GALWAY’S preparations for the Connacht football championship received a major boost yesterday when star forward Padraic Joyce returned to club action after an ankle injury.
Joyce, in a protective cast after injuring an ankle in training, scored 0-6 for champions Killererin in a dramatic 1-11 to 2-7 over city club St Michael’s in Tuam Stadium. And his cousin Nicky Joyce, out of football since last year’s Connacht championship, returned as second-half sub and sent out a call to Galway boss Tomás Ó Flatharta as he scored 1-2, including the winning goal in injury-time.
Corofin, favourites to win their third title in four years, had a difficult 2-11 to 1-6 win over Gaeltacht side Micheal Breathnachs in Pearse Stadium as goals in each half from Damien Burke saw Corofin across the line.
Salthill/Knocknacarra ran out 0-15 to 1-10 winners over Cortoon Shamrocks, while Claregalway had inter-county goalkeeper Adrian Faherty and six points from the boot of Danny Cummins to thank in a 1-17 to 1-9 win over St James.
Two goals in injury time from Mervue United striker Rory Gaffney gave Tuam Stars a 3-14 to 1-8 win over Kilkerrin/Clonberne.
And Milltown staged a late comeback to deny Naomh Anna/Leitir Mór as substitute John Devane goaled to seal the 2-9 to 0-11 win.
Killannain scored five goals but still managed to lose to An Cheathru Rua by 1-17 to 5-2.
Last year’s semi-finalists Bearna will have to repeat their last-four feat through the back door this year after they fell to a 0-9 to 0-8 defeat to Moycullen.
Second-half goals from Niall Farragher and Frankie Burke gave Annaghdown a surprise win over Joe Bergin’s Mountbellew/Moylough on a 3-4 to 0-11 scoreline in Tuam Stadium, while Caherlistrane edged our Caltra 0-15 to 0-12.
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