London 0-07 Sligo 2-17

Updated: Monday, 26 May 2008 22:37

Sligo debutant Gary Gaughan is put under pressure by London's Roger Morgan and Eamon Ó Cuív
Sligo debutant Gary Gaughan is put under pressure by London's Roger Morgan and Eamon Ó Cuív


It was an easy victory for Tommy Jordan's Sligo over the Exiles in what turned out to be a one sided contest in the Connacht Football Championship in front of a decent crowd at the Emerald GAA Grounds in Ruislip in London, writes RTÉ Sport's John Kenny.

Sligo, the holders after their win over Galway last year, have to make the Connacht final to ensure that they don't drop into the Tommy Murphy Cup, recovered from a shaky start to post a winning margin of 16 points and reach their provincial semi-final where they will face Mayo on 22 June.

Gary Gaughan, on his Championship debut, gave Sligo a decent start with a goal and a point, while Chris Donnellan Tara put over two points for London before referee Thomas Reilly awarded the home side a penalty on the quarter hour mark.

However, Marty Hughes' penalty was struck straight at Sligo goalkeeper Philip Greene, who easily blocked the shot and it seemed to settle the visitors.

Sligo closed out the opening half with nine unanswered points, seven of those coming from the boot of Mark Breheny to leave the scoreline Sligo 1-11 London 0-03 at the break.

The second half proved to be something of a bore with Sligo content to finish off the tie, knowing that their job was pretty much done by half-time. Breheny helped himself to a goal and five points after the restart to take his personal tally to 1-11, while Chris Donnellan Tara, Paul Hehir (two) and Alan Rafferty got second half scores for London.

In the end, Sligo eased to a 16 point win, but know that there are tougher games to come if they are to stay in this year's Championship and not suffer the ignominy of dropping into GAA's lower tier competition.

'It was a non-win situation for us coming here,' said Sligo veteran Eamonn O'Hara after the game.

'We could only beat what was put in front of us and we were happy with aspects of our play today, but we know that we have work to do before we face Mayo next month,' he added.

London: Brian McBrearty; Roger Morgan, Conor Beirne, Alan Rafferty; Owen Henry, Eamonn Ó Cuív, Niall Spain; Kevin Waldron, Gary Kane; Paul Geraghty, Paul Hehir (0-03), Chris Donellan Tara (0-03); Stephen Maguire, Marty Hughes, Paul McDermott. Sub: Alan Rafferty (0-01).

Sligo: Philip Greene; Charles Harrison, Patrick Naughton, Ross Donovan; Paul McGivern, Michael McNamara, Jonathan Davey (0-02); Kieran Quinn, Eamonn O'Hara; Brian Curran (0-01), Mark Breheny (1-11), Brendan Egan; Gary Gaughan (1-02), Eamonn Cawley, David Kelly (0-01).

Referee: Thomas Reilly (Meath).