Brave Sligo denied at the last

Galway 1-13 Sligo 0-12

Galway 1-13 Sligo 0-12

Galway needed a late Sean Armstrong goal to see off Sligo’s brave challenge in the Connacht SFC semi-final at Markievicz Park.

The sides were level as the game slipped into stoppage time, but a Joe Bergin point and Armstrong’s 73rd minute goal robbed the Yeats men of the replay they probably deserved.

Padraic Joyce and Sean Armstrong landed a couple of early points to settle Galway, wing back Gareth Bradshaw landed a long range effort, and a superb effort from Armstrong made it 0-5 to 0-1 on 14 minutes.

Eamonn O’Hara move from full forward to midfield, and almost immediately the switch had a positive effect, with Sean Davey hitting a point.

Armstrong, with a goal chance, to clip the ball over the bar on end of a quick-handed move.

Michael Meehan scored his only point from the first half from a free, and Cormac Bane made it 0-8 to 0-2 to add to the Yeats woes.

But in the final seven minutes of the half, Sligo drew inspiration from somewhere.

Mark Breheny notched a couple of scores and defenders Ross Donovan and Jonathan Davey swung over superb points from the right wing.

At half-time, they were looking at a manageable 0-8 to 0-6 deficit, with wind advantage still to come.

And substitute Kenneth Sweeney forced Adrian Faherty into a superb save within seconds of the restart, with David Kelly converting the resultant 45 to lave just a point between the sides.

But no sooner had Adrian Marren brought the sides level, than Sligo were down to 14 men as centre back Neil Ewing picked up a second yellow card.

Just a minute later, however, a straight red to Galway midfielder Garry O’Donnell restored parity.

Meehan finally got some space to shoot a couple of points from play, but Sligo, with Donovan and Jonathan Davey performing heroic roles and Alan Costello probing, refused to lie down.

Sub Stephen Coen brought them level midway through the half, but once again Galway pulled two clear through Joyce.

Another push from the home side saw Kelly land a couple of frees to equalise, and as the game slipped into stoppage time, talk of a replay was on everyone’s lips.

But the Tribesmen laid on a devastating finale. Joe Bergin slotted the lead point, and Joyce turned over possession to send Armstrong in for a last gasp goal.

Sligo: P Greene, C Harrison, N McGuire, R Donovan (0-1), M McNamara, N Ewing, J Davey (0-1), T Taylor, E Mullen, E O'Hara, A Costello, S Davey (0-1), D Kelly (0-4, 2f 1 ‘45’), M Breheny (0-2, 2f), A Marren (0-2, 2f).

Subs: K Sweeney for S Davey (31), P McGovern for Harrison (h-t), S Coen (0-1)for Marren (53),

Galway: A Faherty, D Burke, F Hanley, N Coyne, G Bradshaw (0-1), D Blake, D Meehan, P Conway, G O'Donnell, C Bane (0-1), P Joyce (0-3), J Bergin (0-1), S Armstrong (1-3), M Meehan (0-4, 2f), M Clancy.

Subs: JJ Greaney for Clancy 915), N Coleman for Bane (h-t)m G Sice fo D Meehan (43), B Cullinane for Bane (56), K Fitzgerald for Hanley (61)

Referee: D Fahy (Longford)

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