they were out of

manager George Dugdale. “It’s not as if

a

reward for all the people who put the

sight when Greg Crowley fired home their

we weren’t ready for it. I don’t know what happened. One thing led to another and it was like a cancer spreading through the team in the first-half. We kept losing all the personal battles. “But fair play to London. They have been working hard under Paul Coggins for the past few years. They have beaten

work in down through the years in London. I’m sure it means the world to all those people. “It is all about lads working hard. We put everything into it and it was a tremen- dous first-half by us. We couldn’t have asked for any more in the first-half but we needed every bit of it. Leitrim are a top

first goal after a great move which opened the Leitrim defence. Any doubt about the outcome seemed to disappear when Ciaran McCallion got their second goal before the break to leave them 14 points to the good at the break. The Leitrim revival got an early boost

Sligo, who are a division three side, and

team. We have now beaten two top teams

when Kevin Conlon landed four placed

they have now beaten us. They are no

in

Connacht, two counties with a great his-

balls inside five minutes of the restart.

longer the whipping boys, that’s for sure.”

tory and tradition.”

London faded. Mulvey’s 43rd-minute free

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL Galway native Paul Geraghty celebrates London historic victory. Photo: Barry Cregg

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL

Galway native Paul Geraghty celebrates London historic victory. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Galway native Paul
Geraghty celebrates
London historic victory.
Photo: Barry Cregg /
SPORTSFILE

ended up being their only score of the second-half. In the end it was the winner. Leitrim kept chipping away at the deficit, Robbie Lowe landing some good points and Conlon keeping the frees flow- ing. The James Glancy got a fist to a delivery from Conlon and

it was 2-11 to 1-9. Five points

and eight minutes left. It was possible the Leitrim faithful, who made up the bulk of the 5,217 crowd, knew it. Conlon got three more frees and Paul Brennan landed one from distance. Just one more point. But it never came. Conlon saw a free go wide and Glancy, brave enough to have

a go, lofted one wide of the tar-

get as the tackle came and London survived to chalk up their most famous victory ever.

They have written musicals in the West End about less.

SCORERS – London: L Mul-

vey 0-5 (5f), C McCallion 1-1,

G

Crowley 1-0, E O’Neill 0-2,

T

Gaughan 0-2, C Magee

0-1.

Leitrim: K Conlon 0-8 (7f, 1 ’45), R Lowe 0-3, J Glancy 1- 0, E Mulligan 0-1 (f), P Bren- nan 0-1 (f).

LONDON: D Traynor; P But- ler, S Curran, D McGreevy; S Hannon, S Mulligan, T Gaughan; P Geraghty, C Doyle; D Dunleavy, G Crow-

ley, C McCallion; C Magee, L Mulvey, E O’Neill. Subs: E McConville for Han- non (35), S Kelly for McCal- lion (44), C Daly for Geraghty (Blood 47-58), B Mitchell for Dunleavy (54), Daly for Doyle (60), B Collins for Magee

(63).

LEITRIM: C McCrann; G Reynolds, C Egan, F McMor-

row; D Beck, E Williams, B Prior; D Sweeney, B Bren- nan; P Brennan, K Conlon, P McGowan; J Glancy, E Mulli- gan, R Lowe. Subs: C Clarke for Sweeney (10), B McDonald for Mulli- gan (14), S McWeeney for Egan (35), R Cox for McDon-

ald (52).

REF: C Reilly (Meath).

Mayo man Sean Kelly celebrates London's win over Leitrim in the Connacht semi-final. Photo: Barry
Mayo man Sean Kelly
celebrates London's
win over Leitrim in the
Connacht semi-final.
Photo: Barry Cregg /
SPORTSFILE

Gottsche in a race against time to be fit for Connacht decider

By JOHN FALLON Media West Ireland

L ONDON midfielder Mark Gottsche, who missed his side's dramatic victory over Leitrim int eh Connacht semi-final, is hopeful he can recover

from injury in time for the historic Connacht final meet-

ing with champions Mayo. But the Galway native said he knows he could have

a battle on his hands to get back into the starting 15

following their remarkable 2-11 to 1-13 win over Leitrim last Sunday. The 25-year old, who works full-time as a GAA de-

velopment coach in London, said that qualification for

a first ever Connacht final was a huge boost to the

game in Britain. “It’s massive for London to get to a Connacht final for the first time. Nobody gave us a chance at the start of the year but we knew we had talented footballers and Paul Coggins came up with a game plan this year to utilise the skills we have and (how to) execute them as best we could on the day. We took it one game at a time, Sligo in Ruislip, the drawn game last week and then the replay, and now we look forward to our next game. Mayo are odds-on favourites and there will be no pressure on us and lets hope we enjoy the day,” said Gottsche. He said that one of the main reasons for their suc- cess was the way Coggins has built a strong squad, al- lowing them to overcome injury set-backs. “I knew the strength and depth of the squad and the boys certainly stepped up to the mark to deliver the same performance that I or any of the crew could have done. I am really proud of the boys, they battled very hard when their backs were against the wall and we were delighted to hang on for victory.” He was disappointed to miss the game with a foot injury but is now hoping to get back in time for the showdown with Mayo. “I saw a specialist during the week and (am) waiting for results. Hopefully it’s good news for me and I can get back onto the training pitch and push for a place in the team. “But if the boys can reproduce the sort of perform- ance that they did in the opening half, I won’t mind if I can’t get my place back. We are all in this together,” he added.

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL (DRAWN GAME)

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL (DRAWN GAME) Conlon saves Leitrim blushes Leitrim 0-13 London 2-7 By DECLAN

Conlon saves Leitrim blushes

Leitrim

0-13

London

2-7

By DECLAN ROONEY Media West Ireland

L EITRIM joint-manager Barney Breen was relieved to get another crack at London after his side needed two late points to

salvage their Connacht final intentions at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada. The sides will meet again after Darren Sweeney and Kevin Conlon pointed in the clos- ing stages, but Sean Kelly's goal 11 minutes from time looked to have given London their first Connacht final berth. “We felt we didn't play well,” admitted Breen, “It was ten minutes before we got into it and we played well then. But in fairness to Lon- don they had themselves in a position where they weren't out of the game and the two goals got them back in. “But today's performance wasn't good enough over the 70 minutes, we were good in patches. We worked very hard, we showed great character and resilience to pull out a draw in the end.” London boss Paul Coggins oozed pride after seeing his side push another Connacht county to breaking point, but he still thinks there is more to come from his squad. “There is always more in you, you have got to lift it again. We'll talk about that during the week in training. We'll be ready again. “We knew we can compete and we have got to just work on some things and try and get all the injured players back and see what decisions we make on the line for the picking of the team. “We are a serious team, I have always said that. All we want to do is play football to the best of our ability, knock down the walls, keep going. “Leitrim know what we are like, Sligo know what we are like and more importantly we know what we are like. “They gave it everything they had, that's the emo- tion really. We could have done any more than we did. We took our chances well, I felt, we never gave in.

Lorcan Mulvey drives past Ciaran Egan of Leitrim in their drawn Connacht semi-final at Paric Sean MacDiarmada. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

“Leitrim fought hard and we fought hard. Probably a draw was a fair result, both teams gave everything they had and we are ready for another day,” said Coggins, whose side came agonisingly close to adding to their win over Sligo. The largely Leitrim populated crowd of 7, 698 left relieved to be still in this year's Con- nacht championship, but they would have sealed a spot in the final against Mayo had full- back Ciaran Egan slotted a 45 with the last kick of the game. Seeing as it was his first shot towards target all game, it was perhaps a challenge too far for him, but the confusion leading up to the kick that saw Kevin Conlon – who wanted to take the kick – substituted, can't have helped him ei- ther. Early on, the physicality of the Exiles around the middle was notable, with Ciaran McCallion at centre-forward and Mark Gottsche looking particularly impressive. Gottsche was forced off before the half-hour mark with a groin injury, but his departure came after Leitrim's star man Emlyn Mulligan limped off with a calf injury in the 15th minute. Mulligan's last action was to kick a simple free to level the game at 0-3 each, but the in- jury he carried into the game caught up with him, and he must surely be a doubt to start next week. Strangely, losing Mulligan seemed to gal- vanise Leitrim's efforts as up until that point London had dominated when scrappy ball was up for grabs. Shortly afterwards, Brendan Brennan and Paddy McGowan both pointed for the home side directly from possession gathered off London kick-outs to give them a 0-6 to 0-4 lead, but when Mulvey bundled the ball over the line after a Cathal McCrann error, crucially London took a 1-4 to 0-6 lead at the break. Leitrim started the second-half the sharper with four of the first five points, as Conlon, Paul Brennan, Robbie Lowe and Brendan Bren- nan all contributed good scores to the Leitrim cause.

The introduction of former Galway player Paul Geraghty certainly made a difference for London, but when fellow substitute

Sean Kelly – who previously played soccer for Sligo Rovers – goaled from an acute angle six minutes after his introduction and added a sublime point four minutes later, the shock looked on. Immediately after Kelly hit the net in the 59th minute, fellow sub Eoin O'Neill had an even better chance to seal a London win, but McCrann made amends for his first-half error and smothered the ball to save Leitrim's blushes. The concession of a third goal would have shattered Leitrim at that stage, but instead they looked powerful as the closing bell ap- proached. And when Conlon pointed in the 70th minute a fair result was returned. Bring on the rematch, said Coggins. “I hope they’re not going to take us too seri- ously. We’re okay if they take us the way we are,” said Coggins. “We just work hard, we do the best we can over there, we train like any other county team. We just got to make sure we bring that to the field and we did today.”

LEITRIM: C McCrann; A Wynne, C Egan, G Reynolds (A Croal 55); D Beck (S McWeeney 67), E Williams, B Prior; D Sweeney, B Brennan, P McGowan, E Mulligan (C Reynolds 15), P Bren- nan; R Lowe, J Glancy, K Conlon (R Cox 72). Scorers: K Conlon 0-3 (2f), P McGowan, D Sweeney & B Brennan 0-2 each, P Brennan, J Glancy, R Lowe & E Mulligan 0-1 (1f) each.

LONDON: D Traynor; P Butler, S Curran, D Mc- Greevy; S Hannon, S Mulligan, T Gaughan; M Gottsche (P Geraghty 29), C Doyle (S Kelly 53); G Crowley, C McCallion (D O'Neill 69), B Mitchell (D Dunleavy 38); P McGoldrick (E O'Neill 53), L Mulvey, C Magee.

Scorers: S Kelly & L Mulvey 1-1 each, S Hannon, M Gottsche (1f), C Magee, P McGoldrick (1f) & D Traynor (45) 0-1 each.

REF: Barry Cassidy (Derry).

CONNACHT MINOR SEMI-FINALS Young Tribesmen ousted in extra-time Mayo 5-8 Galway 2-11 (after extra-time) By

CONNACHT MINOR SEMI-FINALS

CONNACHT MINOR SEMI-FINALS Young Tribesmen ousted in extra-time Mayo 5-8 Galway 2-11 (after extra-time) By JOHN

Young Tribesmen ousted in extra-time

Mayo

5-8

Galway

2-11

(after extra-time)

By JOHN FALLON

Media West Ireland

G ALWAY hopes of a first Connacht

minor title since 2007 ended in

extra-time as Mayo goaled twice to

reach the provincial decider. Corner-forward Tommy Conroy scored 2-2 from play as Mayo eventually off the Galway challenge in an entertaining semi- final at Hyde Park. Mayo seemed poised for success when Cian Hanley, younger brother of Aussie Rules star Pearce, finished to the net to put Mayo a goal in front in the dying moments of regular time. But Galway, who had only managed two points with the wind up to then, rallied and points from Eoin McCormack and Michael Daly reduced the deficit before McCormack displayed nerves of steel to land the equaliser in the third and final

minute of stoppage time. Earlier, Galway looked for victory when

Roscommon side chasing a third succes- sive provincial title.

they finished the opening level at 2-4 each after playing against the wind. Goals from Niall Lee and Peter Cooke

SCORERS – Mayo: T Conroy 2-2, L Irwin 0-5 (5f), C Loftus 1-1, C Hanley 1-

rocked Mayo but they hit back with Conroy

0,

D Doherty 1-0.

getting his first goal and then Darragh Do-

Galway: P Cooke 1-2 (0-1f), N Lee 1-1,

herty found the net after Conroy had

E

McCormack 0-4 (3f, 1 ’45), R Fahy 0-1,

cracked a shot off the post.

E

Tierney 0-1, M Daly 0-1 (f), P Mannion

Mayo battled well against the wind and

0-1.

with the sides deadlocked after twice ex- changing points, they hit the front when

MAYO: M Mulligan; D Kenny, S Cun-

Hanley got a goal two minutes from the end after having an effort taken off the line by Luke Burke, before Galway forced extra-time. Galway again failed to make wind ad- vantage count in extra-time, managing just

a point from Niall Lee and they were in se- rious trouble when impressive sub Conor Byrne sent in a cross which Conor Loftus

finished to the net to leave it 4-6 to 2-10 at the interval in extra-time. Galway tried to get back into the game

in the second period but a couple of points

from Liam Irwin frees increased Mayo’s lead before Conroy wrapped up the issue with his second goal two minutes from the end to set up a Connacht final date with a

niffe, E Doran; R Finn, S Coen, M Hall;

V Roughneen, D O’Connor; B Walsh, C

Loftus, C Hanley; D Doherty, L Irwin, T Conroy. Subs: S Conlon for Finn (27), C Byrne for Doherty (51), S Burke for Walsh (54), M Plunkett for Hanley (61).

GALWAY: J Healy; L Burke, C Reilly, B Shaughnessy; N McDonagh, D Horan,

C Brady; R Fahy, E Tierney; J Lyons, M

Daly, P Cooke; N Lee, E McCormack, P Mannion. Subs: D Corbett for McDon- agh (50), J Donnellan for Lee (53), S Lawless for Cooke (55), C Mannion for Lyons (60), C Raftery for Mannion (80).

REF: R McBrien (Leitrim).

McGann shoots Rossies to win

Roscommon

Sligo

By DECLAN ROONEY

Media West Ireland

0-12

1-5

R OSCOMMON remain on track for a third Connacht minor title in a row thanks to a seven-point haul from

Diarmuid McGann against 14-man Sligo in Carrick-on-Shannon. A goal from Kevin McDonnell in the 41st minute helped Sligo close to within two points, but Fergal O'Donnell's men fin- ished powerfully to reach a seventh provincial final in eight years. Forced to line out without their influen- tial midfielder Cian Breheny because of a hamstring injury, Sligo still looked lively in the opening quarter. Diarmuid Murtagh gave Roscommon the lead in the first 30 seconds, but the next two scores arrived from the Yeats men, as Cathal Henry landed two excel- lent points in the fifth and eighth minutes. But despite their early creativity, Sligo employed quite defensive tactics in the

first-half, with full-forward Darragh Cum- mins operating as a sweeper in front of his own full-back. And that negativity soon caught up on them as Roscommon full-forward Diar- muid McGann kicked three points in as many minutes to give Fergal O'Donnell's side a 0-4 to 0-2 lead by the 18th minute. With former Sligo star Eamonn O'Hara patrolling the sideline, there was plenty of encouragement for the young Yeats men, but their intentions nosedived just before the break when Stephen Henry was sent off after picking up two bookings for fouls on Roscommon captain Ronan Daly in the 25th and 27th minute. A serious looking injury to the lively Stephen Kerins also hampered Sligo in the second-half and they looked to have little hope of recovery when Ultan Harney, McGann and Diarmuid Murtagh all added quick scores for the Rossies after the restart. Yet despite their numerical disadvan- tage, Sligo's challenge began to grow and Kenneth Gavigan kicked their only free of the game in the 37th minute, which Cathal Henry soon added to. The unlikely recovery looked on when McDonnell – who featured for Kevin

Walsh's seniors in the national football league this year – waltzed through the de- fence and rattled the top corner with an unstoppable drive. Just a point separated the sides with 13 minutes remaining when Cathal Henry kicked his fourth point from play, but it was Roscommon that finished the stronger with three points to take the win.

