If Kevin Walsh enjoys a fruitful first year in charge of his native Galway then this could be seen as where it all began. Truthfully though, Galway’s enthusiastic dismissal of an understrength Sligo – Walsh’s former county – will be remembered as simply a decent warm-up game on a cold January Sunday.
Still, full-forward Eddie Hoare’s superb seven-point haul in yesterday’s FBD Connacht League Section ‘B’ tie at west Sligo’s Quigabar, with centre-forward Michael Martin contributing five decent points, hints Walsh has the makings of a useful side. Consider, also, Galway’s midfield power, thanks, chiefly, to Fiontán Ó Curraoin, as well as Garreth Bradshaw’s sturdy showing at centre-back – but Walsh, who was facing the county he managed for five campaigns (2009-13), wasn’t reading too much into the nine-point win.
“I suppose from a Galway point of view it was nice to get a result, but we know that isn’t Sligo’s strongest team either. We won’t cad ourselves on that one,” added Walsh, who fielded three players from Connacht club champions Corofin, Liam Silke, Gary Sice and Ian Burke.
Galwaywere 0-9 to 0-2 up at the break and moved possession with authority against the elements in the second period. The winners could have goaled twice in the second-half. Seán Denvir’s 42nd minute attempt was straight at Sligo netminder Aidan Devaney and Gary Sice, cracked a shot off the crossbar.
Sligo could extract few positives from this. Full-forward Adrian Marren, when supplied, looked dangerous and Gary Cadden, one of several newcomers, was diligent.
Kildare native Niall Carew, in his first competitive game in charge of Sligo, admitted the absence of a number of regulars spoiled his plans.
Scorers for Galway: E Hoare (0-7, 4f), M Martin (0-5, 1f), F Ó Curraoin (0-2).
Scorers for Sligo: A Marren (0-3, 2f), S Stenson (0-1), M Breheny (0-1, 1f).
SLIGO: A Devaney, E Flanagan, B McGarry, D Maye, R Donovan, N Gaughan, G Cadden, S Gilmartin, D O’Boyle, S Stenson, H Marren, N Ewing, P Clarke, A Marren, K Sweeney.
Subs: M Breheny for H Marren, h-t; B O’Mahony for P Clarke, 45; P Hughes for D O’Boyle, 45; N McDonagh for S Stenson, 56.
GALWAY: B O’Donoghue, P Naughton, D Walsh, D O’Neill, L Silke, G Bradshaw, K Kelly, F Ó Curraoin, E Tierney, S Denvir, M Martin, G Sice, I Burke, E Hoare, N Walsh.
Subs: TJ Forde for B O’Donoghue, h-t; D Cummins for N Walsh, 48; C Sweeney for K Kelly, 54; C Forde for P Naughton, 58; M Coady for I Burke, 59; F Breathnach for E Hoare, 60+1.
Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon).