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A first senior football win for Galway in Croke Park since 2001 as they defeat Kildare

Kevin Walsh’s side finished strongly in today’s Division 2 league final.

Kildare's Fionn Dowling and Galway's Thomas Flynn battle for possession.
Kildare's Fionn Dowling and Galway's Thomas Flynn battle for possession.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Galway 0-18
Kildare 0-16

Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park

GALWAY ENDED THEIR long and frustrating barren run in Croke Park this afternoon as they produced a storming finish to claim the Allianz Division 2 football league title with victory over Kildare.

Trailing  by 0-14 to 0-11 with 55 minutes on the clock, Galway unleashed a brilliant closing display.

Midfielder Paul Conroy was man-of-the-match while there was important scoring contributions on the day from Sean Armstrong, Shane Walsh, substitute Michael Daly, Johnny Heaney and captain Gary O’Donnell.

The teams had been tied at 0-6 apiece at the interval but Kildare took over in the third quarter with Niall Kelly in exceptional form and Kevin Feely’s influence growing as the match progressed.

But Kevin Walsh saw his side time their run to the finish line well as they ran out victors over Kildare for the second time in the space of seven days.

Galway went in that break level but must have wondered how they had not forged ahead. They struck eight first-half wides, dropped another point attempt short and hit the post with another kick.

In addition Johnny Heaney saw his close-range shot for goal in the 26th minute beaten away by Kildare netminder Mark Donnellan. Kildare lived off scraps but were more economical and they turned on the style after half-time.

After the 45th minute, Kildare hit four points uninterrupted and indeed between the 45th and 54th minutes, they kicked seven of the nine points registered in the game.

Fergal Conway and Eamonn Brannigan Kildare's Fergal Conway and Galway's Eamonn Brannigan. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh, Sean Armstrong (0-1f) 0-3 each, Johnny Heaney, Michael Daly, Gary O’Donnell, Paul Conroy 0-2 each, Eamonn Brannigan, Gareth Bradshaw, Liam Silke, Gary Sice (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: Niall Kelly 0-5, Kevin Feely 0-4 (0-3f), Tommy Moolick, Mark Donnellan (0-1f), David Hyland, Keith Cribbin, Fergal Conway, Fionn Dowling, Cathal McNally 0-1 each.

Galway

1. Rory Lavelle (Renvyle)

4. Cathal Sweeney (Killannin)
25. Declan Kyne (Clonbur)
2. David Wynne (Moycullen)

5. Gary O’Donnell (Tuam Stars)
6. Michael Farragher (Corofin)
17. Liam Silke (Corofin)

8. Paul Conroy (St James’)
9. Fiontán Ó Curraoin (Micheál Breathnach)

7. Johnny Heaney (Killannin)
12. Eamonn Brannigan (St Michael’s)
10. Thomas Flynn (Athenry)

13. Gary Sice (Corofin)
15. Sean Armstrong (Salthill-Knocknacarra)
11. Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin-Clonberne)

Subs

24. Micheal Lundy (Corofin) for Sice (53)
20. Gareth Bradshaw (Moycullen) for Farragher (56)
23. Michael Daly (Mountbellew-Moyclough) for Brannigan (58)
3. Damien Comer (Annaghdown) for Armstrong (64)
26. Ian Burke (Corofin) for Walsh (68)

Kildare

1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)
4. Ollie Lyons (Celbridge)
2. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge)
3. David Hyland (Athy)

5. Johnny Byrne (Allenwood)
6. Eoin Doyle (Naas – captain)
7. Keith Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

8. Kevin Feely (Athy)
9. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)

10. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
11. Fionn Dowling (Suncroft)
12. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

15. Ben McCormack (Sarsfields)
14. Niall Kelly (Athy)
13. Chris Healy (Two Mile House)

Subs

19. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge) for Paul Cribbin (inj) (39)
18. David Slattery (Confey) for McCormack (inj) (43)
17. Peter Kelly (Two Mile House) for Keith Cribbin (65)
21. Eamonn Callaghan (Naas) for Dowling (65)

Referee: Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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