SCORERS – Roscommon: D McGann 0-7 (2f), D Murtagh 0-4 (1f), U Earley 0-1. Sligo: C Henry 0-4, K McDonnell 1-0, K Gavigan 0-1 (1f).

ROSCOMMON: S Mannion; D Neary, S Mullooly, M Flannery; R Daly, E Mc- Grath, S Pettit; C Compton, U Harney; T O'Rourke, N Connaughton (S Farrell 46), J Early (E Fallon 62); J Gannon (D Carleton 57), D McGann, D Murtagh.

SLIGO: E McDonagh; P Gorman, C Gilmartin, S Keenan; L Henry, K Mc- Donnell, J Gillen (K Carty 38); G Brady (S Curley h-t), K Henry; K Gavigan (P Murray 54), C Henry, S Kerins (S Con- nolly h-t); J Perry (E Kent 54), D Cum- mins, S Henry.

REF: Liam Devenny (Mayo).

CONNACT GAA WRITERS’ PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH AWARDS

More glory for London as players honoured by GAA Writers

A wonderful display against Sligo earned London's Mark Gottsche the Connacht GAA Writers’ Person- ality of the Month award for May.

Photo: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

A FTER helping their side to their first ever Connacht final, Lon-

don footballers Mark Gottsche and Lorcan Mul- vey received further glory with news that they have both been named as the Connacht GAA Writers Per- sonality of the Month. Galway native Gottsche picked up the award for the month May after playing a key role in securing his side's first Connacht cham- pionship win since 1977 against Sligo in Ruislip. Gottsche, who works as a development officer for London GAA and played at all grades for his native Gal- way, kicked four points for the Exiles in their famous win over the Yeats County in Ruislip. And after a memorable draw and an historic victory in the replay over Leitrim in the Connacht semi-final, Gottsche's teammate Lor- can Mulvey has been named as the June recipient of the award. Mulvey, who is steeped in the traditions of Leitrim GAA – both of his parents are originally from Carrick on Shannon – was brought up in Cavan and played three seasons of inter- county for his home county before emigrating. And after two superb dis- plays for Paul Coggins' side to help them into the Con- nacht final at McHale Park on July 21st, Mulvey was named as the recipient of June's Connacht GAA Writ- ers Personality of the Month. The London duo will be presented with their awards at the Connacht GAA Banquet at the end of the season, along with the January and February winners Wayne McKeon and Darragh McCormack, and the respective winners from March and April Frankie Dolan and Sligo's Michael

Two outstanding outings for Lorcan Mulvey saw him pick up the June award.

Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL Two down, Mayo 0-21 Roscommon 0-9 By MIKE FINNERTY Mayo

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL

Two down,

Mayo 0-21 Roscommon 0-9 By MIKE FINNERTY Mayo News W E could get used to
Mayo
0-21
Roscommon
0-9
By MIKE FINNERTY
Mayo News
W E could get used to this: Mayo
having championship matches
wrapped up by half-time and
treating all and sundry to an exhibition of
their skills, set-pieces and scoring capa-
bilities. After the stroll in Salthill last
month this was a canter in Castlebar.
Different day, same outcome.
Thankfully, everyone inside and out-
side the Mayo camp is fully aware that
this is the calm before the storm.
The serious business will begin for
James Horan’s charges on the August
Bank Holiday weekend but, for now, all
they can do is deal with the teams that
are lying down in front of them. Unfortunately, for all concerned, Roscommon failed to raise
are lying down in front of them.
Unfortunately, for all concerned,
Roscommon failed to raise a gallop and
filled the role of cannon-fodder a little too
willingly for anyone’s liking.
For the sixth time in a row Mayo ex-
tinguished their championship ambitions
and, in the process kept their own aim of
winning three Nestor Cups in-a-row
firmly on track.
Mayo also gave us another reminder
of their current rude state of health; 12
different players getting on the score-
sheet as they clocked up 15 points from
play.
James Horan also watched his team
keep their second consecutive clean
sheet of the campaign, although he did
claim to be disappointed with the team’s
efforts late on.
In truth, apart from a period during
the first quarter when the visitors won
more than their fair share of breaking
ball around midfield, and managed to
pick off well-worked points from Karol Mannion and Conor Devaney, this was one-way traffic. Man
pick off well-worked points from Karol
Mannion and Conor Devaney, this was
one-way traffic.
Man of the match Seamus O’Shea
and his colleagues around the middle
overpowered their Roscommon oppo-
nents for the majority of the afternoon,
and Mayo’s power, pace and experience
was far too hot for John Evans’ team to
handle.
Mayo were out of sight at half-time,
ahead by by 0-13 to 0-4, and they kept
the challengers at arm’s length through-
out an uneventful second half.
The only surprise really was that
Mayo didn’t fill their boots with goals on
the day that was in it.
Alan Dillon’s stylish flick was denied
by the crossbar in the first half while
Roscommon ‘keeper Darren O’Malley
made an excellent save to deny Richie
Feeney near the end.
In between, Mayo bossed the match,
treating the crowd of 19,867 people to an
bossed the match, treating the crowd of 19,867 people to an Roscommon captain Cathal Cregg leaps

Roscommon captain Cathal Cregg leaps into action. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL four to go exhibition of pass-and-move football. Their tackling, which

four to go

exhibition of pass-and-move football. Their tackling, which was as disci- plined as it was intense
exhibition of pass-and-move football.
Their tackling, which was as disci-
plined as it was intense and relentless,
was also a major feature of this tour de
force.
Early on it looked like Roscommon
might make a game of it as Donie Smith
and Karol Mannion kicked points and the
visitors loaded the middle of the field
with bodies.
However, Mayo soon got their second
wind and ten points in the twenty min-
utes before half-time saw the tide turn
completely.
Their half-back line of Lee Keegan,
Donal Vaughan and Colm Boyle, along
with captain Keith Higgins, caused most
of the problems for Roscommon while
Alan Dillon, Kevin McLoughlin and Alan
Freeman all had the beating of their
men.
Mayo outscored Roscommon by 0-7
to 0-2 during the third quarter and by that
stage some fans began leaving to try
quarter and by that stage some fans began leaving to try and beat the traffic. A
and beat the traffic. A point from impressive substitute Enda Smith and two frees from
and beat the traffic.
A point from impressive substitute
Enda Smith and two frees from Senan
Kilbride was all Roscommon could man-
age in the home straight while Mayo
added just one score from replacement
Darren Coen in the last quarter as the
contest petered out.
MAYO: D Clarke; T Cunniffe, G Caffer-
key, K Higgins (0-1); L Keegan (0-1), D
Vaughan (0-1), C Boyle (0-2); A
O’Shea (0-1), S O’Shea; K McLoughlin
(0-6, 5fs), R Feeney (0-1), C Carolan; E
Varley (0-1), A Freeman (0-3, 1f), A Dil-
lon (0-1).
Subs: K O’Malley for Clarke; A Moran
(0-1) for Carolan; S McHale for Caffer-
key; D Coen (0-2) for Varley; K Keane
for Higgins.
ROSCOMMON: D O’Malley; N Collins,
N Carty, S McDermott; D Keenan, N
Daly, C Daly; K Higgins (0-1), M
Finneran; C Devaney (0-1), K Mannion

Mayo skipper Andy Moran. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

(0-1); C Cregg; D Smith (0-1, 1f), S Kil- bride (0-3, 3fs), D O’Gara. Subs:
(0-1); C Cregg; D Smith (0-1, 1f), S Kil-
bride (0-3, 3fs), D O’Gara.
Subs: C Shine for D Smith; E Smith (0-
2) for O’Gara; D Shine for Cregg; D
Ward for Keenan; C Compton for De-
vaney.
REF: Michael Duffy (Sligo).
CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL Leave the ‘daft’ talk behind, says Horan By DECLAN RONEY

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL

Leave the ‘daft’ talk behind,

says Horan

By DECLAN RONEY

Media West Ireland

MAYO manager James Horan has urged their fans not to lose the run of themselves with 'daft' and 'crazy' talk after a great start to their championship. While Horan said he has no problem with Mayo being regarded as potential All- Ireland winners by the media, he pleaded with the Green and Red support not to pile too much pressure on his side. “I suppose (it's) the couple of hundred people

who have said to me it'll great to have Cillian and

Mickey Conroy back for August

that's crazy.

