Galway 2-13 New York 0-12
A virtuoso 1-6 performance from full forward Padraig Joyce saved Galway as they struggled to defeat 13-man New York at Gaelic Park in New York on Sunday night in the Connacht Senior Football Championship.
Playing in temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, both sets of players provided an entertaining spectacle for the large crowd in attendance.
The visitors got off the best possible start in the second minute when Nicky Joyce took a quick free to Gerry Sice, who disguised a through ball to Padraig Joyce.
The big full forward announced his return to inter county football with some aplomb, coolly side footing into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
A John Murtagh free opened the scoring for the home side in the eighth minute after they had wasted three very scorable opportunities.
Galway got their first point in the eleventh minute when Nickey Joyce scored a free after Aidan Power was penalized for taking too may steps with the ball. Dan Doona replied with a point of his own for the home team.
In the 15th minute, a mini melee took place In the middle of the field that saw New York’s Pat Madden and Galway’s Niall Coleman go into the book.
From the following throw in, Madden flattened an opponent in front of the referee and should have seen red, but Maurice Condon let him off on a warning.
In between the arguments, three Joyce Points, two from Padraig and one from Nickey over a six-minute spell extended Galway’s lead to 1-4 to 0-2.
Two quick fire points from New York cut the deficit, with Doona setting up Bell in the 23rd minute and Murtagh scoring a 45 for the exiles two minutes later.
New York could not handle Padraig Joyce at full forward and he pointed again in the 28th minute to keep Galway ahead.
However, for the rest of the half New York dominated possession and scored three points.
Dan Doona scored a sideline kick and Murtagh converted a free after Jason Kelly was fouled, before Benny O’Reilly scored a point with the goal at his mercy in added time to leave the half time score 0-7 to 1-5 in Galway’s favor.
Padraig Joyce converted a free straight after the break, but New York midfielder Adrian O’Connor answered with a good point of his own from play.
Garry Sice and Dan Doona exchanged scores before another Padraig Joyce free left the score 1-8 to 0-9.
New York were very much in the match, but two dismissals in less than 10 minutes left the home team far too short of cover.
Pat Madden got his marching orders for persistent fouling in the 47th minute, but John Murtagh scored a great point from play to keep make it a one point game and raise the spirits of his colleagues.
That would be Murtagh’s last positive contribution, however, as a second yellow card in the 53rd minute for a late tackle resulted in his dismissal.
Dan Doona kept the home side in touch, but Galway were always at least two points ahead, and when New York threw all their men forward for that vital goal, Galway punished them on the break.
Cormac Dane scored (1-1) and Matthew Clancy (0-1) after the 70th minute to give the scoreline a gloss that did not reflect how poorly Galway played against a valiant New York team.
Galway P Joyce (1-6 4f) Nicky Joyce (0-4 2f) Cormac Dane (1-1) Matthew Clancy (0-1) Garry Sice (0-1).
New York: Dan Doona (0-5) J Murtagh (0-4 2f, 145) J Bell (0-1) A O’Connor (0-1) A O’Connor B Reilly (0-1).
NEW YORK: P Ryan, C McCarron B McGourty, L Maguire, A Power, A Rafterty, J Bell, P Madden, A O’Connor, J Kelly, P O’Hara , Kevin McGeeney, B O’Reilly , D Doona, R Caffrey James Moynagh.
Subs: K McGeeney for Caffrey (20); James Moynagh for Bell (45); Ross O' Donovan for Reilly (60); Jason Kileen for Paul O Hara (62).
GALWAY -- E O Conghaile; K Fitzgerald , F Hanley, A Burke; D Blake, G O'Donnell, D Burke; B Cullinane, N Coleman; G Sice, F Breathnach, J Bergin; E Concannon, P Joyce, N Joyce.
Subs: T Fahy for Burke (H); M Clancy for Breathnach (H); Cormac Bane for Cullinane (40); D O’Neill for K Fitzgerald (43);D Cummins for Sice (60).
REFEREE: Maurice Condon.