Mulholland lauds Galway grit

Galway 0-13 Westmeath 1-10

Mulholland lauds Galway grit

Galway put together a fine opening half display and deservedly led 0-8 to 0-2 at the interval despite playing against the breeze.

But Westmeath struck back and hit the front 16 minutes from the end.

Last week Galway did not respond when Louth hit the front but Mulholland was pleased yesterday with the way his men stood up.

“That was the one thing that was different. Last week we didn’t respond when the pressure was put on us, at least this time we came back.

“That said, you’d have to think that was a point lost. Going in 8-2 at half-time you’d have to think we were going to push on from that. It was a bit disappointing straight after half-time, we conceded a lot of scores,” said Mulholland.

He made five changes from the loss to Louth and one of those brought in, goalkeeper John Egan, produced two point-blank saves in the opening half to deny Ger Egan and Callum McCormack which would have greatly altered the interval scoreline.

Westmeath had plenty of possession in the opening half but they were lethargic and bore little resemblance to the only side in the division with a 100% record yesterday morning.

Little wonder then that manager Pat Flanagan couldn’t wait to get them inside the old dressing rooms in Tuam Stadium.

“Basically it was very simple. We weren’t performing in the first half. We were letting Galway bully us around the pitch. We decided at half-time that we were going to get stuck into breaking ball, especially around the middle of the park.

“We got nothing around there in the first half but for about 15 minutes after half-time we won every ball in the middle of the park and we got the scores.

“We probably could have pushed on a bit better from that but at half-time we would have taken a point. It is good to come to Galway and get one point out of it,” said Flanagan.

Paul Conroy was the main tormentor of Westmeath, firing over four points from play, three of which came in the opening half. But Westmeath weren’t long getting back into contention after the restart, firing over four points, with Kieran Martin getting two of them.

Conroy again responded for Galway but it was not a surprise when Westmeath broke through for a telling strike after 54 minutes when Ciaran Curley set Denis Cooroon for a good goal to put the table-toppers ahead for the first time.

Three frees from sub Michael Martin helped restore Galway’s lead as McCormack and Denis Glennon found the target for the visitors.

It looked as if Gareth Bradshaw, making a welcome return from injury, had won it for Galway when he burst forward to score but John Heslin grabbed a deserved draw for Westmeath when he had the composure to point a 20-metre free from the left three minutes from the end of a good contest.

Scorers for Galway: P Conroy 0-4; M Martin 0-3 (3fs); M Meehan 0-2 (2fs), G O’Donnell 0-1, M Boyle 0-1, E Concannon 0-1, G Bradshaw 0-1.

Scorers for Westmeath: D Cooroon 1-0; K Martin 0-4 (2f), C McCormack 0-2, D Glennon 0-2, J Heslin 0-2.

GALWAY: J Egan; J Duane, F Hanley, J Moore; G O’Donnell, G Sice, G Sweeney; N Coleman, A Griffin; J O’Brien, P Conroy, M Boyle; E Concannon, M Meehan, M Hehir.

Subs: M Martin for Hehir, 49; C Doherty for Boyle, 55; G Bradshaw for Moore, 55; F O Curraoin for Griffin, 62; S Armstrong for Meehan, 65.

WESTMEATH: G Connaughton; M McCallon, K Gavin, K Maguire; M Curley, D Harte, J Dolan; D Cooroon, J Heslin; G Egan, C McCormack, K Martin; R Foley, C Curley, D Glennon.

Subs: D Duffy for Foley, 35; J Gaffey for Harte, 35; P Bannon for Cooroon, 67; Damien Dolan for Gavin, 68.

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo).

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