Kevin Walsh says Galway are unfairly ‘ridiculed’

Armagh 1-15 Galway 1-15: Claiming his Galway side have been unfairly “ridiculed” for having no backbone, Kevin Walsh saluted his players’ new-found powers of resilience after coming back from the dead for the second week running.
Kevin Walsh says Galway are unfairly ‘ridiculed’

Nine points down to Meath at half time last week, they performed similar heroics in the Athletic Grounds yesterday, coming from eight down to beat 13-man Armagh.

The manner of the draw this time was probably even more impressive, with super-sub Danny Cummins’ equalising goal coming in the seventh minute of stoppage time after Galway had trailed by 1-15 to 0-10 after 57 minutes.

“These boys have been ridiculed for the last number of years for having no fight when things go wrong,” said Walsh.

“But things did go wrong and that’s twice in a row where they have fought back.

“This time last year we had lost two eight-point leads against Laois and Cavan, so it’s a bit different now.” Tyrone referee Sean Hurson was booed off by the Armagh fans after signalling four minutes and playing almost seven.

There were a lot of stoppages during the allotted four minutes, but Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney wasn’t happy with the time-keeping.

“After every game we talk about the same thing (referees).

“Some fella sits behind a desk in Croke Park is responsible for all those things but if every time we have to talk about it here, then obviously there’s a problem.

“But sure maybe the ‘mark’ will take care of that.”

There were a lot of positives for ‘Geezer’ whose players produced arguably the best performance of his time in charge. Stefan Campbell sparkled with 1-9 and kicked seven points from play in the first half.

“Soupie was a class apart and showed he is one of the best forwards in the country,” claimed McGeeney. “There were a lot of positives to take from it and anyway I’m extremely proud of the players.”

Galway looked dead and buried when they trailed 1-15 to 0-10 after 57 minutes.

The sides were level at 0-9 each at half time – Campbell on fire with 0-7 from play and punishing Galway’s decision not to play a sweeper in front of him.

But the visitors fought back with four points in a row to draw level at the break and Shane Walsh had them ahead briefly after the restart.

Armagh raised their game after the dismissal of Ethan Rafferty in the 38th minute, scoring 1-6 without reply and Campbell drilling home a 53rd minute penalty.

Galway finished strongly with 1-5 on the bounce with Paul Conroy and Cummins pointing plus a free and a ‘45’ from Shane Walsh bringing them back into contention.

There was still a goal in it when Aidan Forker was sent off in the 73rd minute and Galway pumped several high balls into the square looking for the equaliser.

Armagh goalkeeper Paddy Morrison made a superb save from Damien Comer’s flick and it looked like the last action of the game – but there was still time for one final twist. Another Galway sub Sean Denvir’s long ball in was punched home at the back post by Cummins to grab a draw that felt like a win for Galway and boosts their chances of getting out of Division Two.

Scorers for Armagh:

S Campbell 1-9 (pen, 2f), C Watters 0-2, G McParland, E Rafferty, B Donaghy, E Rafferty, G McParland 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway:

E Hoare 0-4 (1f), D Cummins 1-1, S Walsh 0-4 (1f, 1 ‘45’), P Conroy 0-2, L Silke, D Comer, D Varley 0-1 each, G Sice 0-1 (f).

ARMAGH:

P Morrison. S Connell, C Vernon, S Heffron. M Shields, A Forker, J McElroy. B Donaghy, E Rafferty. C O’Hanlon, M McKenna, R Grugan. C Watters, S Campbell, G McParland.

Subs:

A Findon for McParland (40), T Kernan for Watters (59), C McKeever for Grugan (68), J Hall for McKenna (70).

GALWAY:

M Breathnach. D Wynne, D Kyne, C Sweeney. L Silke, G O’Donnell, J Heaney. F O Curraoin, P Conroy. T Flynn, E Hoare, G Sice. S Walsh, A Varley, D Comer.

Subs:

S Denvir for Wynne (49), D Cummins (0-1) for Varley (49), G Bradshaw for Kyne (63), E Brannigan for Sice (64).

Referee:

Sean Hurson (Tyrone).

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