Sligo 0-11 Galway 0-16
Sligo couldn’t cope with Galway’s sharp forwards as the Tribesmen set up a provincial decider with Mayo after this win at Markievicz Park.
Ten points between Shane Walsh and Danny Cummins ensured Galway had little trouble reaching the Connacht final for the first time since 2009, but the home side will be disappointed with their poor second-half.
Midfield proved an interesting battleground in the opening half as Galway’s tactic of targeting Fiontain O Curraoin from their kick-outs and Sligo’s efforts to break possession away from him saw both side enjoy success under the dropping ball.
The home side got up and running with a great score from David Kelly who was allowed plenty of room to run on to David Rooney’s low ball in the second minute.
Michael Lundy got Galway off the mark with a fisted point in the fourth minute, before Sligo captain Adrian Marren edged the Yeats men ahead again with a super sideline kick.
While O Curraoin was dominant under the high ball, his midfield partner Tom Flynn looked stylish on the ground and he helped Danny Cummins to a couple of quick points as Galway took the lead again.
A pair of Marren frees saw Sligo take the lead again by the 17th minute, but with O Curraoin getting the upperhand over James Kilcullen, the Tribesmen hit three points in two minutes to move 0-6 to 0-4 ahead.
Shane Walsh was man of the match last time out for Galway and a minute from the break he kicked a point, but a goal looked on for the Tribesmen as he blasted his effort over the bar when bearing down on goal.
While Galway were picking off their points at will, Sligo were struggling at the other end and Marren, Kelly and Pat Hughes were all guilty of poor wides.
But Mark Breheny and Marren kicked a point each in added time to reduce Galway’s half-time advantage to 0-9 to 0-8.
But Galway took over after the restart and they kicked five points to Sligo’s one by the 52nd minute to take a 0-4 to 0-9 lead.
Walsh was central to everything good Galway did after the break and he kicked three of those points, and after points from subs Kevin McDonnell and Niall Murphy kept Sligo in touch Walsh’s late point ensure easy progress for Alan Mulholland’s men.
Scorers – Galway: S Walsh 0-6, (2f, 1’45), D Cummins 0-4, M Martin 0-2 (1f), E Hoare 0-2, M Lundy, D Comer 0-1 each.
Sligo: A Marren 0-4 (1’sl, 2f), M Breheny 0-2, S McManus, S Kelly, P Hughes, K McDonnell, N Murphy 0-1 each
Galway: M Breathnach; D O’Neill, F Hanley, A Tierney; G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell, P Varley; F Ó Curraoin, T Flynn; M Lundy, S Walsh, D Comer; M Martin, E Hoare, D Cummins.
Subs: P Conroy for Hoare (54), A Varley for Martin (58), S Armstrong for Cummins (61), J O’Brien for Comer (65), C Mulryan for Lundy (70).
Sligo: A Devaney; R Donovan, J Martyn, N Ewing; C Harrison, A McIntyre, K Cawley; J Kilcullen, S McManus; D Rooney, M Breheny, B Egan; P Hughes, A Marren, D Kelly.
Subs: B Curran for Harrison (39), K McDonnell for McManus (50), N Murphy for Rooney (55), S Coen for Hughes (55), G Ryan for Martyn (63), E McHugh for Breheny (65).
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).