Maigh Cuilinn County Champions


By Cian O'Connell at Pearse Stadium

Ultimately an absorbing Galway Senior Football Championship was decided by the class of Dessie Conneely.

When Maigh Cuilinn's need was greatest, Conneely, the captain, supplied the scores finishing a gripping game with a 1-9 haul.

That mattered deeply as Maigh Cuilinn shaded another thriller in the west.

A week ago Maigh Cuilinn overcame Tuam Stars following a similarly exciting encounter and then watched Mountbellew-Moylough take the prized Corofin scalp.

It meant that the novel decider carried all sorts of intrigue, but Maigh Cuilinn had sufficient craft to claim their first ever county title.

Delicately poised at the interval when the teams retreated deadlocked, 0-7 each, Maigh Cuilinn enjoyed a productive third quarter plundering two goals courtesy of a Conneely rocket and one from Conor Bohan.

Mountbellew-Moylough struck a major of their own in that blistering spell of action, but Maigh Cuilinn were just creating more chances.

The losers were clinical converting opportunities as illustrated by 1-11 from 18 shots, but Maigh Cuilinn were pouring forward throughout.

Managed by former Roscommon footballer Don Connellan, Maigh Cuilinn's approach was rewarded posting 2-12 from 24.

In such a tight match the fact that Maigh Cuilinn kept Conneely relevant by delivering quality ball inside was critical.

At the outset it commenced at a decent clip with Mountbellew-Moylough nailing their first five attempts to edge them 0-5 to 0-3 ahead by the 11th minute.

Maigh Cuilinn, though, remained defiant with Conneely outstanding and as the interval edged closer the gap remained at two, 0-7 to 0-5.

Then Connellan's charges finished the half strongly as Conneely clipped a point before Owen Gallagher restored parity.

When the action recommenced Barry McHugh fired over a free for Mountbellew-Moylough, but Conneely responded with a thunderbolt goal

Aidan Claffey made the hard yards and Conneely's effort injected Maigh Cuilinn's challenge with a vital goal.

Conneely added a free, but Mountbellew-Moylough then replied as Finnerty netted a penalty following a Sean Kelly foul on Gary Sweeney.

McHugh suddenly slotted a free as Mountbellew-Moylough took the lead in the 42nd minute.

Gareth Bradshaw, prominent for the winners, landed a leveller prior to a Gallagher dart which enabled Bohan to smash a 45th minute goal.

Gallagher thumped over another point to edge Maigh Cuilinn four clear and while Mountbellew-Moylough narrowed the deficit to two, Connellan's crew didn't panic.

Two late frees from the delightful Conneely sealed the deal as Maigh Cuilinn prevailed.

Scorers for Maigh Cuilinn: Dessie Conneely 1-9 (5fs, 145), Conor Bohan 1-0, Owen Gallagher 0-2, Gareth Bradshaw 0-1.

Scorers for Mountbellew-Moylough: Barry McHugh 0-6 (4fs), Eoin Finnerty 1-2 (1-0 pen, 1m), Michael Daly, Paul Donnellan, and Colin Ryan 0-1 each.

MAIGH CUILINN: Seamus Friel; Sean Kelly, Aidan Claffey, Neil Mulcahy; Gareth Bradshaw, David Wynne, Greg Bohan; Tom Clarke, Mark Lydon; Paul Kelly, Conor Bohan, James McLoughlin; Dessie Conneely, Niall Walsh, Owen Gallagher.

Subs: Eoin Kelly for G Bohan (44), Daniel Cox for Walsh (48).

MOUNTBELLEW-MOYLOUGH: Damien Boyle; Mark Mannion, James Foley, Gary Sweeney; Colin Ryan, Colin Murray, Shane Moran, Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett; Gerard Donoghue, Paul Donnellan, Leo Donnellan; Barry McHugh. Patrick Kelly, Eoin Finnerty.

Subs: Sean Miland for L Donnellan (48), Billy Mannion for Donoghue (59).

REFEREE: Austin O'Connell.



Dessies Goal

Maiggh Cuilinn 2020 Champions Copy WEb

Maigh Cuilinn 2020 Galway Senior Football Champions 

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