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Cooney's crucial goal leads unconvincing Galway to six-point win over Carlow

Without Joe Canning, the Tribesmen got off to a winning start at Pearse Stadium.

Galway's Conor Cooney in action against Paul Doyle.
Galway's Conor Cooney in action against Paul Doyle.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Galway 1-24
Carlow 1-18

Declan Rooney reports from Pearse Stadium

GALWAY WERE LESS than convincing as Conor Cooney’s goal early in the second-half helped them past a classy Carlow display in their Round 1 Leinster hurling championship clash at Pearse Stadium.

Galway led by six points at half time in front of 6,097 spectators, but inspired by Martin Kavanagh, Carlow closed to within three points only for Galway to close out the win.

Galway shot 13 wides on a disappointing outing for the home side, while Colm Bonnar’s side were very efficient in front of goal and only missed four of their shots at the target.

Played on the splendid Pearse Stadium surface, Carlow showed they were worthy of their spot in the Leinster championship as points from Séamus Murphy and Martin Kavanagh gave them a 0-2 to 0-0 lead after five minutes.

Without Joe Canning to call on the free taking duties fell to Niall Burke, and although he missed his first attempt, he converted the next four frees before the interval, including a seventh-minute point after a foul on Brian Concannon.

Davy Glennon and Conor Whelan were lively in the full-forward line for Galway and they weighed in with a point each to put Galway ahead, but by the 11th minute Carlow had reclaimed the advantage when Martin Kavanagh added a point and a free.

After 15 minutes the teams were level at 0-5 each, but from there to the break Galway began to work their way through the gears. Concannon was causing a lot of trouble as he dropped deep from his wing-forward berth, while Cathal Mannion became a force around midfield, where he started alongside David Burke.

Davey Glennon with Paul Doyle Galway's Davey Glennon with Paul Doyle of Carlow. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Conor Cooney finished the first-half with three points from play, while Galway hit eight of the nine points between the 16th and 31st minutes to take control, although Carlow finished with a bang to only trail 0-14 to 0-8 at the interval.

A six-point lead was fitting for the home side, but Carlow caused some trouble for the Galway full-back line and were handed a couple of glimpses at goal, none of which were availed of before half-time.

It was a different story on the resumption though. Twenty seconds into the half Conor Cooney hit the net from a tight angle, and two minutes later Carlow struck back when Chris Nolan finished well after Martin Kavanagh’s pass found him in space. Kavanagh had also landed a free in between those two goals, which meant Carlow only trailed by five points.

Carlow kept in touch thanks to points from Jack Kavanagh and Seamus Murphy, while Martin Kavanagh fired his next three points from open play, to cut Galway’s lead to three points with 16 minutes remaining.

With Martin Kavanagh in terrific form, Galway needed a couple of Conor Whelan scores to keep them at arm’s length, and a couple of Niall Burke frees finished the job.

Niall Burke with John Michael Nolan Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Scorers for Galway: C Cooney 1-3, N Burke 0-6 (6f), C Whelan 0-4, C Mannion 0-3, J Flynn 0-3, B Concannon 0-1, D Burke 0-1, P Mannion 0-1, J Grealish 0-1, D Glennon 0-1.

Scorers for Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-11 (7f), C Nolan 1-2, S Murphy 0-2, JM Nolan 0-1, J Doyle 0-1, J Kavanagh 0-1.image

Galway

1. Colm Callanan (Kinvara)

2. Jack Grealish (Gort)
3. Ronan Burke (Turloughmore)
4. Aidan Harte (Gort)

5. Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
6. Gearóid McInerney (Oranmore/Maree)
7. Kevin Hussey (Turloughmore)

8. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
9. David Burke (St Thomas) (c)

10. Niall Burke (Oranmore/Maree)
11. Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins)
12. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)

13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
14. Conor Cooney (St Thomas)
15. Davy Glennon (Mullagh)

Subs

20. Johnny Coen (Loughrea) for Glennon (50)
18. Paul Killeen (Tynagh Abbey Duniry) for R Burke (54)
17. John Hanbury (Rahoon Newcastle) for Hussey (54)
19. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore) for Grealish (67).

Carlow

1. Brian Tracey (Naomh Eoin)

2. Kevin McDonald (Mount Leinster Rangers)
3. Paul Doyle (St Mullins)
4. Michael Doyle (Mount Leinster Rangers)

5. Eoin Nolan (Naomh Eoin)
6. David English (Ballinkillen)
7. Richard Coady (Mount Leinster Rangers) (jc)

8. Jack Kavanagh (St Mullins)
9. Seán Whelan (Ballinkillen)

10. John Michael Nolan (Naomh Eoin)
13. James Doyle (St Mullins)
12. Edward Byrne (Mount Leinster Rangers) (jc)

11. Martin Kavanagh (St Mullins)
14. Séamus Murphy (St Mullins)
15. Chris Nolan (Mount Leinster Rangers)

Subs

19. Diarmuid Byrne (Mount Leinster Rangers) for Whelan (50)
26. Ted Joyce (Mount Leinster Rangers) for JM Nolan (63)
25. Ross Smithers (Naomh Eoin) for J Kavanagh (66)
23. Jon Nolan (Mount Leinster Rangers) for E Byrne (67).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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