NUI Galway 1-21
Darragh Berry @ Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar
It was a fantastic start to the new year for the NUI Galway lads as they were victorious against Mayo in the green and red’s home soil. NUI Galway were the only college team to win in the FBD League at the weekend. It was a Mayo squad filled with debutants galore who were beaten by a two point margin.
The sides went in locked level at half time on a score of 2-7 to 0-13, with Neil Douglas and Danny Kirby finding the net for Stephen Rochford’s side in the opening half.
The two goals came in a six minute period in the final ten minutes of the half with Douglas hitting the net from the penalty spot after he was fouled by James Kennedy.
It was these two goals that kept the Mayo team in contention going in at the interval as NUIG had last years all-Ireland finalist on the rope for majority of the first half. They tackled well, turning the ball over with ease and hit some monster points from range showing their array of scoring talent in the team. Both Enda Tierney and Damian Comer hit three points each in the opening 35 minutes of play while Adam Gallagher who was playing against his home county chalked up four first half points in a magnificent 70 minute display. The Mayo man hit nine points overall and surely must have given Rochford something to think about as the full time whistle rang.
After the restart, it looked as if Mayo had clicked into gear and found their winning rhythm. However, their efforts were matched in due course by NUIG who popped over their share of the spoils as the game raced into the home stretch. The decisive moment came in the 45th minute. Galway man Damian Comer blasted the net for the students and in the minutes that remained after, Mayo were playing catch up to the college.
Mayo saw out the final minutes of the game with just 14 men at their disposal. Ray O’ Malley picked up a second yellow for a foul on Comer who pointed the resulting free pushing the gap out to as wide as six points. Mayo nearly completed the comeback however, and when Neil Douglas tapped over a free three minutes into injury time, the gap was cut to two. The gap could have been demolished completely if it wasn’t for the hands of Tadgh O’ Malley who blocked a late James Durcan effort on goal to give Maurice Sheridan’s men the win. Michael Daly was phenomenal for NUIG and was pure class in this victory. The triangle of him, Comer and Gallagher is an exciting prospect as we move onwards and upwards in the FBD campaign and look forward to the Sigerson cup. They now face Roscommon next Sunday at 2pm in Dangan.
NUI GALWAY: Adam Gallagher 0-9 (0-5f), Damien Comer 1-4, Michael Daly, Enda Tierney 0-3 each, Matt McClean, Kieran Molloy 0-1 each.
MAYO: Neil Douglas 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Fergal Boland 0-4, Liam Irwin (0-3f), Brian Reape 0-3 each, Danny Kirby 1-0, Shane Nally 0-2, Fionan Duffy 0-1.
- Tadgh O’Malley (Galway)
- Stephen Brennan (Mayo)
- James Kennedy (Galway)
- Aaron O’Connor (Kerry)
- Kiearn Molloy (Galway)
- Ruairi Greene (Galway)
- Enda Boland (Westmeath)
- Matt Barrett (Galway)
- Enda Tierney (Galway)
- Stephen Conroy (Mayo)
- Michael Daly (Galway)
- Adam Gallagher (Mayo)
- Matt McClean (Donegal)
- Damien Comer (Galway)
- Owen Gallagher (Antrim)
- Michael Clarke (Sligo) for Kennedy (half-time)
- Andrew McCormack (Westmeath) for Boland (40)
- Kevin Quinn (Mayo) for McClean (57)
- David McCormack (Westmeath) for Barrett (65)