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Below par Galway become the first side to reach Super 8s


By John Campbell

Galway became the first side to reach the Super 8s when they staged a second half recovery to beat Roscommon by 0-16 to 2-6 in yesterday's Connacht senior football championship final.

Yet this is a game that Roscommon could and should have won. They made all the running in the first half after Ciaran Murtagh crashed in a spectacular goal and looked set to create a huge shock.

With Galway having retreated into a defensive shell, Roscommon seized the initiative but they lost their shape and concentration after the break.

Yet after going for 21 minutes without scoring they took the lead at 2-6 to 0-11 when Conor Devaney smashed home a penalty only for Galway, strangely lethargic at times, to close out the game in clinical fashion with points from Ian Burke (2), Sean Armstrong, Adrian Varley and Damien Comer.

And while Galway march on somewhat unsteadily, it would appear there is to be no let-up in the controversy triggered by Sean Cavanagh's 'autocratic' rebuke of Mickey Harte.

"Cavanagh's suggestion that Harte's management style was too autocratic for Tyrone's good was a low blow," maintains O' Se.

""For pity's sake, he was the captain, the voice of the players, who should have made himself heard if that was true. He should have said what he thought to Harte's face, rather than mouth off behind his back."

O'Se also took issue with Cavanagh over an alleged incident in an All-Ireland intermediate club game in which he suggested that the former Tyrone captain had attempted to get a player from An Gaeltacht sent off.

Meanwhile, Antrim found themselves completely out of their depth in a one-sided Leinster Minor Hurling quarter-final tie at Dowdallshill, Dundalk on Saturday.

The Saffrons were still in contention when they trailed by 2-3 to 0-3 at the break after Dara Purcell and Luke Swan had scored goals for Dublin before they swept well clear to win by 3-16 to 0-4.

Indeed, the Ulster side only managed one point from Ryan Hill in the second half, such was the Dubs' dominance.

Hill was earlier unfortunate to see his well-hit penalty saved by Dublin goalkeeper Jack Lambert and it was after this that Seamus Fenton blasted in the winners' third goal to allow them to career through the final quarter.

Cathal Hargan, Cormac Donnelly and Caolan McKernan tried hard to stem the Dublin surge while Conaill Bohill worked hard in Antrim's attack.

Dublin All-Ireland winner Paul Flynn has been confirmed as the new chief executive of the Gaelic Players Association.

The 31-year-old much-decorated forward has been a member of the association since its inception and sits on its National Committee.

He has already indicated that he will seek to drive the association forward with the aim of improving the lot of players very much as his core objective.

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