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Penalties needed to separate Connacht rivals but Galway U20 footballers progress to last four

The Tribesmen edged past Mayo at MacHale Park.

Matthew Tierney top-scored for Galway (file pic).
Matthew Tierney top-scored for Galway (file pic).
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Mayo 0-14

Galway 1-11

(Galway 3-2 on penalties)

By Colm Gannon in MacHale Park

IT TOOK PENALTIES to separate these old rivals in the Connacht U20 football championship preliminary round in Castlebar.

Galway nailed their first three penalties through Matthew Tierney, Tony Gill and Ryan Monaghan with Aaron McDonnell the only one of the first three Mayo penalty takers to hit the back of the net with Pat Lambert and Kuba Callaghan missing their attempts.

McDara Geragthty missed Galway’s fourth spot kick with Adam Barrett convening his to give Mayo a chance if Galway goalkeeper Conor Flaherty didn’t find the target — and the Claregalway man pulled his effort wide leaving it up to Oisin Mullin to try and send the game into sudden death penalties with Mayo’s fifth effort — but Flaherty made up for his miss from the spot to save Mullin’s penalty and send Galway into the semi-finals 3-2 on spot kicks.

Mayo played with the aid of a gale blowing down into the Bacon Factory end of MacHale Park in the first half and went in leading by six points at the break on a score of 0-8 to 0-2.

Paul Towey was their top marksman in the opening half-an-hour kicking four points, two of them fine long range efforts from play with the aid of the breeze.

Galway struggled to get out of defence early on though they did manage to land two scores from their limited jaunts into the Mayo defence with Nathan Grainger and Tony Gill raising the white flag.

Frank Irwin and Graniger exchanges scores inside the opening ten minutes before Mayo reeled off five points on the bounce with Towey kicking two of them and Irwin, Paddy Goldrick and mark from James Jennings completing the run before Gill got Galway’s second score after a probing run.

The scoring was wrapped up in the half by a brace of Towey points with his second point in that run coming from a close range free in injury time.

Galway had the aid of the wind in the second half and they started eating into the Mayo lead from the get-go, Gill and Tomo Culhane kicked points inside the first five minutes, that was followed by scores from Matthew Tierney and Matthew Cooley to cut the gap to two points – before Paul Towey landed two points for Mayo to stretch their lead out to 0-10 to 0-6, but they wouldn’t score for the rest of normal time and Galway were coming hunting.

Ryan Monaghan pointed just after coming on, then Tierney landed a second pointed free for his side to put just two between he sides.

With three minutes of normal time it looked like Galway were dealt a fatal blow when Culhane was sent off for second yellow card – but they kept plugging and Gill pointed from long range and then Cathal Sweeney held his nerve under pressure two minutes into injury time to level the game up and sent it to extra-time.

Galway played kept the wind in first half of extra time and used it to their advantage going in leading by two points at the break with Matthew Tierney’s goal the vital score in that ten minutes of play.

Mayo didn’t knew they would have a chance in the second half with the gale at their backs and Paul Towey kicked his ninth point of the day to level it up with three minutes left on the clock and send the game to penalties.

Scorers for Mayo: Paul Towey (0-9, 3f), Frank Irwin (0-2 1f), Paddy Goldrick (0-1), Ciaran Gavin (0-1, 1f), James Jenings (0-1, 1M)

Scorers for Galway: Matthew Tierney (1-2, 2f), Tony Gill (0-3), Ryan Monaghan (0-2), Cathal Sweeney (0-1), Nathan Grainger (0-1), Tomo Culhane (0-1), Matthew Cooley (0-1)


1. Jamie McNicholas (Kiltimagh)

2. Jack Coyne (Ballyhaunis)
3. David McBrien (Ballaghaderreen)
4. Luke Tunney (Westport)

5. Aaron McDonnell (Ballinrobe)
6. Rory Brickenden (Westport)
7. Enda Hession (Garrymore)

8. Oisin Mullin (Kilmaine)
9. Jack Carney (Kilmeena)

10. Ciaran Gavin (Ballintubber)
11. Frank Irwin (Ballina Stephenites)
12. Paddy Goldbrick (Charlestown)

13. James Jennings (Mayo Gaels)
14. Mark Moran (Westport)
15. Paul Towey (Charlestown)


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17. Kuba Callaghan (Ballaghaderreen) for Irwin
20. Jack Mahon (Charlestown) for Jennings
21. Pat Lambert (Westport) for Moran
18. Adam Barrett (Kilmaine) for Gavin
24. Patrick Chambers (Burrishoole) for Brickenden


1. Conor Flaherty (Claregalway)

2. Jonathan McGrath (Caherlistrane)
3. Seán Fitzgerald (Baran)
4. Jack Glynn (Claregalway)

5. Cian Monahan (Oughterard)
6. Tony Gill (Corofin)
7. Cathal Sweeney (Salthill-Knocknacara)

8. Conor Raftery (Glenamaddy)
9. James McLaughlin (Moycullen)

10. Alan Greene (Oranmore-Maree)
11. Matthew Tierney (Oughterard)
12. Paul Kelly (Moycullen)

13. Nathan Grainger (Claregalway)
14. Tomo Culhane (Salthill-Knocknacara)
15. Matthew Cooley (Corofin)

20. Ryan Monaaghan (Oughterard) for Greene
23. Eoin Mannion (Milltown) for Grainger
22. McDarra Geraghty (Glenamaddy) for Cooley
21. Oisin Gormley (Barna) for Raftery
18. Jack Kirrane (Milltown) for Sweeney.

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About the author:

Colm Gannon

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