Connacht FBD: Youthful Galway outfit defeat Leitrim

Connacht FBD Semi-Final

Galway 2-18 Leitrim 1-17

By Cian O’Connell at University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome

An experimental Galway outfit survived a late Leitrim revival mission to secure a place in next Friday’s Connacht FBD decider.

Two Rory Cunningham goals decorated an impressive maroon and white performance.

A lively opening period unfolded in the Dome with Galway departing 0-10 to 0-9 ahead at the break.

Charlie Power, Antaine O’Laoi, and Cillian Ó Curraoin were prominent in attack for a youthful Galway.

At the opposite end of the field Shane Quinn clipped three points from play, while Darragh Rooney also carried a threat for Andy Moran’s outfit.

It continued at a decent clip after the restart with Galway pouncing for a 47th minute goal.

Power and Céin D’Arcy crafted an opportunity for Rory Cunningham, who supplied a crisp finish.

Ó Curraoin was effective for Galway, who pulled 1-15 to 0-11 clear.

Leitrim, though, responded eventually levelling in additional time at 1-17 when Barry McNulty grabbed a goal following Conor Reynolds’ dismissal for a second yellow card offence.

Galway stayed cool, moving the ball instantly with Cunningham drilling a second goal.

The insurance point was subsequently supplied by Ryan Monaghan as Galway prevailed.

Scorers for Galway: Rory Cunningham 2-1 (1f), Cillian Ó Curraoin 0-6 (3fs), Charlie Power (1m) and Antaine Ó Laoi (2fs) 0-3 each, Daniel O’Flaherty 0-2, Cian Monaghan, Shane McGrath, and Ryan Monaghan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Leitrim: Darragh Rooney 0-5 (3fs), Barry McNulty 1-0, Shane Quinn 0-3, Paul Keaney, Pearce Dolan, and Jack Casey (1f) 0-2 each, Mark Diffley, Riordan O’Rourke, and Jamie McGreal (m) 0-1 each.

Galway: Oran Burke; Liam Boyle, Billy Mannion, Darragh Varley; Cian Monaghan, Jack Kirrane, Daniel O’Flaherty; Ciaran Brady, Diarmuid Kilcommins; Donal Hunt, Antaine Ó Laoi, Jack O’Neill; Liam Costello, Charlie Power, Cillian Ó Curraoin.

Subs: Céin D’Arcy for Kilcommins (28), Ryan Monaghan for Hunt (28), Keith O’Reilly for Mannion (33), Rory Cunningham for Costello (44), Shane McGrath for Brady (51), Barry Goldrick for Ó Laoi (54), Conor O’Neill for C Monaghan (62), Ger Davoren for O’Neill (66), Conor Rafferty for Ó Curraoin (67).

Leitrim: Nevin O’Donnell; Aidan Flynn, Donal Casey, Cillian McGloin; Jamie McGreal, Mark Diffley, Evan Sweeney; Pearce Dolan, Paul Keaney; Shane Quinn, Barry McNulty, Jack Foley; Ryan O’Rourke, Darragh Rooney, Riordan O’Rourke.

Subs: Conor Reynolds for McGreal (HT), James Rooney for McGloin (45), Jack Casey for McNulty (49), Conor Quinn for Sweeney (51), Stephen McLoughlin for Foley (57), Cathal McHugh for Ryan O’Rourke (64), Jack Foley for McLoughlin (66).

Referee: Paul Lydon (Mayo)