Connacht SFC: Galway 3-24 Leitrim 3-5

Galway shrugged off the loss of the Donnellan brothers to comfortably defeated Leitrim in the first round of the Connacht championship with Padraic Joyce the star of the show, registering 3-3.

Galway took a while to settle into the game and Leitrim stunned them with an early goal, Shane Canning taking advantage of confusion in the Galway defence to prod home. Galway responded as quickly as the fourth minute with the first of Joyce’s three goals. After shooting some poor wides Galway started to get their act together, and Joyce’s second goal in the 23rd minute was quite brilliant, Joyce finishing clinically after a terrific passing move. Galway led by 2-8 to 1-1 at half time, with Leitrim’s Jimmy Guckian and Canning both being denied goals by the woodwork.

The second half was a stroll for Galway, Joyce rounding off his hat-trick of goals, but Leitrim never left their heads drop though, and goals from Canning and Adrian Charles helped to put a more respectable look on the scoreboard. Points for Galway came from all quarters, Ja Fallon marked his championship return with three scores and Tommy Joyce (3), Kieran Comer (4), with Shay and Kevin Walsh also kicking some good scores. But in the end it was all too easy for Galway who will meet Roscommon in the next round.

Galway also won the minor curtain raiser to this match, beating Roscommon 2-13 to 1-7.

Filed by Pat Nugent