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Connacht Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final

GALWAY 0-16 LONDON 1-9

By Billy Coss at McGovern Park, Ruislip

Reigning Connacht champions Galway survived a major scare before emerging with a hard-earned four-point victory over London at McGovern Park, Ruislip this afternoon.

Kevin Walsh’s side never trailed over the 70 minutes but a late first half rally, inspired by a brilliant Killian Butler goal, saw London turnaround on level terms and push the visitors every step of the way in the second half.

Galway’s previous five visits to Ruislip ended with double-digit winning margins and though they opened an 0-8 to 0-3 lead, a well-prepared London refused to fold.

Shane Walsh (two frees), Johnny Heaney, Michael Daly, Liam Silke, Ian Burke, Antaine Ó Laoi and Tom Flynn were all on target for the Tribesmen, and they could have been even further in front after creating a handful of goal chances.

Midfielder Tom Flynn, one of Galway’s top performers, was denied the best of them by a superb save from London ‘keeper Gavin McEvoy.

The remainder of the half belonged to Ciaran Deely’s charges, and they were boosted by that 25th minute goal by the impressive Butler after the corner-forward gave Eoghan Kerin the slip and cracked an unstoppable drive past Ruairí Lavelle.

With their tails up, London kicked on and three of the next four points saw them go in level, 1-6 to 0-9, with captain Liam Gavaghan and Conor Doran both on the mark.

Two Shane Walsh points and one apiece from Gary O’Donnell and Ian Burke gave a below-par Galway some vital breathing space early in the second half but they were given a stern test from the Exiles once more.

Killian Butler and Conor Doran always looked threatening upfront and efforts from the latter and Fearghal McMahon pared it back to a three-point game.

Indeed, had London been more clinical they would have applied even more pressure in the closing stages, especially when Butler flashed his shot just inches wide of goal in the 67th minute.

Galway weathered that spirited fightback, however, and held on to set up a Connacht semi-final with Sligo in Markievicz Park on Sunday week. London, meanwhile, switch their focus to the qualifiers.

Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 0-7 (5fs, 1 45), Ian Burke 0-2, Antaine Ó Laoi 0-1, Padraic Cunningham 0-1, Johnny Heaney 0-1, Michael Daly 0-1, Liam Silke 0-1, Tom Flynn 0-1, Gary O’Donnell 0-1.

Scorers for London: Conor Doran 0-6 (3fs), Killian Butler 1-1, Liam Gavaghan 0-1, Fearghal McMahon 0-1.

GALWAY: Ruairí Lavelle; Eoghan Kerin, Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh, David Wynne; Gary O’Donnell, John Daly, Liam Silke; Tom Flynn, Michael Daly; Antaine Ó Laoi, Padraic Cunningham, Johnny Heaney; Ian Burke, Shane Walsh, Danny Cummins.

Subs: Rob Finnerty for Cummins (49), Fiontán Ó Curraoin for Cunningham (53), Gareth Bradshaw for O’Donnell (62), Eamonn Brannigan for Michael Daly (70), Finnian Ó Laoi for Heaney (74).

LONDON: Gavin McEvoy; Conor O’Neill, Matthew Moynihan, Philip Butler; David Carrabine, Michael Clarke, Eoin Flanagan; Anthony McDermott, Liam Feerick; Fearghal McMahon, Liam Gavaghan, Barry Tully; Mark Gottsche, Killian Butler, Conor Doran.

Subs: Aidan McGarvey for Tully (65), Sean Hickey for Doran (65), James Hynes for McMahon (65), David Dunne for Carrabine (65), Pierce McGirr for O’Neill (74).

REFEREE: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).

 

Tom  Flynn Man of the Match against London

 Galway v London

Galway Panel that played London in the Connacht Championship

Galway captain Damien Comer hopes to return to action in mid June

By Cian O'Connell

Comer missed all of the 2019 Allianz Football League due to an ankle fracture.

Surgery was required, but the Annaghdown clubman is targeting a return following surgery seven weeks ago. The dynamic Comer is definitely out of Galway's provincial encounter against London at McGovern Park in Ruislip on May 5.

"It’s a bit slower than I expected, I thought I’d be further on than I am," Comer says. "But the physio and doctors are saying mid-June for a return to play."

"That’ll leave me with missing the first game anyway. Then we’ll see what happens, if we make it to the Sligo game, I’ll miss that as well. I’ve got to keep my own side of things, ready to go back whenever."

It has been frustrating for Comer, who is such an influential figure for Kevin Walsh's team. "It’s never nice being injured," Comer admits.

Galway captain Damien Comer missed the 2019 Allianz Football League due to an ankle injury.

"Watching the lads play was different. I’ve been lucky enough, even up to last year with the college and everything, I was nearly surprised I didn’t pick up an injury along the way because I was playing so much.

"It could have been my body this year telling me I needed a rest. It’s just unfortunate really the way it worked out, it didn’t get picked up the first time.

"It delayed a few weeks. But I’m positive, I’m just rehabbing away and trying to get my body in as good a shape as I can before getting back. Whenever that time comes to come back, I’ll be as prepared as possible."

Comer suffered the injury during the Christmas Holidays. "Yeah, on St Stephen’s Day in a soccer match we play every year," Comer states. "So it was an innocuous enough thing.

"It would have been fine if it had been picked up in the first scan. It didn’t. It just showed up a small bit of damage. Then I got it scanned again, it showed a fracture so I’d to go for surgery then.

"I wasn’t training away. There was still pain, I just didn’t know what was wrong with it. I hadn’t done much because I wasn’t really able, it was too sore. I wouldn’t have done an awful lot of damage, but when it showed up the second time, it showed up the fracture and I had to get a screw to fix it."

 

 

Statement by Galway G.A.A. County Board - March 30th, 2019.

Earlier this week a number of media outlets reported on the fitness of Galway player Joe Canning. These reports were entirely incorrect and were at no point checked with the Galway Team Management or Medical team.

We are issuing this statement to correct this:

On Sunday March 24th, Joe Canning injured his groin in the Allianz National Hurling League Semi-Final against Waterford. The injury will require surgery and there is an expected recovery period of between 14 to 16 weeks.

On March 17th, Fintan Burke damaged his cruciate knee ligaments in the AIB All-Ireland Club Hurling Final playing for his club St. Thomas. The injury will require surgery and Fintan will not be available to play for the remainder of the 2019 season.

Galway GAA wish both Joe and Fintan all the best in their recoveries and will be providing them with all the necessary medical supports to aid them.

Speaking today, Galway Senior Hurling Manager Micheál Donoghue said “I, and all the team wish Joe and Fintan a speedy recovery from their injuries. They were both very unlucky to pick up injuries at this stage in the season.”

“Even by his own high standards, Joe Canning’s performances this year have been exceptional. He is in good spirits and has a positive mindset facing surgery and rehab period.”

“Fintan Burke is an exceptional young talent and his injury is a difficult blow in what was shaping up to be a great season for him.  He was outstanding in St.Thomas' run to the All-Ireland Hurling Club Final and is determined to get back playing for his club and Galway.”

“I,  our medical and support team will be working with Joe and Fintan closely to help with their recoveries and return to the squad “ he concluded.

  

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