Galway 1-15, New York 1-5
New Yorkers footballers surprised all in attendance at Tuam Stadium on Saturday with a spirited and commited performance. The Big Apple side played some excellent football in both halves and if it wasn’t for some terrible shooting and passing up front, they may even have troubled Galway.
The visitors got off to a great start after Monaghan’s Mickey Slowey pointed from an excellent free. Slowey, the top scorer in New York last year, was on fire for the hour and every time he got in position he looked dangerous. It was a pity that New York hadn’t at least one other attacker capable of taking on the Galway defense and landing some vital scores.
Galway were sluggish at the start and failed to register a single score in the opening 10 minutes. When Padraig Joyce finally hit the target from an easy free from the right the Westerners took control. Four further points from Paul Clancy, Derek Savage and Niall Finnegan helped them into a four point lead.
Credit must go to the New York defense, who marshaled their oppontents with great gusto and commitment. Kieran Walsh at corner back was outstanding for the hour and limited the lively Savage to a single point in the opening half. Donegal’s Owen Cummins played well at full back while Mayo’s Pierce O’Reilly was alert around the middle.
Despite problems at midfield earlier in the year, New York’s John Meehan and Gary Dowd played some very constructive football against the towering Sean O’Donnell and championship newcomer Joe Bergin.
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Galway played the better football before the interval with Ja Fallon riffling home a dream goal to give his side a comfortable lead at the break.
Three individual points from Paul Clancy and one each from Fallon and Joyce put further daylight between the sides at the interval.
Slowey once again was the only major threat in the New York attack and his two points, one from a free, kept his side in touch.
Facing a 9-point deficit and a slight breeze, New York powered out of the blocks at the start of the second half. Slowey hit a great goal for the Big Apple with just fourteen seconds played and the Galway defense caught napping not for the first time. New York had several simple chances to narrow the gap further shortly afterward but failed to do so with wayward shooting and poor passing.
Galway settled after their shaky start and run out comprenhensive winner with Clancy, Finnegan and Savage hitting excellent points on the run. The home side slipped into second gear midway throught the half and with their defense improving they snuffed out the New York attack.
New York corner back Keith Murray was sent to the line after 10 minutes of the half after a rash challenge on Padriag Joyce and from there to the end the visitors were under severe pressure.
A few minutes later Galway wing back Sean Og De Paor was also heading for the dressing room after he pulled rougly across New York center back Kieran Ryan. Late points from Mickey Coleman and Gary Dowd came must to late to reel in the ’98 All Ireland champions, but for New York and their supporters the trip to Tuam was well worst while.
New York GAA president Monty Maloney was pleased with the performance and was confident that the Big Apple side will be taking part again next year.
Best for New York were Kieran Walsh, Kieran Ryan, Owen Cummins and Pierce O’Reilly in defense. Dowd and Meehan were consistent around the middle, while up front Slowey was the only threat.
Eunan Doherty (Donegal), Keith Murray (Donegal), Owen Cummins (Donegal), Kieran Walsh