Exile Cooke seizes late glory for Moycullen

Peter Cooke missed Moycullen's maiden success two years ago as he is working in the United States and is commuting home for games.
Exile Cooke seizes late glory for Moycullen

Moycullen players, from left, Niall Fitzgerald, David Lynne and Neil Mulcahy celebrate after the Galway County Senior Club Football Championship Final match between Salthill Knocknacarra and Moycullen at Pearse Stadium in Galway. Photo by Ray Ryan/Sportsfile

Galway SFC Final: Moycullen 1-10 Salthill/Knocknacarra 1-9 

Moycullen claimed their second Galway SFC title in dramatic fashion as they came from behind to thwart a Salthill/Knocknacarra side in a tense final at Pearse Stadium.

The hero for Moycullen, who were victorious two years ago in only their second ever final, was Peter Cooke who fisted home the winning goal four minutes from the end.

Cooke, who missed out on Galway's march to the All-Ireland final this summer and Moycullen's maiden success two years ago as he is working in the United States and is commuting for games, struck just when it seemed John O'Mahony's Salthill/Knocknacarra were poised for success. He fisted home a high delivery from Owen Gallagher four minutes from time.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, who had edged in front with two excellent points from Evan Nolan, hit back but John O'Mahony's men could not find an equaliser.

Salthill/Knocknacarra led by 1-5 to 0-6 at the break after Moycullen, having won the toss, struggled to make the strong wind count in a game that was delayed by ten minutes to allow the large crowd to enter.

Salthill/Knocknacarra got a huge boost after five minutes when wing-back Daniel O'Flaherty went forward and his shot dipped into the right corner of the net after the two captains Rob Finnerty and Dessie Conneely had exchanged points.

The Moycullen response to the goal was superb and they hit four points in just over three minutes with Galway captain Sean Kelly, Moycullen skipper Conneely, Peter Cooke and Owen Gallagher finding the target.

Salthill/Knocknacarra played good possession football and made their chances count with Finnerty taking his opening half total to 0-4, two from play, and his county teammate Tomo Culhane pointing a free before the break, with Moycullen's only score in the closing 21 minutes of the half coming from centre-back David Wynne.

Two pointed frees from Conneely levelled the sides after 49 minutes and the sides twice exchanged points before Nolan looked set to steer Salthill/Knocknacarra to their fourth title when he landed two superb points.

But there was still time for a final twist when he connected with Gallagher's high ball to spark off huge celebrations for the club who won their first title during Covid two years ago.

MOYCULLEN: A Power; C Dein, N Mulcahy, C Corcoran; E Kelly, D Wynne (0-1), M Moghan; P Cooke (1-1, 0-1f), T Clarke; G Davoran, S Kelly (0-1), P Kelly; M O’Reilly, O Gallagher (0-2), D Connelly 0-5, 0-4f). 

Subs: A Claffey for Dein (half-time), N Walsh for Davoran (47), C Bohan for O’Reilly (61).

SALTHILL KNOCKNACARRA: R Lavelle, W Finnerty, G Armstrong, E McFadden; C Sweeney, E Deeley, D O Flaherty (1-0); J Maher, M Culhane; D Hunt, E Murphy (0-1), S O Leidhinn (0-1); B Conlon, T Culhane (0-1, 0-1f), R Finnerty (0-4, 0-2f). 

Subs: C Power for B Conlon (44), E Nolan (0-2) for Hunt (44), M Thompson for S O Leidhin (52), P Kitt for M Culhane (59).

Referee: Martin Flaherty 

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