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Joyce off the mark as Galway edge Mayo on penalties following late fightback

Galway trailed by six points with only minutes remaining but forced a shootout with a late, late burst.

Patrick Kelly is pursued by Brian Walsh.
Patrick Kelly is pursued by Brian Walsh.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Mayo 1-17

Galway 1-17

Galway win 3-2 on penalties

Colm Gannon reports from MacHale Park

FOR THE SECOND year in a row, penalties were needed to separate Mayo and Galway in the FBD League and once again it was the Tribesmen who emerged victorious after the shootout on a score of 3-2.

Brian Walsh saw Mayo’s fifth penalty crash back off the crossbar to send Galway into the final next week, where they’ll face Roscommon for the sixth year in succession.

Shane Walsh, Damien Comer, and Tom Flynn converted for Galway from the spot, while Mayo saw Liam Irwin and Kevin McLoughlin hit the net and Fergal Boland, Gary Boylan and Walsh fail to convert.

james-mccormack-and-tom-parsons-with-fiontan-o-curraoin-patrick-kelly-and-paul-conroy Mayo's James McCormack and Tom Parsons with Fiontan Ó Curraoin, Patrick Kelly and Paul Conroy of Galway. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

The first quarter of an hour of the latest instalment of this western seaboard derby showed no signs of early-season rustiness with the visitors leading by the odd point in nine at the 15-minute mark.

Galway came to Castlebar under new management with Padraig Joyce taking charge of the Galway seniors for the first time in Castlebar. His side raced into an early 0-2 to 0-0 lead with newly installed captain Shane Walsh kicking the two opening scores before four minutes had passed on the stopwatch.

Jordan Flynn got the home side’s first score of the day shortly afterwards with a well-taken effort from the left-hand side of the field – but that was quickly replied to by a Paul Conroy point from close range and an Adrian Varley score on eight minutes which left Galway leading 0-4 to 0-1.

Mayo’s second point of the day came after Mikey Murray was picked out by a Rob Hennelly kick out in the middle of the park, where he fed the ball to Kevin McLoughlin who rolled his marker to create space and put the ball over the bar.

Flynn cut the gap back to a single point 11 minutes in when he tapped over a close-range score after Conor Gleeson and Johnny Heaney had combined well to deny Brian Reape a goal chance.

Galway pushed the lead back out to two when Walsh glided through the Mayo defence for his third point of the day on 13 minutes – but Mayo were about to hit three in a row over the next six minutes to go into the lead for the first time.

Brian Walsh held his balance to pop one over on the run down the left flank. Then, McLoughlin levelled it up on the turn from close range, and Brian Reape found his scoring radar after missing a few earlier chances to put Mayo 0-6 to 0-5 up with 19 minutes gone.

jordan-flynn-with-cillian-mcdaid-and-paul-conroy Mayo's Jordan Flynn with Cillian McDaid and Paul Conroy of Galway. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

Galway lost Johnny Heany to injury just after the 20-minute mark and not long after the biggest cheer of the day came when Tom Parsons broke down the right and fired the ball over the bar to put Mayo 0-7 to 0-5 up.

Adrian Varley landed his second point of the day to cut the gap back to a single score 27 minutes in after Mayo missed two chances to extend their lead, Conor Loftus pulling two frees just wide of the post in quick succession of each other.

Brian Walsh grabbed his second of the half after showing great determination to hold onto the ball and get up to score under pressure on the half-hour mark, and Kevin McLoughlin missed a good chance to stretch the lead out further when he pushed a close-range free wide on the far side soon after that score.

Galway cut the gap back to two with a well-finished Michael Daly effort and Shane Walsh kicked his fourth point of the half from a close-range free to level the game up at eight points each on 35 minutes.

A minute into injury time Galway broke with pace from the back and Daly found Eamon Brannigan in space in front of goal, but his effort crashed back off the post.

Galway had two great chances to push their noses in front before the break, but both Johnny Duane and Varley pulled efforts wide of the target from close range. While with the final play of the half Mayo edged themselves in front by a point when Conor Loftus finally found his range from placed balls to put Mayo up 0-9 to 0-8 at the turnaround.

padraig-joyce Padraig Joyce was taking charge of his first game as Galway manager. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

Galway wasted no time in levelling the game up after the resumption, Adrian Varley fisting the ball over from close range after being found by Walsh. And the Galway captain edged his side back in front from the very next play: he intercepted the Mayo kick-out and slotted the ball over to put Galway 0-10 to 0-9 up.

The game was then held up for a lengthy spell while Galway midfielder Fiontan Ó’Curraoin to received treatment for a serious-looking injury that required him to be taken away on a stretcher.

