Matthew Tierney celebrates scoring the second goal with Damien Comer. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Matthew Tierney hits 2-7 as Galway secure Connacht title

Padraic Joyce’s side were always in control against Sligo as they retained the JJ Nestor Cup.

Galway 2-20

Sligo 0-12


Billy Coss reports from MacHale Park, Castlebar

A HAUL OF 2-7 from Matthew Tierney paved the way for Galway to overcome Sligo and collect the Connacht Senior Football Championship title in Castlebar this afternoon.

Padraic Joyce’s side came in as the shortest of short-priced favourites and after a slow start were always in control as they retained the JJ Nestor Cup for the first time in two decades.

The Yeats County kicked three of the game’s opening four points through Pat Spillane, Seán Carrabine and Darragh Cummins before Galway asserted control.

Ian Burke added to Dylan McHugh’s earlier point before a magnificent move saw John Daly and Damien Comer combine to set up Tierney to net his first goal on 10 minutes.

Cillian McDaid, Shane Walsh and Tierney points bolstered Galway’s tally and though Niall Murphy ended a 16-minute scoreless spell for Sligo, a second goal put last year’s All-Ireland finalists on their way.

Comer was the architect, winning a turnover ahead of Cian Lally and sensing that the goal opportunity was on, played a perfect pass for Tierney to dance around Sligo ‘keeper Daniel Lyons and finish.

sean-kelly-lifts-the-trophy Galway captain Sean Kelly lifts the trophy. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Trailing 2-5 to 0-4, that effectively put Sligo past the point of no return with just 23 minutes on the clock and though Galway were reduced to 14 when Burke was black-carded in injury-time, Galway held a 2-7 to 0-5 advantage after playing into the elements.

The Tribesmen outscored Sligo by four points to two while operating a man light and went to their bench early with Shane Walsh, Rob Finnerty and Cillian McDaid all withdrawn prior to the three-quarter mark.

Carrabine and Cummins points for Sligo cut the gap back to eight, but with Tierney in top form shooting 2-5 from open play and Johnny Heaney, Cathal Sweeney, Seán Kelly, Peter Cooke and Tomo Culhane all keeping the scoreboard ticking over, Galway eased to a 14-point win and joined Mayo on top of the west’s roll of honour.

Scorers for Galway: Matthew Tierney 2-7 (0-1f, 0-1 45), Ian Burke 0-2, Johnny Heaney 0-2, Cathal Sweeney 0-2, Shane Walsh 0-2 (0-2f), Dylan McHugh 0-1, Seán Kelly 0-1, Peter Cooke 0-1, Tomo Culhane 0-1.

Scorers for Sligo: Seán Carrabine 0-4 (0-2f), Niall Murphy 0-3 (0-1f, 0-1 45), Darragh Cummins 0-3, Pat Spillane 0-1, Paul Kilcoyne 0-1.



1. Connor Gleeson (Dunmore MacHales)

2. Johnny McGrath (Caherlistrane) 3. Seán Kelly (Maigh Cuilinn) 4. Jack Glynn (Claregalway)

5. Dylan McHugh (Corofin) 6. John Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough) 7. Cillian McDaid (Monivea-Abbey)

12. Peter Cooke (Maigh Cuilinn) 10. Matthew Tierney (Oughterard)

9. John Maher (Salthill-Knocknacarra) 15. Shane Walsh (Kilmacud Crokes) 11. Johnny Heaney (Killannin)

23. Rob Finnerty (Salthill-Knocknacarra) 13. Ian Burke (Corofin) 14. Damien Comer (Annaghdown).


24. Cathal Sweeney (Salthill-Knocknacarra) for Walsh (41)

25. Dessie Conneely (Maigh Cuilinn) for Finnerty (46)

19. Cian Hernon (Barna) for McDaid (48)

26. Tomo Culhane (Salthill-Knocknacarra) for Comer (60)

20. Paul Kelly (Maigh Cuilinn) for Maher (62)



1. Daniel Lyons (Shamrock Gaels)

3. Eddie McGuinness (Tubbercurry) 4. Nathan Mullen (Coolaney-Mullinabreena) 2. Evan Lyons (Shamrock Gaels)

6. Paul McNamara (St. John’s) 5. Brian Cox (Calry St. Joseph’s) 18. Darragh Cummins (St. Vincent’s)

8. Cian Lally (Drumcliffe Rosses Point) 9. Paul Kilcoyne (St Mary’s)

12. Finnian Cawley (St. Farnan’s) 13. Pat Spillane (St. Judes) 7. Luke Towey (St. Molaise Gaels)

10. Keelan Cawley (Coolera-Strandhill) 11. Seán Carrabine (Castleconnor) 15. Niall Murphy (Coolera-Strandhill).


26. Mikey Gordon (Easkey) for Keelan Cawley (41)

21. Gerard O’Kelly Lynch (St. Mary’s) for Lally (49)

14. Patrick O’Connor (St. Farnan’s) for Spillane (49)

25. Mark Walsh (Owenmore Gaels) for Cummins (53)

17. Alan Reilly (Curry) for Finnian Cawley (65)


Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)

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