Taste of success has Galway hungry for more
Galway fired out a warning that they could prove a force in the Ulster All-Ireland Championship by the manner in which they clinched the Allianz League Division Two trophy at Croke Park yesterday.
In defeating Kildare by 0-18 to 0-16, Kevin Walsh's side underlined that they are not only capable of winning the Connacht title but making headway in the race for the Sam Maguire Cup.
The sides were level on 0-6 apiece at the halfway stage and were deadlocked again at 0-9 each in the 45th minute.
Paul Conroy's midfield authority allied to the finishing of Shane Walsh and Gary Sice and the promptings of Gary O'Donnell underpinned Galway's performance while for Kildare Tommy Moolick, Kevin Feely, Naill Kelly, Keith Cribbin and Sean Armstrong worked hard throughout.
For the second weekend in succession Tipperary's Michael Quinlivan found himself being hailed as the man of the match when his two goals helped to cement his team's 3-19 to 0-19 Division Three final victory over Louth.
Quinlivan, who broke Armagh's hearts last weekend with three blistering second half goals that extinguished the orchard county's hopes of promotion, created major problems for the Louth defence this time round in tandem with Conor Sweeney.
Indeed, Quinlivan felt that Sweeney should have got the man of the match accolade thanks to his impact.
Former Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney, while disappointed that his Wexford side fell to Westmeath in the Division Four final, nonetheless believes that the experience they have gained in the league will stand them in good stead come the Leinster championship.
"I thought the boys gave the league great commitment and I am very proud of the fact that we achieved promotion so quickly," states McEnaney.
Westmeath, inspired by the league's top scorer John Heslin, Kieran Martin and John Egan, had all but cemented their victory at half-time when they led by 1-11 to 1-4 before moving into overdrive after the break and emerging on top by 2-24 to 2-11.