“Any of that kind of talk is just daft, it's natural, but it's daft in terms of our preparation. But thank- fully we have a lot of smart guys that just can see through that and are really focused on each session we have. “The Galway game was a start, it was a good kick off to our championship, but that's all it was. If you want to be successful you have to build on every single train- ing session, every single game that you play and that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to be better in certain areas than we were against Galway and see where that takes us,” said Horan. But after pouring cold water on the ambitions of the Mayo following, the two-time All-Star forward lauded his side, saying they are able to handle whatever expectations are thrown at them.

“We're an ambitious team, we're looking to be as good as we possibly can and we feel that we have a lot of ability. And that's okay, we'll take that. We're making progress and we're going the right way. “I just think we're a team with a lot of ability and a lot of ambi-

tion

but

that was then and this is now.”

Mayo manager James Horan urges his troops on.

Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL Evans acknowledges gulf in class By NOEL FALLON Roscommon Herald R

Evans acknowledges gulf in class

By NOEL FALLON

Roscommon Herald

R OSCOMMON manager John Evans emerged for a crestfallen dressing- room in the bowels of the main stand

in McHale Park to face the media and spoke matter-of-factly and honestly of the humiliation his team has just endured. “I’m absolutely very disappointed. We started off well and took the fight as much as we could to Mayo. We missed a score or two in the first 20 minutes but the differ- ence between the teams was the physically imposing power of Mayo. We were cleaned out of it in tackles, if you want to call it ‘tack-

led’ or ‘mauled’,” the manager commented. “The difference between the teams was the physical power of Mayo. I’m not laying this defeat at the doorstep of the referee but, at times, every decision seemed to go against us. There were 61 frees in the game. I was really annoyed in the first half

about the frees given against us. Did he think we were making illegal tackles? Mayo used their experience to win frees and they will use that later on in the championship,” he maintained. The Kerryman went on to speak about the impressive nature of the home side’s performance. “Mayo are three years down the road. They have a very strong panel, they worked very hard and were very impres- sive. They were bringing on guys and it was a case of who was going to have a shot at goal next,” Evans acknowledged. “I thought Conor Daly and Enda Smith did well. Donie Smith did well and was taken off because, tactically, we had to make a switch. Donie kept showing for the ball but Keith Higgins used his strength and experience to win the ball,” the Kerry native remarked. “The lads were more disappointed at half time than at the end. They put in such an effort in the first half but there was an

enormous gap between the teams. We hit seven wides and a few of those could have gone over but I’m not going to nit-pick. There was such a gulf between the teams,” he conceded. With Roscommon due to take their place in the qualifiers on July 6th, Evans explained that his side would have to lift morale for the next test. “We have to get back on the horse and make our young lads stronger. You can have height but in modern day football you need strength and mobility. Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle don’t have height but they have power, strength, powerful and pace which is beautiful to watch. “Mayo need to get a better test but they dispossess well and work hard for each other. None of the teams in Divisions Two, Three and Four have given the big teams a game, which is a bit worrying. Our lads have committed well. Most of them are quite young and they’re enjoying training,” Evans concluded.

Freeman makes his mark again

By DANIEL CAREY

Mayo News

A LAN Freeman takes a few steps forward, then stops, swallowed up by a swarm

of young Mayo fans seeking his autograph. He obliges all-comers,

then edges a little bit closer to the tunnel before the process is re- peated. It’s the most contained he’s been on McHale Park all day without a foul being committed. There weren’t many ‘aroo-cha- chas’ after Sunday’s Connacht semi-final; just contentment. But then, Mayo are a heavyweight among western flyweights, and let’s face it, the lions never fist- bumped each other after devour- ing the Christians. “Pleasing for the most part,” Freeman said of the performance.

“I think we were a bit slow,

maybe, for the first ten minutes, and maybe a little sloppy in the

last ten. But in between, we’d be

happy with that

played some good football.” So Roscommon came to dinner and, despite host John Prenty’s

hopes that the pair might arrange

a second date, it turns out

Roscommon were the dinner. Eaten without salt. And yet, it took a while for the main course to be served. Mayo were slow to start.

I think we

course to be served. Mayo were slow to start. I think we A Mayo supporter before

A Mayo supporter before their Connacht semi-final win over Roscom- mon. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

“I’m sure the stats will show that we were struggling on break- ing ball, and if you’re not winning breaking ball, you don’t have the

possession to do things with it,” said Freeman. “So I’d say we’ll look back at it, we’ll pick out what went wrong, and we’ll rectify it … As the half went on, I think we had eight different scorers, some- one said, so we were popping up from everywhere.” Freeman – ‘eager to play’, hav-

ing not featured much in the Na- tional League – had kicking frees on the back pitch beforehand. He put the practice to good use after being fouled in the 17th minute, and added a great individual

score following a signature catch soon after. He grabbed his third after Enda Varley was fouled to briefly create every cop’s favourite scoreline – 10-4. His best moment came in the second half – another super over- head ‘mark’ from Richie Feeney’s delivery. Fouled by Neil Collins, he went down, but – like Chum- bawamba – he got back up again, and a goal beckoned when referee Michael Duffy intervened. “Yeah,” he smiles, the word a long drawn-out ‘ye-aaaaaa-h’. “Bit disappointed with that all right, but he had blown it up … when I was fouled. I got up fairly quick, and when I picked up the

ball, I was clean through on goal, but he had already gave the free.” Mayo seem to be boxing with horseshoes in their gloves in their two outings to date. If Freeman is concerned that the one-sided na- ture of those games means they won’t be battle-hardened, he’s not admitting it. “I wouldn’t say so,” he replies when the point is put to him. “If you come to our training sessions here, they’d be fairly intense. No, it’s still a long year, and [we’ve] the Connacht final now, we’ll have to start building for that.” This Mayo seems a world away from the ‘best when least is ex- pected of them’ sides of history. Are they now comfortable wear- ing the favourite’s tag? “Well, to be honest, we don’t really talk about it,” says the Aghamore man. “We just look at our own performance after every game and we try to improve on the things we did bad game on game.” Regardless of the opposition, Mayo will be odds-on to triumph – “But we’ll just prepare like we did for every other game,” says Free- man, concluding an on-field inter- view conducted over a sea of small people thrusting pro- grammes and biros in his direc- tion. Then he takes another step for- ward.

