NUI Galway were victories in their second game in the Fitzgibbon cup over recent champions Mary Immaculate at a score of 1-20 to 2-8. It was a hard-earned victory in a wet and windy night in Dangan that showed that this side has the ability to go all the way in this competition.
Following on from a victory against UCD that showed both the Galway their strengths and their weaknesses which they clearly improved on in this game. The game is most notable for NUI Galway’s stellar defence as they were able to keep Mary I to 2-2 from play which by any metric is impressive.
From the first whistle the home side were first to every ball which in these harsh conditions mattered even more. It is also notable that the game was won in midfield by the likes of Ian McGlynn and Diarmuid Kilcommins who won their fair share of tackles and were each able to score an impressive point each. The defence was the true stars of this team with the likes of Darren Morrisey and Conor Caulfield being defensive stalwarts.
The game started out with NUI Galway racing to a four-point lead after ten minutes and never looked like it being cut down by a side who look like a shadow of their Fitzgibbon cup winning selves from just a couple of years ago.
The half-time score of 0-12 to 0-05 was accurate to what we were seeing on the pitch. The only point at which the lead looked at risk was at the start of the second half where Mary I cut the lead down to three points thanks to a goal from Eamon Foudy at the penalty spot.
This slight panic was eased when Brian Concannon replied with a fantastic goal of his own for NUI Galway. The game as a contest was over at this point with Mary I looking deflated, and NUI Galway were able to coast home.
NUI Galway continue to look like champions and have showed a Swiss army knives worth of skills and tricks to overcome opponents that would be hard to overcome.
NUIG: L O’Reilly (Castlegar, Galway); E Lawless (Athenry, Galway), J Fitzgerald (Killimordaly, Galway), C Caulfield (Kilconieron, Galway); C Killeen (Loughrea, Galway), D Morrissey (Sarsfields, Galway), M Gill (Castlegar, Galway); I McGlynn (Kilconieron, Galway), D Kilcommins (Annaghdown, Galway); C Walsh (Turloughmore, Galway), C Lynch (Patrickswell, Limerick), B Concannon (Killimordaly, Galway); P Hickey (Eire Og Nenagh, Tipperary), J Fleming (Meelick/Eyrecourt, Galway), E Niland (Clarinbridge, Galway).
Subs: M Kennedy (Clarinbridge, Galway) for Hickey (39), Collins (Cappataggle, Galway) for Fleming (56), S Burke (Kilconieron, Galway) for McGlynn (58), O Salmon (Clarinbridge, Galway) for Walsh (58)
Scorers for NUIG: E Niland (0-10, 0-8f); B Concannon (1-3); C Caulfield, M Gill, I McGlynn, D Kilcommins, C Walsh, C Lynch, M Kennedy (0-1 each).