Updated: February 26th, 2024

Allianz FL: Oak Leafers overcome Galway in Salthill

Derry remain top of Division One following a hard-fought five-point victory in Galway on Sunday.

Game Recap

from GAA.ie

Galway 1-11 Derry 3-10

A pair of second half goals from Shane McGuigan and Paul Cassidy, allied to black cards for Galway duo Kieran Molloy and Seán Mulkerrin, were the key events as Derry cemented their position at the summit of National Football League Division 1.

With four rounds in the book, Mickey Harte’s team are within touching distance of a top-flight final ahead of Saturday evening’s headline home tie with Dublin.

Galway, meanwhile, have slipped from the top half of the table into the relegation zone and face a pivotal trip to Monaghan on Sunday in a clash between the bottom two.

Derry never trailed and were buoyed by a third minute goal from centre half-back Eoin McEvoy in establishing a 1-2 to 0-1 lead, with Conor Glass (mark) and McGuigan (free) also pointing.

A spell in the sin-bin for Brendan Rogers stalled the visitors’ dominance as Galway grew into the affair with Rob Finnerty scoring the first of his five points and Daniel O’Flaherty also on target.

The home side’s chances also received a major boost when Céin D’Arcy latched onto a pass from the influential John Daly to move to within one, 1-3 to 1-2, on 24 minutes.

Glass then stamped his authority on proceedings with two terrific points from play. His midfield partner Rogers and Niall Loughlin also registered, with two Finnerty frees and a Niall Daly effort coming by way of response for the injury-hit hosts before the break.

1-7 to 1-5 to Derry was how it stood to the interval, but with wind advantage to come, Galway appeared well in contention. The third quarter was ultimately where the match was won and lost.

‘Keeper Ryan Scullion produced a terrific double-save to deny Niall Daly a goal and Galway the lead. A Derry penalty converted by McGuigan soon followed at the other end and came with a sin-binning for Galway’s Kieran Molloy for denying Diarmuid Baker a goal-scoring opportunity.

From potentially falling behind by one, Derry had instead moved five up and never looked back. Ciarán McFaul, Donnacha Gilmore and McGuigan points improved their position, and the outcome was sealed when Seán Mulkerrin followed Molloy to the sin-bin and Paul Cassidy netted for 3-10 to 1-7 lead.

Galway would kick the closing four points through Finnerty (free), John Daly and Cillian Ó Curraoin (two, one free), but it was academic as Derry’s flawless start to 2024 continued in impressive fashion.

Scorers for Derry: Shane McGuigan 1-2 (1-0 pen, 2f), Paul Cassidy 1-1 (0-1f), Conor Glass 0-3 (1m), Eoin McEvoy 1-0, Niall Loughlin, Brendan Rogers, Ciaran McFaul, Donnacha Gilmore 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Rob Finnerty 0-5 (4f), Céin D’Arcy 1-0, Cillian Ó Curraoin 0-2 (1f), Daniel O’Flaherty, Niall Daly, Johnny Heaney (f), John Daly 0-1 each.

DERRY: Ryan Scullion; Diarmuid Baker, Chrissy McKaigue, Conor McCluskey; Conor Doherty, Eoin McEvoy, Padraig McGrogan; Conor Glass (captain), Brendan Rogers; Ethan Doherty, Ciarán McFaul, Paul Cassidy; Niall Loughlin, Shane McGuigan, Declan Cassidy. Subs: Niall Toner for Conor Doherty inj. (35), Donnacha Gilmore for Declan Cassidy (50), Lachlan Murray for Loughlin (56), Eunan Mulholland for Paul Cassidy (65).

GALWAY: Connor Gleeson; Seán Fitzgerald, Jonathan McGrath, Seán Mulkerrin; Dylan McHugh, John Daly (captain), Daniel O’Flaherty; Céin D’Arcy, John Maher; Liam Ó Conghaile, Johnny Heaney, Kieran Molloy; Rob Finnerty, Niall Daly, Cathal Sweeney. Subs: Seán Kelly for D’Arcy (h-t), Jack Glynn for Molloy (53), Cillian Ó Curraoin for Ó Conghaile (59), Rory Cunningham for Finnerty (67), Patrick Egan for Sweeney (70+2).

Ref: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).