Kevin Walsh happy as Galway's young guns make step-up

Galway 3-12 Laois 1-10: Kevin Walsh cut a contented figure after the final whistle at O’Moore Park yesterday and he was entitled to do so, as his Galway team proved far too strong for a particularly poor home side in this Division 2 opener.
Kevin Walsh happy as Galway's young guns make step-up

The Tribesmen laid waste to Laois in the opening 20 minutes, as they opened a 10-point advantage, and it was just a matter of them not taking their eye off the ball for the remainder of proceedings.

And while the pre-season competitions aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, Walsh felt that a prolonged run in the FBD League, which they won, stood to his charges.

“It’s an ideal start” said Walsh. “Last week probably set us up for that as well; we’d a good competitive game against Roscommon.

“But I suppose the best thing about this is to see whether the young fellas that stepped up last week, could they step up again today. That’s what the League is going to be about this year.

“I think there were something like eight debutants out there between subs and players. If you can develop a panel and get the guys that are injured back into it, and everyone singing from the one hymn sheet, then you’re in a better place than you were starting off. It doesn’t guarantee you success but the only thing you can do is leave something in a better place than you found it and we’re certainly looking to push forward as a group.

With Galway effortlessly creating runners, simply by introducing pacey runners from deep, Damien Comer and Adrian Varley prospered.

Varley had a point after 25 seconds but the game might have had a different complexion had Donie Kingston not had a third minute penalty well saved by Thomas Dolan.

Varley had an easy finish for a goal three minutes later after a strong run by Liam Silke and points followed from Liam Hoare, raiding corner-back David Wynne and Comer.

Comer followed with a brilliant goal, when he rescued a wayward delivery with a clean catch over his head, slipped his marker Daniel Seale and blasted low to the net.

It was 2-6 to 0-1 at half time and Laois manager, Mick Lillis made four substitutions at the break, to go with his replacement of Seale after 25 minutes.

In fairness, they produced some improvement on the restart but the damage had been done. Galway had three points on the board when Daniel O’Reilly blasted first time beyond Dolan for a Laois goal, after Kingston’s initial attempt was blocked. When Comer fisted Varley’s diagonal delivery brilliantly to the net at the other end of the field soon after, any prospect of a comeback was extinguished.

Laois deserve some credit for scoring 1-9 in the second half, and providing more protection to their defence.

Gary Walsh scored an excellent solo point and others from Paul Cahillane, Kingston, Darren Strong and the hard-working Evan O’Carroll put a better gloss on the scoreboard, but there was no escaping Galway’s dominance.

GALWAY:

T Dolan, D Wynne 0-1, D Kyne, E Kerin, L Silke, G O’Donnell 0-2, J Heaney 0-1, P Conroy 0-2, F Ó Curraoin, T Flynn, E Hoare 0-2(1f), E Tierney, D Comer 2-2, A Varley 1-1, E Brannigan 0-1.

Subs:

S Walsh for Brannigan (50), P Cooke for Hoare (57), P Mannion for Varley BC (62), A Kyne for Kerin (70), S Denvir for Heaney (70)

LAOIS:

G Brody, R Kehoe, M Timmons, D Seale, D Strong 0-1, P Cotter, G Dillon, K Meaney, J O’Loughlin, J Farrell, N Murphy, A Farrell, D Kingston 0-3(2fs), E O’Carroll 0-1, P Cahillane 0-3.

Subs:

K Lillis for Seale (25), P Kingston for Murphy (ht), G Walsh 0-1 for N Farrell (ht), D O’Reilly 1-0 for J Farrell (ht), T Collins 0-1 for O’Loughlin (ht), D O’Connor for Dillon (50).

Referee:

C Branagan (Down)

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