NFL Division 2
By Michael McMullan
DERRY’S 12-game unbeaten league record came to a crashing end at home to Galway at blustery Owenbeg on Sunday.
Goals from Man of the Match Matthew Tierney, Damien Comer and Dessie Conneely had the Tribesmen half way to victory as they led 3-8 to 0-4 at half time.
Tomo Culhane added a fourth goal in the 40th minute put the game totally to bed with a 4-8 to 0-5 lead.
Ciaran McFaul kicked thee long-range points as Derry got a slight foothold in the game, but it was a case of putting a degree of respectability on the scoreboard.
Galway had Paul Conroy sent off for a strike in the 58th minute.
Derry’s Gareth McKinless dismissed four minutes later after both teams became embroiled in initially tame melee involving players from both sides, following an incident that saw Sean Kelly and Conor Glass yellow carded.
The win puts Galway top of the table and back in division one, with Derry’s feat not out of their own hands.
Derry started without Shane McGuigan after a second appeal against his one-match ban failed on Saturday, while Galway started without star forward Shane Walsh.
The sides were level at o-1 each early on before Paul Conroy and Dessie Conneely put Padraic Joyce’s side ahead.
Derry won the toss and elected to play against the breeze in the first half, but struggled with their kick-outs as Galway closed them down.
Galway hit their first goal in the tenth minute. Comer ran along the end line and when Conroy squared the ball Matthew Tierney palmed home at the far post.
Comer blasted to the top corner for Galway’s second goal three minutes later, putting them 2-5 to 0-2 ahead.
With one minute remaining, Conneely hit a third Galway goal and they may have had a fourth only for Sean Kelly’s shot being blocked by the feet of Odhran Lynch.
Leading 3-8 to 0-4 at the break, Galway added a fourth goal with substitute Tom Culhane’s first touch.
Niall Toner, Emmett Bradley and Ciaran McFaul (3) notched points in Derry comeback that little other than a damage limitation exercise.
Galway: C Flaherty; J Glynn, K Molloy, L Silke; D McHugh, J Daly, C McDaid (0-1); Paul Kelly, P Conroy (0-3); M Tierney (1-3, 2f), S Kelly, J Heaney (0-1); R Finnerty, D Comer (1-1), D Conneely (1-2, 1f)
Subs: O Gallagher for R Finnerty (HT), T Culhane (1-0) for D Comer (39), J McGrath for J Glynn (48), N Daly for Paul Kelly (57), T Gill for D Conneely (79), S Fitzgerald for S Kelly (Blood sub 70)
Black card: O Gallagher (56)
Yellow cards: S Kelly (62), K Molloy (77)
Red Card: P Conroy (58)
Derry: O Lynch; B Rogers, P McGrogan, C McKaigue; G McKinless, C Doherty, C McFaul (0-3); C Glass, E Bradley (0-3, 2f); E Doherty, O McWilliams, Paul Cassidy (0-1); B Heron, N Loughlin (0-3f), L Murray (0-1)
Subs: N Toner (0-1) for B Heron (47), Padraig Cassidy for C Doherty (47), C McCluskey for L Murray (60), S Downey for O McWilliams (INJ 62), B McCarron for E Doherty (75)
Black card: C McFaul (76)
Yellow cards: C McFaul (54), C Glass (63)
Red Cards: G McKinless (62), C McFaul (76)
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone)
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