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Red Hands count cost of indiscipline as Galway take points

Galway 1-9 Tyrone 0-8

Man on: Galway’s Sean Kelly closes in on Niall Sludden
Man on: Galway’s Sean Kelly closes in on Niall Sludden

By Kevin Kelly

Ulster champions Tyrone got their National league campaign off to a disappointing start in Tuam yesterday afternoon when they fell by four points to Galway.

The Red Hands were forced to play most of the game with only 14 men after Darren McCurry was sent off in the first half and in fact they finished with just 12 players on the field as both Peter Harte and Michael McKernan were black carded after they had used their full compliment of subs.

It was Galway who led by three points at the end of a low- scoring first half. The hosts couldn't have asked for a better start as Captain Damien Comer found himself in acres of space and he burst through to fire low to the bottom right-hand corner of the net after only 15 seconds.

The same player then added a point before a well struck free off the ground from Shane Walsh left Galway 1-2 to 0-0 in front by the 8th minute.

Tyrone had the wind at their backs but they were struggling to make an impact.

Galway almost got in for a second goal but wing half back Cathal Sweeney was denied by a fine save from Niall Morgan.

The visitors finally opened their account after a quarter of an hour when Tiernan McCann arrowed over a superb point with the outside of his boot.

A close in free from Walsh restored Galway's five-point advantage but that proved to be their last score of the first half.

In the 24th minute Connor McAliskey got Tyrone's second point of the afternoon but seconds later they were dealt a blow when they were reduced to 14 men after McCurry was straight red carded.

Despite being a player down Tyrone still had plenty of possession but they kicked eight wides in the first half as well as dropping a few short into the arms of Galway keeper Ruairi Lavelle. Cathal McShane then brought the first half scoring to a close with a well-taken effort but it was Galway who led 1-3 to 0-3.

A McAliskey free closed the gap on the restart and Niall Sludden was then unlucky not to leave just a point between the sides when his effort came back off the post.

Eamon Branigan then ended a 20-minute barren spell for Galway when he pointed before the same player split the posts again. Galway were on top at this stage and when Patrick Sweeney got his name on the scoresheet the home side's lead was now five points.

Walsh then landed the score of the game from distance and at that stage there looked like there was only going to be one winner. Tyrone though, then enjoyed their best spell with Captain Mattie Donnelly firing over the bar.

Peter Harte began to run at the Galway defence and when he was fouled on two occasions he knocked over the resulting frees himself. Substitute Ronan O'Neill then converted a placed ball as well and all of a sudden the deficit was down to two points with five minutes to play.

Tyrone hadn't played well but at this stage, they looked as though they could taken something from the game.

Galway though weren't to be denied with Comer kicking another score before Walsh weighed in with his 4th point.

Tyrone lost Harte and McKernan in injury time but by that stage the home side had already bagged two deserved points.

Galway: R Lavelle, D Kyne, S Ó Ceallaigh, E Kerin, C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, J Heaney, P Conroy, P Cooke, S Kelly, S Walsh (0-4, 3f), E Branigan (0-2), P Sweeney (0-1), D Comer (1-2), A Varley. Subs: P Cunningham for Varley, T Flynn for P Sweeney, J Duane for Kelly, G O'Donnell for Branigan, S Armstrong for Walsh

Tyrone: N Morgan, M McKernan, R McNamee, HP McGeary, T McCann (0-1), P Hampsey, P Harte (0-2, 2f), M Donnelly (0-1), P McNulty, C McCann, N Sludden, K McGeary, D McCurry, C McShane (0-1), C McAliskey (0-2, 1f). Subs: M Bradley for McNamee, R O'Neill (0-1, 1f) for McAliskey, R McNabb for K McGeary, D McClure for McNulty, R Donnelly for C McCann, L Brennan for Sludden

Referee: C Branagan (Down).

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