London players, from left, Lorcan Mulvey, Tony Gaughan and Mark Gottche celebrate their side's victory

London players, from left, Lorcan Mulvey, Tony Gaughan and Mark Gottche celebrate their side's victory in Ruislip. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL

Mayo duo star as London shock Sligo By EDWIN McGREAL Mayo News M AYO ex-pats
Mayo duo star as
London shock Sligo
By EDWIN McGREAL Mayo News
M AYO ex-pats Tony Gaughan and Seán Kelly both starred as
London recorded a famous 1-12 to 0-14 victory over Sligo in
Ruislip. Doohoma native Gaughan started at wing-back and
his performance was enough to see the former Kiltane star picked
on the GAA’s Team of the Week, one of three London players to do
so.
Crossmolina native Seán Kelly came off the bench with ten min-
utes to go and made a hugely significant contribution, his point
from play proving vital as 14-men London held on grimly.
Both players also played for London in Ruislip in 2011 when Mayo
nearly came unstuck in the first year of James Horan’s manage-
ment. Late points from Trevor Mortimer and Kevin McLoughlin
brought the game to extra-time and denied London a famous vic-
tory. Mayo eventually proved too strong and won by three points,
but London’s season wasn’t in vain as they recorded their first vic-
tory in 34 years when they beat Fermanagh in the Qualifers.
That was nothing to compare to the scenes after victory on Sun-
day, the Exiles’ first victory in the Connacht Senior Football Cham-
pionship since they defeated Leitrim in 1977. Their reward for
trumping Sligo is a Connacht semi-final place against Leitrim, in
Carrick-on-Shannon, on June 23.

Exiles win in

London

1-12

Sligo

0-14

By BILL KIELY

Media West Ireland

L ONDON celebrated their first Con- nacht championship victory in 36 years in style after they claimed the

scalp of Kevin Walsh's Sligo at Ruislip. The victory over the Yeats men has given the Exiles a shot at reaching their first ever Connacht final, when they meet Leitrim at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada. After pushing Leitrim and Mayo oh so close in the last two years, Paul Coggins'

claimed the much needed victory despite missing a first half penalty and having a man sent off in the second half. Lorcan Mulvey goaled for London in the first-half and it proved to be the differ- ence between the sides at the final whistle as Sligo narrowly failed to complete a bold comeback. Ironically, Sligo native Padraic Mc- Goldrick missed a penalty in the 30th minute and his afternoon took a turn for the worse when he was dismissed midway through the second half but his team- mates saved his blushes when holding off

a late Sligo rally. The writing was on the wall for Kevin Walsh's Sligo team when they trailed by 0- 1 to 1-3 at the end of the opening 15 min- utes after former Cavan player Mulvey netted the game's only goal The sides traded points, with Marren sending over his and the Yeats County's second score, and London were 1-4 to 0-2

to the good after 22 minutes of play.

The crossbar then came to London's rescue to deny Pat Hughes a goal but a Mark Breheny free reduced the deficit to four points. There was high drama on the half hour mark when McGoldrick's penalty attempt was well saved by Philip Greene but Lon- don were happy to hold a 1-6 to 0-5 inter- val lead. The teams exchanged scores at the start of the second half before Cathal McGee extended their lead with a point in the 45th minute.

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL claim biggest years Sligo ousted from Connacht championship by brave

claim biggest years

Sligo ousted from Connacht

championship by brave London

London's Lorcan Mulvey in action against Ross Donovan. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
London's Lorcan Mulvey
in action against Ross
Donovan.
Photo: Stephen McCarthy /
SPORTSFILE

Galway native Mark Gottsche made it 1-10 to 0-6 as Sligo continued to struggle but the visitors were given a glimmer of hope when McGoldrick was sent off. Goalkeeper Greene came to his team's rescue once again with another vital save while, at the other end of the field, Hughes raised a white flag to cut London's lead to six points. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the scoreboard read 1-11 to 0-8 in Lon- don's favour with 14 minutes to go but a Tony Taylor point narrowed the gap to five entering the closing 10 minutes. Former All Star Charlie Harrison re- duced the deficit further with his second point of the day but Sean Kelly calmed

London nerves to restore their five point lead. Just a point separated the sides with just three minutes of additional time after Taylor (2), Niall Murphy and Harrison hit unanswered points and London hearts missed a beat when a strike by Hughes rebounded off the crossbar. But the Gods were with London and time ran out for Sligo and the Exiles ad- vance to a semi-final against Leitrim.

LONDON: D Traynor; K Lynam, S Cur- ran, D McGreevy; S Hannon, S Mulli- gan, T Gaughan; M Gottsche (0-4, 1'45, 1f), C Doyle; G Crowley, C McCallion, B Mitchell (0-1); P McGoldrick (0-1f), L

Mulvey (1-2), C McGee (0-3). Subs: B Collins for Lynam, P Geraghty for Mitchell, S Kelly (0-1) for McCallion, D Dunleavy for Doyle, E McConville for Mulligan.

SLIGO: P Greene; K Cawley, R Dono- van, N Ewing; C Harrison (0-3), A McIn- tyre, B Curran; S Gilmartin, T Taylor (0-3); B Egan, P Hughes (0-1), S Mc- Manus; M Breheny (0-4, 2f), A Marren (0-2), F Quinn. Subs: J Kilcullen for Gilmartin, N Mur- phy (0-1) for Egan.

REF: P O'Sullivan.

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL Walsh insists Sligo weren't complacent By BILL KIELY Media West

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL

CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL Walsh insists Sligo weren't complacent By BILL KIELY Media West

Walsh insists Sligo weren't complacent

By BILL KIELY

Media West Ireland

K EVIN Walsh has insisted that complacency wasn't a factor in Sligo's shock Connacht SFC

defeat to London. The Sligo manager, who came in for criticism for the manner of his side's defeat said: “We knew all along

it was going to be tough over here. “London have made huge strides over the last number of years and Ruislip is a hard place to travel to. But the game was there for us. “The luck of the gods wasn't with us - we hit the woodwork twice from open goal chances and didn't even get a point out of either of them. That came back to haunt us,” he said.

Collins sorry for outing native county

B RIAN Collins wishes London's Connacht breakthrough didn't come against his native Sligo. Collins came off the bench at Ruislip as the Exiles downed the Yeats County to claim their first provincial championship win in 36 years and he admits it was a day of mixed emotions for him and his family:

“It was great that we got the breakthrough but I suppose part of me regrets that it was my home county that took the fall,” he said. “I know that I'll always have the backing of my family but I know that their loyalties would have been a little bit di- vided. “They would have felt a bit torn but, of course, they would be delighted that we got the win and I know that they were behind me. “I'd be absolutely kicking myself if I hadn't been a part of this,” said Collins.

myself if I hadn't been a part of this,” said Collins. London manager Paul Coggins watches

London manager Paul Coggins watches on as his side upset Sligo. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

his side upset Sligo. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE London players take int he reality of

London players take int he reality of their win over Sligo in the Con- nacht football champi- onship. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

AROUND THE PROVINCE • AROUND THE PROVINCE • AROUND THE PROVINCE

Kearins set to be honoured

S LIGO legend Mickey Kearins is to be immor- talised in the form of a

statue. A committee has already started fund raising for the project which will see the erec- tion of a sculpture of the leg- endary Mickey Kearins at a prominent location in the county. Markievicz Park and the St. Pat's GAA club at Dromard are among the locations under con- sideration for the sculpture. The Dromard man, who re- cently celebrated his 70th birthday, played for Sligo for 18 years, winning a Connacht Championship medal in 1975 He represented Connacht on many occasions and won two Railway Cup medals. He also had the distinction of being Sligo's first ever All Star. During a brilliant playing ca-

reer, Mickey was consistently one of the top scorers in the country and was regarded as one of the greatest players never to win an All-Ireland medal. At club level, he won seven senior county championships and four county league medals. Now, a special committee has been set up to organise an appropriate honour for the great St. Pat's man. Said a spokesman for the committee: “We believe all gen- uine GAA followers would like to be associated with this proj- ect to honour Mickey. “The cost of the project will be substantial so we are invit- ing clubs, businesses and GAA followers from home and abroad to lend their support” A Bank account has been set up at AIB Bank, The Square, Tubbercurry (account number 28132043, sort code 93 72 74)

Tubbercurry (account number 28132043, sort code 93 72 74) During his refereeing days, Sligo legend Mickey

During his refereeing days, Sligo legend Mickey Kearins sends off Dublin's Keith Barr in the 1989 All-Ireland Football semi-final against Cork. Photo: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE.