Walsh subsequently extended the Galway lead with another pointed free 12 minutes after it had been awarded.

Loftus cut the gap back to a single score with a pointed close-range free not long afterwards, and the scores kept coming with Michael Daly landing his second of the day from the very next play to keep Galway’s noses in front by two.

Mikey Boyle stretched that out to three points with a nicely hit effort from the left on 56 minutes as the rain started to fall in Castlebar and make the conditions a little bit difficult for both sides.

fiontan-o-curraoin-leaves-the-field-due-to-an-injury Galway's Fiontan Ó Curraoin leaves the field due to an injury. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

Brian Reape pulled one back for Mayo who were now playing with a one-man advantage after Cillian McDaid had been shown a black card.

Mayo made that advantage count nine minutes from the end of normal time: Kevin McLoughlin palmed the ball over the head of Conor Gleeson to the back of the net after good build-up play involving Brian Reape and Michael Plunkett to put Mayo into a 1-11 to 0-13 lead. Two minutes later they stretched that out further when Brian Walsh landed his third point of the day.

On the 65-minute mark, the home side went three clear when Fergal Boland pointed not long after coming off the bench. Reape stretched it out to four from a placed ball that just about scraped over the bar. Boland and Reape tagged on two more scores and had Mayo six clear and looking good – but there was plenty of drama left yet.

robert-hennelly-and-adrian-varley Adrian Varley approaches the Mayo goal. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

Shane Walsh pointed a free as the game moved into the first minute of injury time and two minutes later, Galway got the goal they needed to really have a cut at winning the game at the death.

The ball was worked to Johnny Duane who saw his effort saved by Rob Hennelly in the Mayo goal, but the rebound fell kindly to Adrian Varley who hammered it home to make it 1-17 to 1-14 in favour of the hosts – but with still plenty of time left to play.

Walsh tagged on two more frees and the final say in normal time went to Galway’s Liam Costello. The debutant held his nerve to slot the ball over the bar after strong play by Damien Comer in the build-up, and send the game to penalties.

Scorers for Mayo: Brian Reape (0-5, 1f), Kevin McLoughlin (1-2), Brian Walsh (0-3), Conor Loftus (0-2, 2f), Jordan Flynn (0-2), Fergal Boland (0-2), Tom Parsons (0-1)

Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh (0-9,6f), Adrian Varley (1-3), Michael Daly (0-2), Pau Conroy (0-1), Liam Costello (0-1), Mikey Boyle (0-1)

Mayo

1. Robert Hennelly (Breaffy)

2. James Stretton (Claremorris)
3. James McCormack (Claremorris)
4. Brendan Harrision (Aghamore)

5. Padraig O’Hora (Ballina O’Hora)
6. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
7. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)

8. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)
9. Mikey Murray (Ballina Stephenites)

10. Brian Walsh (Ballintubber)
11. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)
12. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

13. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
14. Brian Reape (Bohola Moy Davitts)
15. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

Subs: 21 Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for Loftus, 19. Colm Boyle (Davitts) for Stretton, 24. Gary Boylan (Belmullet) for O’Connor, 22. Liam Irwin (Breaffy) for Reape, 18. David Kenny (Aghamore) for McCormack

Galway

1. Conor Gleeson (Dun Mor Mhic Eil)

2. Colin Murray (An Cregan/ Magh Locha)
3. Gary O’Donnell (Realta Thuama)
4. Johnny Heaney (Cill Ainnin)

5. Eamon Branigan (Naomh Michael)
6. John Daly (An Creagan/Magh Locha)
7. Cillian McDaid (Muine Mheal/Mainstir)

8. Tom Flynn (Baile Atha’n Ri)
9. Fiontan O’Curraoin (Micheal Breathnach)

10. Patrick Kelly (An Creagan/ Magh Locha)
11. Michael Daly (An Creagan/Magh Locha)
12. Mikey Boyle (Cill Fhir Iarainn)

13. Adrian Varley (Seamrogie Cortuim)
14. Shane Walsh (Cill Chloirin/Cluain Bheirne)
15. Paul Conroy (Naomh Sheamus)

Subs: 20. Johnny Duane (Naomh Sheamus) for Heaney; 22. Mattius Barrett (Naomh Anna Leitir Mor) for O’Curraoin, 24. Liam Costello (Baile Mhuilinn) for Kelly, 25. Damien Comer (Anach Cuain) for Daly, 26. Sean Kelly (Maigh Cuilin) for Brannigan.

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About the author:

Colm Gannon

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