A second half comeback from Galway saw them turn a seven point deficit into a two point win over Longford in the Connacht Minor League Round 1 clash at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last.
Longford were in control for much of the game but the final 10 minutes belonged to Galway and in particular their influential full-forward Eoin McCormack.
McCormack finished with a personal tally of 1-5 and was involved in a lot of Galway’s play. Substitutions made by the visitors after the break made a huge difference on the game and turned it in their advantage.
It was Galway who struck early with a goal from full-forward McCormack in the 4th minute but Longford then found their stride. A free from Martin Cassidy registered their first score in the 6th minute. David McGivney followed up with a great long range point in the 8th minute before a neat score from Larry Moran in the 11th minute levelled the game.
McCormack put Galway ahead again three minutes later with a free but Longford replied with 1-1 in the space of one minute; Cassidy with a point from play and then a great goal from the impressive full-forward Moran.
Galway could have grabbed a second goal just before the break; Stephen Lawless played a a ball across goal to corner-forward Niall Lee who was on the edge of the square but the strong wind dragged the ball wide. In additional time Longford added to their score with another free from Cassidy after Moran had been fouled to lead by 1-5 to 1-1 at the break.
Galway registered the first score of the second half with a point from Niall Lee. Then Longford took a grip on the game and played some lovely football. In the 34th minute they got their second goal; Shane Kenny with the pass and Paddy Kiernan with the finish. Cassidy was on target one minute later with a free to stretch their lead to seven points.
Galway could only reply with a Jason Lyons free but Longford responded with a fine score from McGivney. It was no coincidence that the changes made by Galway resulted in their fightback. A point from Lyons and two from McCormack (one free) cut Longford’s lead to four points.
Cassidy was on the mark with another free in the 48th minute but that was to be Longford’s last score of the game as Galway owned the final 10 minutes; scoring 1-4 without reply. McCormack on the mark in the 51st minute before substitute Dylan Thornton got his side’s second goal in the 53rd minute. McCormack, Michael Daly and Thornton (free) followed up with the points to clinch a narrow win for Galway.
LONGFORD: Luke Meehan (Northern Gaels); Dessie Reynolds (Clonbroney), Jason Earley (Northern Gaels), Ronan Sweeney (Clonguish Og); Adrian Duffy (Longford Slashers), Aidan McElligott (Northern Gaels), Mattie Gorman (Granard/Ballymore); Fergal Keenan (Moydow Harpers Og ), Patrick Farrell (Carrick Sarsfields); David McGivney (Northern Gaels, 0-2), Paddy Kiernan (Killoe Og, 1-0), Shane Kenny (Shannon Gaels); Martin Cassidy (St. Vincent’s, 0-5, 2f), Larry Moran (Killoe Og, 1-1), Nigel Rabbitte (Northern Gaels).
Subs used:- Cormac Hughes (St. Colmcille’s) for J Earley (37 mins); Rian Brady (Northern Gaels) for S Kenny (40 mins); Fergal Sheridan (St. Colmcille’s) for M Gorman (59 mins).
GALWAY: Peter Healy; Cormac O’Connor, Darren Moran, Luke Burke; Brian Shaughnessy, Jack Parsons, John Rathigan; Stephen Lawless, Richard Fahy; Michael Daly (0-1), Eamonn Brannigan, Jason Lyons (0-2, 1f ); Cormac Rafferty, Eoin McCormack (1-5, 2f), Niall Lee (0-1).
Subs used:- Dylan Thornton (1-1,1f) for C Rafferty (37 mins); Enda Tierney for S Lawless (39 mins); Padraic Cunningham for E Brannigan (44 mins), Noel Cotton for N Lee (47 mins).
Referee: Derek Moran (Leitrim).