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CONNACHT FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL A professional hit as Mayo destroy Galway Mayo 4-16 Galway 0-11

CONNACHT FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL

A professional hit as Mayo destroy Galway

Mayo

4-16

Galway

0-11

By MIKE FINNERTY

Mayo News

I

N hindsight there had been no

shortage of clues from the Mayo manager and some of his

senior players in the build up that

they felt a big performance was brewing. They told us that the team were wearing the favourite’s tag com- fortably, they made no secret of how well their preparation had

gone, and they said they would ‘do the testing’ against Galway. They were true to their word on all counts. On a warm and muggy day at Pearse Stadium, Mayo put an out- classed Galway to the sword ruth- lessly.

A margin of victory over our

to the sword ruth- lessly. A margin of victory over our GROUNDED: Galway forward Michael Meehan

GROUNDED: Galway forward Michael Meehan in action against Colm Boyle during Sunday's Connacht senior football defeat at Pearse Sta- dium. Photo: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Donal Vaughan set Mayo up for a half-time lead of 3-9 to 0-6 as their ‘pressing’ game and high-oc-

tane approach paid rich dividends. By that stage six different Mayo players had scored, the defending champions were rampant all over the field, and a combination of midfield supremacy and some out- rageous Galway individual errors had contributed to the three deci- sive goals. An utterly miserable afternoon

for the locals went from bad to worse in the early stages of the second half when their captain Gareth Bradshaw and midfielder Niall Coleman were both sent off on straight red cards, in the 37th and 51st minutes respectively, after getting involved in needless

off-the-ball scuffles. There was no shortage of posi- tives, talking points and highlights for Mayo from this exercise but none more-so than the return from long-term injuries of both Alan Dillon and Andy Moran. Dillon started and put in an ex- cellent shift, as always, linking play and clipping two sweet scores to help set the tone early on. Moran, meanwhile, made his eagerly-awaited return to the fray more than nine months after tear- ing his cruciate knee ligament against Down last August. He came on with ten minutes to go and scored a superb goal to mark his comeback that com- pleted the rout. All but four points of Mayo’s

T HERE were 61 minutes on the clock at Pearse Stadium when the Mayo crowd raised the roof to welcome Andy Moran

back to the main stage. He cantered onto the field in that trademark style of his, 41 weeks after leaving Croke Park on a stretcher having torn his cruciate knee ligament. After a long and lonely rehabilitation, these were the first tentative steps of his long-awaited comeback. Five minutes later and the 29 year-old was cele- brating his fourth championship goal for Mayo with reckless abandon, à la Eugene McHale in

1981.

His injured right knee had passed its first test.

The likes of Cillian O’Connor, Enda Varley and

total tally came from open play with ten different players getting on the scoresheet. Physically, mentally and tacti- cally there was only one team in it. Galway had no answer to Mayo’s physical power and pace, their well-rehearsed, relentless and dis- ciplined tackling, and their move- ment and awareness up front. The defence restricted Galway to three points from play (all in the opening half) and also kept a clean sheet thanks to a fine sec- ond half stop from David Clarke to deny the aforementioned Cum- mins. The entire sextet, plus substi- tute Shane McHale, worked well as a unit with the indefatigable Colm Boyle the pick of the bunch. Aidan and Seamus O’Shea fetched and carried all afternoon to totally eclipse Galway’s Cole- man and Ó Curraoin, while Cillian O’Connor orchestrated a lot of Mayo’s best moves. Kevin McLoughlin, Cathal Car- olan, Alan Freeman and Enda Var- ley (who shot 1-3 from play) also played pivotal roles as they has- sled, harried, and hunted in equal measure. Three successive Galway frees at the start of the second half from Michael Meehan (2) and Shane Walsh did hint at the prospect of a mini-revival, but the two sending-offs proved to be the final straw. In the final quarter Mayo picked off eye-catching scores from Lee Keegan, Cillian O’Connor, Enda Varley and debutant Darren Coen to gloss the final scoreline.

neighbours that hadn’t been achieved since 1907, a perform- ance that yielded 4-12 from open play, and allowed ten players to get on the scoresheet. This was a performance, and a scoreline, to make Roscommon,

and plenty of other teams, sit up and take notice.

A remarkably one-sided match,

on a very surreal day by the sea- side, was over long before the end as Mayo overpowered and out- gunned a Galway side whose limi- tations were cruelly exposed. First half goals from debutant Cathal Carolan, Enda Varley and

Moran takes a giant leap

Donal Vaughan rushed to share in their col- league’s moment. It was the perfect end to the perfect day for Mayo. “It was a great feeling for me personally, but the team performance is key,” explained Moran later. “Ed Coughlan [Mayo’s strength and condition- ing coach] and the medical team [Dr Sean Moffatt, Liam Moffatt, Joe Dawson and Martin McIntyre] have worked hard with me behind the scenes. “It’s been a long nine and a half months and it’s great to be “We’ve a strong panel and I’ve a fight on my hands over the next four weeks,” he added. “I want to make this team for the semi-final.” Moran’s return to action was also singled out for mention by James Horan as he surveyed the

By MIKE FINNERTY Mayo News

CONNACHT FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL

CONNACHT FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL However, the last word went to Andy Moran whose subsequent celebration capped

However, the last word went to Andy Moran whose subsequent celebration capped a mem- orable day for Team Mayo and their support- ers. Next up is Roscommon, and a whole differ- ent ball game.

MAYO: D Clarke; K Higgins, T Cunniffe,

G Cafferkey; L Keegan (0-1), C Boyle, D

Vaughan (1-1); A O'Shea, S O Shea; K McLoughlin, C O'Connor (0-6, 4fs), C Carolan (1-0); E Varley (1-3), A Freeman (0-1), A Dillon (0-2).

Subs: S McHale for Cafferkey (19); R Feeney (0-1) for Freeman; D Coen (0-1)

for Dillon (57); J Burke for Keegan (59);

A Moran (1-0) for Carolan (61).

GALWAY: M Breathnach; J Duane, C Forde, G Sweeney; G Bradshaw, K

Kelly, G Sice; N Coleman, F O Curraoin;

T Flynn, P Conroy (0-1), C Doherty; S

Armstrong (0-2, 2fs), M Meehan (0-5,

4fs, ’45), D Cummins (0-2).

Subs: S Walsh (0-1, 1f) for Doherty (23);

J Moore for Sweeney (h-t); G O'Donnell

for Armstrong (53); E Concannon for Sice (61); M Martin 5 for Meehan (62).

REF: Marty Duffy (Sligo).

Horan: “We’re a force to be reckoned with”

By MIKE FINNERTY

Mayo News

M AYO manager James Horan believes his team will be ‘a force to

be reckoned with’ if they can build on their record-breaking Connacht SFC quarter-final vic- tory over Galway. Speaking in the aftermath of the 17-points win at Pearse Sta- dium, Horan was also keen to pay tribute to the work-rate and tackling ability of his for- wards who he said had ‘set up’ the success with their turn- overs in the first half. “We were confident coming up, we were favourites, but we knew if we played like we could, we’d win,” the Mayo

boss told The Mayo News. “What set it up for us were the turnovers in the first half. Our forwards pinned them in and broke their spirit a little bit. “When Cathal Carolan got the [first] goal we knew we were in the ascendancy, and we drove on. “We had to come up here, and we had to prepare well, with a lot of injured players,” he added. “We did our stuff. If we work like that, and can build on that, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.” Elsewhere, Alan Dillon, a late inclusion in the starting fifteen, said that Mayo’s play- ers now believed that they “can compete with any team in the country”.

“It’s a win, but at the end of the day there’s no silverware in there,” said the Ballintubber veteran. “The last few games in the National League brought us along in leaps and bounds too, but James [Horan] and the lads will have our feet back on the ground by Tuesday night.” Meanwhile, Mayo’s odds on winning three Connacht Senior Football Championships in a row for the first time in more than sixty years have been slashed ahead of their semi- final meeting with Roscommon on Sunday, June 16 in Castle- bar. They are now the 2/9 favourites to retain the Nestor Cup.

