Galway advanced to the Connacht SFC final following a four-point victory over Leitrim in Pearse Stadium.

After trailing by two points at half time Leitrim got to within a point of Galway after the break but a goal from substitute Cormac Bane proved decisive in spite of a fine ten-point overall contribution from Leitrims Emlyn Mulligan.

Galways Matthew Clancy opened the Scóring with a second minute point but two frees from Mulligan edged Leitrim into an early lead. Padraig Joyce replied with two points and then a goal from the Tribesmens captain after 12 minutes advanced Galway into a four point lead as Joyce cut in from the right before sending a left footed strike past Enda Lyons.

Fiachra Breathnach was denied a second Galway goal on 15 minutes by Lyons as the home side enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges.

A Michael Meehan point stretched their lead to five points but a goal on 26 minutes had Des Dolans men right back into contention.

Philip McGuinness and Declan Maxwell exchanged passes with Maxwell finding the net via the post to cut the lead to just two points. Donal Brennan had a penalty shout for Leitrim five minutes after Maxwells goal when he appeared to be pushed by the Galway goalkeeper but the appeals were waved away by the referee.

Two further points at either end sent Galway in for half time enjoying a narrow two-point winning margin, 1-08 to 1-06.

Emlyn Mulligan may be a newcomer to inter county action but his fine contribution of 10 points, all from frees, in only his second championship match for Leitrim always gave the underdogs a chance of creating an upset.

Two frees from Mulligan either side of two points from Michael Meehan left little between the teams in the evenly contested first 10 minutes of the second half.

Cormac Bane and Declan Maxwell, with Leitrims sole second half score from play, exchanged points but Leitrim reduced the lead to the bare minimum 20 minutes into the half when Mulligan again found the range with a free kick.

However, the game turned inÓgalways favour just a minute later when the Tribesmen again raised the green flag to stun Leitrim and end the comeback. Meehan set up half time substitute Bane who made no mistake from close range.

Further points from Meehan and captain Joyce stretched the lead to six points as Leitrim heads dropped following the goal. Bane scored Galways last point of the game on 69 minutes while three pointed frees from Mulligan left four points between the teams at the full time whistle.

GALWAY: P Doherty; G Bradshaw; F Hanley; D Burke; D Meehan; D Mullahy; G Sice; N Coleman (0-01); M Lydon; P Conroy; P Joyce (1-04, 1 free); N Joyce (0-02); M Clancy (0-01); M Meehan (0-04, 1 free); F Breathnach.

Subs: B Cullinane and C Bane (1-02) for Lydon and Conroy half time; M Comer for Burke 42m; S Armstrong for Breathnach 47m.

LEITRIM: E Lyons; D Reynolds; J McKeon; M McGuinness; G Reynolds; B Prior; S Foley; G McCloskey; M Duignan; D OConnor; P McGuinness; M Foley (0-01); E Mulligan (0-10, all frees); D Maxwell (1-01); D Brennan (0-01).

Subs: D Duignan for OConnor half time; J Glancy for M Foley 49m; B McWeeney for D Reynolds 64m; C Duignan for Brennan 69m.

 

 

15-Jun-08 by RTE.ie