Sligo semi-final for Tribesmen

Two Maigh Cuilinn men (and team captains), Eoin Walsh and Sean Kelly share a joke after the Connacht Quarter-final. Galway will face Sligo in their next game.

Two Maigh Cuilinn men (and team captains), Eoin Walsh and Sean Kelly share a joke after the Connacht Quarter-final. Galway will face Sligo in their next game.

Galway will play Sligo in the semi-final of the Connacht championship. The fixture has been confirmed following their comprehensive win over London in Ruislip.

The game is set to be played on Saturday, April 20. The venue is yet to be decided, but it is expected to be Markievicz Park.

Sligo finished a respectable fourth in this year's league competition, winning four from seven games, drawing one and losing two in division three. Their most notable scalps came against Westmeath and Antrim.

The Yeats' County have also started the championship positively, emerging victorious over close rivals Leitrim on a score-line of 0-6 to 0-15.

Last Sunday's win will supplement the belief that Sligo are on the rise. This is particularly pertinent considering their underage success; Sligo took the u20 provincial crown last year, whilst a Connacht minor championship win in 2021 was their first in 53 years.

This should be a tighter contest than most will anticipate. However Galway will feel confident in their ability to defeat their north-western rivals, especially considering the ease in which they dispatched London on a score-line of 0-9 to 5-21.

Playing with the aid of a gale force wind in the first half, Galway raced into a 0-7 to 0-2 lead after 20 minutes. They then kicked on again, scoring 1-8 with no reply to finish the first half leading 1-15 to 0-3. Cathal Sweeney continued his goal scoring streak from the league to score his county's first goal in this year's championship, and his first ever championship goal.

The Tribesmen started the second half with a bang. They scored four goals in a six-minute period early in the second half to kill off any hope of a London comeback. Paul Conroy got the ball rolling with his first championship goal for 12 years, before substitute Tomo Culhane added two goals in under 60 seconds. The goal scoring spree ended with Céin D’Arcy rifling the ball into the top corner, after a charging run through the middle.

Paul Conroy, in his second match against London - an incredible 15 years after his Galway debut - scored 1-3 for his side. Galway did lose the impressive duo of Johnny Heaney and Tomo Culhane at stages in the second half, with both players hopefully just removed as a precaution. Heaney scored four points from play.

It may have been division one against division four, but Galway struggled at times when through on goal last year, so to score five in one game is a huge boost. Scoring 5-21 against any side is an impressive tally, and to do it in the first round of the championship shows how Galway's mentality has switched from league to championship football.

An interesting side note emerged from the game, as both captains on the day hail from the parish of Maigh Cuilinn. Galway’s leader Seán Kelly lined out opposite his former club mate Eoin Walsh, for an impressive bit of GAA history. Kelly, who has struggled with injuries for the last 10 months, looked to be finally moving freely. His fitness will go a long way to improving Galway’s hopes for the rest of 2024.

Galway also welcomed back Corofin duo Kieran Molloy and Liam Silke for their first championship appearances since the 2022 All-Ireland final.

On Friday evening, the Galway minor footballers will begin their championship campaign against Sligo in Tuam Stadium. Throw-in is at 6.30pm.


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