They are now the 2/9 favourites to retain the Nestor Cup. OFF: Niall Coleman is shown

OFF: Niall Coleman is shown a red card by ref- eree Marty Duffy. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Mulholland left to pick up the pieces

By DECLAN ROONEY

Media West Ireland

A FTER watching his side's capitulation against a powerful Mayo outfit, Galway manager Alan Mulholland admitted there

was a gulf between the sides and that they would now have a difficult task regrouping for the qualifiers. Before hand Mulholland was sure his side were in good fettle for the Connacht champi- onship, but what transpired was a second suc- cessive defeat at Pearse Stadium in the championship. “We thought we were going to be competitive. We felt we were in good form and we thought we were going to put one over on Mayo. “But what we thought and what transpired are two totally different things and there defi- nitely was a gap between us,” he said. The former U-21 boss also said that the dis-

missals of Garreth Bradshaw and Niall Coleman could have been avoided, but he still thought they were a little hard don by. “I thought they were a little harsh. I think our lads were getting a little frustrated, I think the referee could have been cognisant of that. “However, Mayo were physically dominant and intimidating us all over the pitch, so it was ironic that we ended up with the two red cards. However, in saying that I don’t think we can be making any excuses really in that regard,” he added. Mulholland will now have to try pick up the pieces after this hammering and regroup for the qualifiers at the end of next month. “The lads will go back to their clubs now. I think we’ll need six weeks to get over this one. That will be our next goal. Galway haven’t done well in the qualifiers in the last number of years so this is going to be our goal now to try win one.”

landscape afterwards. “It was great to see him coming on. Nobody re- alises the amount of effort that guy put in to get back on the field. “Unfortunately, we’ll have to listen to him after scoring the goal,” smiled the Mayo manager. Enda Varley, who has soldiered with Moran for the last five seasons, was also keen to pay tribute to the team’s spiritual leader. “We’re delighted for him. You could see how we all wanted to celebrate with him after his goal. He’s going for my position as well but I hope he gets back on the pitch for the next game.” Now that Moran is back in harness, and that box has been ticked, the focus turns to ‘Game Two’ of Mayo’s summer against Roscommon on June 16. “John Evans is a good manager, I know a lot of those [Roscommon] guys, you all know where I’m

from, and the

granted,” said Moran purposefully. “We’re going to train hard for the next four weeks and we’re going to try our best to be as ready for that game as we were today.” It was a sentiment echoed by James Horan. “I can guarantee you that Roscommon will probably be happy with the margin of that victory today because they’ll probably use that as can- non-fodder to ‘rev up’ for us. But we’ll go away, as we always do, and get ready for that game.” The Mayo manager had just presided over his ninth victory in eleven championship games in three seasons. Given the performance, and the comprehensive nature of the final scoreline, it was little wonder he was keen to focus on the positive aspects of Mayo’s display.

We’ll be taking nothing for

“We were strong in the first half when we needed to be. Our focus and work-rate and inten- sity was really top-range which is always what you’re trying to do. “The turnovers the forwards got in the first half really drove Galway backwards and that was re- ally the building block of our success. “We’re happy with four goals any day,” he con- tinued when asked about Mayo ending their goal ‘drought’ in style. “We created chances today but there was a confidence leading up to some of those goals, we really went for them. “If you’ve a full-forward line that’s working hard, offensively and defensively, then things will happen. “Anytime we win up in Galway we’ll take it,” he said.

LEINSTER SENIOR HURLING SEMI-FINAL Galway edge past Laois Galway 2-17 Laois 1-13 By BILL KIELY

LEINSTER SENIOR HURLING SEMI-FINAL

Galway edge past Laois

Galway

2-17

Laois

1-13

By BILL KIELY

Media West Ireland

O NCE again, Galway hurlers had Joe Canning to thank as his terrific display kept the Tribesmen on

to thank as his terrific display kept the Tribesmen on pace with Laois and ultimately edged

pace with Laois and ultimately edged them clear in a battle at O'Moore Park. The Portumna attacker hit 11 points, but was instrumental in several key Gal- way's scores, which always seemed to ar- rive on the back of inspirational ac- tion for the home side. But the Galway man- agement will be delighted that Seamus Plunkett's side posed a stiffer test than expected, which gave the Tribesmen a much needed competitive outing ahead of their Leinster final with Kilkenny or Dublin. Lining out without regular defenders David Collins and Niall Donoghue be- cause of injury, Cunningham handed a re- turn to former captain Shane Kavanagh and the Kinvara man logged a solid dis- play. Also back in the fold for the first time since last year's All-Ireland final replay was James Skehill and the Cappy man will be happy with a positive return to action. But perhaps the returnee to catch most eyes was Aonghus Callanan, who hit the crucial goal in the closing stages to finally kill off the Laois challenge. And it was a significant challenge. The home side raced into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after tearing into the Tribesmen in the opening exchanges. But for Canning's ac- curacy from play and from dead balls Gal- way would have faced an even stepper test than their 0-8 to 0-7 half-time deficit. Laois continued to impress in the sec- ond-half and after Galway pulled clear with a flurry of points, Laois re-took the lead when Tommy Fitzgerald goaled in the 57th minute. But that score lifted Galway's dander and less than a minute later, after Can- ning's bullet shot was somehow saved by Eoin Reilly, Davy Glennon was on hand to finish the rebound. But still Laois refused to buckle, and

finish the rebound. But still Laois refused to buckle, and Tribesmen reach Leinster final after Glennon
finish the rebound. But still Laois refused to buckle, and Tribesmen reach Leinster final after Glennon
finish the rebound. But still Laois refused to buckle, and Tribesmen reach Leinster final after Glennon
finish the rebound. But still Laois refused to buckle, and Tribesmen reach Leinster final after Glennon
finish the rebound. But still Laois refused to buckle, and Tribesmen reach Leinster final after Glennon
finish the rebound. But still Laois refused to buckle, and Tribesmen reach Leinster final after Glennon

Tribesmen reach Leinster final after Glennon and Callanan goals

READY FOR BATTLE: Galway hurler David Burke recovered from an eye injury to take on
READY FOR BATTLE:
Galway hurler David
Burke recovered
from an eye injury
to take on Laois in
the Leinster
championship
semi-final at
O'Moore Park.
Photo: Stephen
McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
LEINSTER SENIOR HURLING SEMI-FINAL Cunningham happy to see Tribe tested By BILL KIELY Media West
LEINSTER SENIOR HURLING SEMI-FINAL Cunningham happy to see Tribe tested By BILL KIELY Media West
LEINSTER SENIOR HURLING SEMI-FINAL
Cunningham
happy to see
Tribe tested
By BILL KIELY
Media West Ireland
G ALWAY hurling manager An-
thony Cunningham was de-
lighted to see his side put to the
pin of their collar against Laois as they
qualified for the Leinster hurling final.
“We were a bit rusty. We would be
happy with how we fin-
ished, but there is a lot of
room for improvement.
Laois were very
good, very gutsy,
they took some great
scores.
“We were expect-
ing that, they've been
going very well this
year,” said Cunningham,
who's side moved a step closer
to defending their Leinster
crown.
And after getting their
campaign under way with a
victory, Cunningham admit-
ted he was thrilled to see the
game begin to flourish in the
O'Moore county once more.
“It's great for hurling to
see Laois back playing like that. That game will
sharpen us up a lot. I'd like to congratulate Laois
on the year they are after having. Long may it
continue.
“There's no point being in the Leinster cham-
pionship unless you have the ambition to go
on to win it. That's our aim: one game at a
time to try to retain the Leinster title,2 he
said.

