Dunmore MacHales come good late on to claim Connacht IFC title 

The Galway champions, who won the last of their 15 senior county titles in 1983, were pushed to the wire by St. Dominic’s, but always kept their noses in front of the Roscommon champions
Dunmore MacHales come good late on to claim Connacht IFC title 

ONTO THE NEXT: They will take on the winners of next week’s Ulster final between Corduff of Monaghan and Tyrone’s Galbally Pearses.

Connacht Club IFC final 


Fourth in the Galway football roll of honour with 15 senior championships, one of the great traditional powers of Connacht club football took a huge step back towards restoring their former glory on Saturday afternoon.

Dunmore MacHales manager Gary Delaney hailed their 1-16 to 1-13 win over St. Dominic’s of Roscommon in the Connacht intermediate final as “probably their best performance of the year”, and it needed to be, as the home side played their part in a wonderful encounter at St. Brigid’s GAA club in Kiltoom.

“Dunmore has a massive history and it’s a great footballing community” said Delaney, who himself won All-Ireland club titles with his native Corofin.

“They just love their football, and it shows. Everyone is just buying in, the whole town and parish” he said of his side, the first ever Connacht club champions all the way back in 1966.

A younger generation of hero is driving the club forward – Shane McGrath, Jake Slattery and Brendan Carr were all part of this year’s Galway U-20 panel. McGrath was outstanding in their semi-final win over Ballyhaunis, Carr has been a fantastic change of pace substitute, and on Saturday, Slattery was one of the stars up front, chipping in with three excellent points.

In total nine players registered scores for Dunmore, who took the lead through a 14th minute penalty from McGrath and never looked back.

St. Dominic’s, inspired by centre forward Keith Doyle who gave a masterful display of fielding, kept in contention despite losing Kyran Dockery to a black card shortly before half-time, and when Doyle set up Brendan O’Meara to tie up the game after 46 minutes, they looked like the more likely winners.

However Dunmore moved through the gears in the final quarter, scoring 0-9 to give themselves enough leeway to win despite conceding a stoppage time goal to Cian Kelly.

“It was just a total football game” said Delaney.

“It was end to end, some great scores by both teams and it was fantastic. For the first week in December, the brand of football that the boys played was unbelievable”.

Dunmore MacHales now advance to play the winners of Corduff (Monaghan) and Galbally Pearses (Tyrone) in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Scorers for Dunmore MacHales: P Costello 0-5 (0-1f, 0-1m), S McGrath 1-0 (pen), J Slattery 0-3, T Gleeson 0-2 (0-1 ’45), M Redington 0-2, D Brady 0-1, J Coen 0-1, B Carr 0-1, D Redington 0-1.

Scorers for St. Dominic’s: D Donnelly 0-5 (0-4f), C Kelly 1-1, D Keenan 0-3, K Doyle 0-2 (0-1m), T Hurley 0-1, B O’Meara 0-1.

DUNMORE MACHALES: C Gleeson; D Rattigan, C Lyons, S Murray ; L Murray, D Forde, C Mitchell; M Redington, S McGrath; J Coen, M Cleary, D Brady; T Gleeson, P Costello, J Slattery.

Subs: B Carr for Cleary (half-time), D Redington for Coen (47), J Burke for McGrath (60+1), M Brady for D Brady (60+4).

ST. DOMINIC’S: M Miley; M Byrne, E McCormack, K Dockery; D Gately, J Lohan, B O’Meara; P Fallon, T Appleby; K Feerick, K Doyle, C Kelly; T Hurley, D Keenan, D Donnelly.

Subs: M O’Malley for Appleby (49), C Fallon for Gately (53), N Connaughton for Feerick (60+1).

Referee: P Lydon

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