Galway compensated for their Connacht semi-final defeat by Roscommon with an emphatic 0-14 to 1-05 victory over their provincial champions at McHale Park this evening. A storming first half performance from the Tribesmen paved the way for what proved to be a comprehensive victory, and despite a brief spirited comeback by Roscommon midway through the second half, Galway remained stern to earn a place in the Bank of Ireland All-Ireland semi-finals.
The prolific free-taking of star forward Padraig Joyce was central to Galway's early dominance as John O'Mahony's charges stormed to a 0-09 to 0-01 point lead at the interval, from which there was no coming back for a dramatically misfiring Roscommon front line. While Joyce's composure in hitting four clinically struck frees epitomised the confidence throughout the Galway side, their opponents seemed unnerved by the occasion.
Only centre half back Francie Grehan seemed to come to grips with the match as Roscommon were outplayed in every other position, with the slippery conditions not helping their traditional long ball game which proved so effective in their surprise semi-final victory over today's opponents. After winning the toss, Galway never looked back, and with the returning Derek Savage complimenting the industry of Joe Bergin and Man of the Match Michael Donnellan, Galway punished at every opportunity.
Savage helped himself to two points during a lively opening half, with Donnellan, Walsh and Bergin also adding scores in a one sided affair with Roscommon registering a solitary point from the outstanding Grehan in the third minute. It was much the same after the interval despite early points from Stephen Lohan and Dolan which looked like giving John Tobin's men a route back into the game, but Joyce and Donnellan extinguished any lingering hopes with two more well executed scores.
Roscommon did manage to score the only goal of the game when they abandoned their long ball tactics and forced their way through the Galway reargaurd with a series of well worked passes, before Gerry Lohan played Jonathan Dunning in, and the substitute finished superbly under pressure. However, the goal and two subsequent points from Lohan and Dolan failed to ignite a comeback to match Dublin's efforts earlier this afternoon, and Galway held on to avenge their provincial defeat with two further points from that man Padraig Joyce. And with Ja Fallon set to return for the semi- finals, who would bet against Sam going West for the first time since Galway's last success in 1998.
A Keane; K Fitzgerald, G Fahey, R Fahey; D Meehan, T Mannion, S de Paor; K Walsh, M Donnellan; P Clancy, T Joyce, J Bergin; A Kerins, P Joyce, D Savage.
D Thompson; D Gavin, J Whyte, M Ryan; P Noone, F Grehan, C McDonald; S O'Neill, F O'Donnell; C Connelly, J Hanly, G Cox; N Dineen, G Lohan, F Dolan.
Filed by Shane Murray