LEADING FROM THE BACK:

Galway captain Fergal Moore pre- pares to clear under pressure from John Brophy at O'Moore Park. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

after Matthew Whelan and Zane Keenan pointed, the tribesmen needed another goal to settle them. And six minutes from time Callanan stepped forward and Reilly was unable to stop his shot's progress and Galway sur- vived. This was far for the cake-walk that many expected, but with victory secured, the Galway management will be happy to see their side severely tested. But they still have much to think about ahead of the Le- inster final in three week's time, especially how they can mastermind victory in the

provincial decider for a second year in a row.

SCORERS GALWAY: J Canning 0- 11(7fs); D Glennon, A Callanan 1-0 each; D Burke, D Hayes 0-2 each; N

Burke, J Regan 0-1. LAOIS: M Whelan 0-5(4fs); Z Keenan 0-

3; T Fitzgerald 1-0; S Maher 0-2(1f); J

Fitzpatrick, W Hyland, B Dunne 0-1 each

GALWAY: J Skehill; F Moore, K Hynes,

S Kavanagh; A Harte, J Coen, J

Cooney; I Tannian, A Smith; D Burke, N

Burke, C Donnellan; D Glennon, C Cooney, J Canning. Subs: D Hayes for Donnellan (29); J Regan for Smith (h-t); A Callanan for N Burke (53); J Grealish for D Burke (67).

LAOIS: E Reilly; B Stapleton, D Maher, JA Delaney; J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, G Burke; B Dunne, J Walsh; W Hyland, Z Keenan, S Maher; J Brophy, T Fitzger- ald, C Healy. Subs: B Duggan for Whelan (27-29); C Dunne for Burke (46); N Foyle for Bro- phy (49).

ALL-IRELAND U-21 FINAL U-21s triumph Galway's top scorers Shane Walsh 0-28 (15f) Ian Burke 0-11

ALL-IRELAND U-21 FINAL

U-21s triumph
U-21s triumph

Galway's top scorers

Shane Walsh

0-28

(15f)

Ian Burke

0-11

Cathal Mulryan

1-7

Sean Moran

2-3

Garry Kelly

0-6

Damien Comer

1-3

Adrian Varley

0-4

Paul Varley

0-3

Tom Flynn

1-0

David Cunnane

0-1

Shane Maughan

0-1

Padraig Cunningham 0-1

Fiontán Ó Curraoin Daithí Burke

0-1

0-1

Total:

5-70

Galway youngsters crowned All-Ireland champions

Galway

1-14

Cork

1-11

By JOHN FALLON

Media West Ireland

E VERY few years an underage Gal- way team comes along and captures an All-Ireland title with such aplomb

that before they have left the field with the cup the argument is raging as to why this success is not translated into senior glory. The frequency of these underage wins is increasing. Galway, having lifted the U- 21 title just once in the first 38 years of the competition, have now won three of the last nine, including two of the last three. A minor All-Ireland in 2007 further exposes the lack of senior success. But it is the quality of the performance and the strike rate once they escape Con- nacht which is startling with Galway under- age teams. The Tribesmen have only won the Connacht U-21 championship four times in the past 12 years — each time they have gone on and won the All-Ireland.

Route to the U-21 title

Galway 1-20 0-7 Sligo, Connacht quarter-final

Galway 0-9 0-7 Mayo, Connacht semi-final

Galway 1-17 2-11 Roscommon, Connacht final

Galway 2-10 2-5 Kildare, All-Ireland semi-final

Galway 1-14 1-11 Cork, All-Ireland final

Football is a simple game. Get a goal- keeper — or two in Galway’s case on Sat- urday night in Limerick — who is safe under the high ball and can deliver goods kick-outs, a set of defenders who man- mark from the front, tackle well and don’t give away frees, a couple of midfielders who can win kick-outs and forwards whose first instinct is to shoot for scores them- selves. Galway had that blend in the wind and rain at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday and the end result was that a fancied Cork team never led once and who only rallied when they fell nine points behind in the second- half of an entertaining clash. Cork, the most prolific winners of the competition who were bidding for their 12th title, trailed by four points at the break having played against the wind and two points from their best player Brian Hurley within 90 seconds of the restart gave them great hope. Manager John Cleary, who has tasted All-Ireland success at this grade as a player, selector and man- ager, said Galway’s ability to make the most of chances was the pri- mary difference between the sides. “We had a lot of opportunities, Gal- way kicked some very spectacular scores, but looking at the stats at half-time I think we had 14 opportu- nities around the goal but we only took five. They had 11 and took

nine. We didn’t take our scores” said Cleary. Galway opened up a 0-5 to 0-1 lead with the wind after 19 minutes with Ian Burke, Cathal Mulryan and Shane Walsh picking off some great scores, while full-for- ward Adrian Varley was an excellent target- man. Hurley presented the biggest threat to a dominant Galway defence and with Fiontán Ó Curraoin and Tom Flynn on top in the middle, they led by 0-8 to 0-3 four minutes from the break before Dan MacEoin

w

ALL-IRELAND U-21 FINAL
ALL-IRELAND U-21 FINAL

picked off a couple of points to leave it 0-9 to 0-5 at the break. Two quickfire points from Hurley halved the lead inside a minute and a half but Gal- way responded with another point from Burke before they surged ahead with a goal from Damien Comer after taking a pass from Varley to lead by 1-14 to 0-8 after 42 minutes. They did not score again. Cork eventu- ally responded with Hurley firing home an excellent goal after 44 minutes and they got the margin down to a goal but did not score for the remaining 13 minutes as the Galway defence again took control with a masterful display.

SCORERS GALWAY: S Walsh (4f) & I Burke 0-4 each, C Mulryan 0-3, D Comer 1-0, A Varley, P Varley & B Cunnane 0-1 each. CORK: B Hurley 1-4 (1f), D MacEoin 0-4 (3f), D Ca- halane (1'45), C Vaughan & A Cadagon 0-1 each. GALWAY: T Healy (J Healy 49); E Walsh, J Shaughnessy, B Cunnane (P Ezergalis 54); M Loughnane, D Burke, P Varley; T Flynn, F Ó Cur- raoin; C Mulryan, S Moran (C Rabbitte 47), D Comer; S Walsh, A Varley (G Kelly 59), I Burke (S Maughan 59). CORK: D Hanrahan; C Dorman, D Cahalane, A Cronin, B O'Driscoll, T Tansey, J Wall (TJ Brosnan 42); S Kiely (J Burns 36), I Maguire; A Cadagon (K Hallissey 57), M Sugrue (C Vaughan 39), J O'Rourke; D MacEoin, B Hurley, L Connolly. REF: David Gough (Meath).

Ó Curraoin over the moon

By JOHN FALLON

Media West Ireland

G ALWAY U-21

skipper and

man-of-the-

match Fiontán Ó Cur- raoin, one of four who also won medals two years ago, said this squad wanted to make their own mark and he said it was an honour to captain such a group, 19 of hom are underage again

next year. “I had a few pictures of the team two years ago and I took it down at the start of this year, just to focus on this year. It was a new team with a completely new iden- tity. I wanted to keep the head down and drive on for the lads,” said the man of the match. But Cork's comeback concerned him somewhat, until Damien Comer's splendid goal eased Gal- way's worries. “Yeah it wasn’t looking good. We knew that was going to be a key stage in the game and thank- fully Damo came up with the goal. That really set the foundation for the second half. We saw Brian Hur-

ley get a fantastic goal for Cork but we keep the head down and drove on to it. All focus now turns to the senior ranks for the Micheál Breathnach's man, who is sure to play a key role against Mayo in two weekend's time. “It is two weeks now so the heads are going to be down again. We are looking forward to Mayo, hopefully this success can start transferring into senior. “It is definitely a boost for the seniors to see the U-21 winning an All-Ireland. But for myself and the rest of the lads that will be in- volved it is about time now that we started to push on,” he said.

Flynn happy with style of play

By JOHN FALLON Media West Ireland

G ALWAY U-21 manager Alan Flynn, was

delighted to lead his side to the All-

Ireland title, but was especially they