Galway Gaelic Masters Football Team fell short in their attempt to make their 5th final in 5 years, halted by a very good Cavan team performance in Ballymote Co. Sligo. Galway started the brightest with a well taken point from Ballygar’s Thomas Finneran. Cavan then replied with 2 points from Rapheal Rodgers and Michael Clinch before Glenamaddy’s Shay Walsh scored a trademark long range point to level the game.
Cavan went a point ahead with a free from Tommy McQuire before Galway wing back Menlough’s Derwin Costello equalised with a fine point. It was the wing backs of Costello and Caltra’s Declan Meehan that drove Galway on as Cavan had the better of the midfield exchanges winning a high percentage of the resulting breaking ball. The standard of football and score taking was of the highest order, both teams having excellent free takers, Cavan pointed a free from Tommy McQuire which was followed by Claregalway’s Fergal McEvoy pointing a free to leave the game tied on 4 points apiece.
Cavan scored another point which was equalised by Shay Walsh. in the last period of the first half it was Cavan applying the pressure, Lloyd kelly made a crucial save to keep put a certain goal, Cavan then rallied again and hit the crossbar and went in 6 points to 5 the better at half time from a pointed 45 from Noel McPhillips. Cavan were we well deserving of the lead at this stage having 5 wides to Galway’s 1 in the first half. Galway needed a good start in the second half but Cavan had 4 wides to Galway’s 1 in the opening 10 minutes, no team could get a foothold.
Cavan conceded 2 frees with fouls on Salthill Knocknacarra’s Eamon O’Shea and these were punished by 2 fine place kicks from Fergal McEvoy. Galway then drove on led by Declan Meehan and his trademark run down the wing resulted in a free well dispatched by Athenry’s Declan Beirne.
Galway led 8 points to 6 with 12 minutes to go against the run of play but couldn’t close out the match. Galway lost both their wing backs and Cavan centre forward Barry McGovern took control of the game scoring 2 points to level the match at 8 points apiece.
Cavan kicked on in the latter stages with well taken points from Jerome Kiernan, Ciaran Fox, Barry McGovern and Adrian O’Reilly. Galway scored a goal in the last minute from An Spidéal’s Donal O Flatharta but this not enough and with 6 minutes of injury time played referee Michael Duffy said the resulting kickout was the last play of the match.
Galway put in a huge effort all year and no doubt will be back better and stronger in 2017, but on the day Galway could have no complaints as Cavan were the better team. Cavan now meet Mayo in the final on November 12th in Drumlish, best of luck to both teams. Final score Cavan 0-12 Galway 1-8
Galway Panel: Lloyd Kelly, Aidan Potter, Kieran Kelly, Vinny Small, Declan Meehan, Richie Donovan, Derwin Costello, Declan Mahon, Colin McCaul, Declan Beirne, Fergal McEvoy, Shay Walsh, John Slattery, Donal O’Flatharta, Thomas Finneran, John Davin, Ollie Hannon, Eamon O’Shea, David Cronin, Brian Forde, Ger Keane, Alan Kavanagh, Connie Guirdrea, Ger Lee, Damien Collins, Brian Geraghty, Micheal McDhonnacha, Brian Walsh, Paul Gallagher, John Wilson, Ollie Hynes, Thomas Conneelly, Eoin McGinn, Kevin Lee, Timmy Flatharta, Shane Cannon, Pat Cullinane, Sean O’Dowd, Mike Quinn, Tom Corbett, Damien Garvey, Phelim O’Donnell, Tom Walsh, Denis Fallon, David Barrett.