Salthill survive Moycullen rally to carry day in minor deciderSeptember 11, 2012 - 7:00am
Noel Carney at Pearse Stadium
AFTER completely dominating the first half of this West Minor A Football Championship final Salthill-Knocknacarra got a real scare after the break as Moycullen whittled their seven-point lead down to two before the city boys got a few late scores to seal victory at Pearse Stadium last Saturday.
Salthill led 0-9 to 0-2 at the end of the first half after looking much the sharper team, although Moycullen were playing with plenty of spirit and determination without making much progress in terms of scoring. With such a commanding lead, the young Seasiders may have subconsciously felt that the second half would be a mere formality, but they got a rude awakening.
Given that Moycullen were able to lift their game so much after the interval and put their opponents under fierce pressure, they must have been kicking themselves at turning in such a barren display in the opening period. That was only part of the story though as the leaders probably slackened off and for a while looked as if they might regret it.
One concern for the winners is the unfortunate injury to key forward Andrew Butler who limped off during the second half. He would be a big loss if he was missing for the county final. He kicked a superb point from a difficult right wing free to set them on their way and got another from nearly 40 metres out just before the break as well as showing leadership qualities.
Andrew Butler’s early point was quickly followed by others from Shane Garvey, Brian Seagrave (free) and Shane Fahy after taking a pass from the industrious Garvey. They also had a goal ruled out after Sean Hughes netted only for the score to be disallowed as the final pass by Butler was deemed a throw by referee Ger Cahill.
Moycullen had created some chances too but they found the Salthill defence in top form. Eventually P.P. Cooke, who turned in a brilliant all round performance, pointed a free to get them off the mark early in the second quarter. However further scores at the other end by Sean Hughes and Sean O’Reilly, following a powerful surge through the defence, made it 0-6 to 0-1.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.