Cathal Mannion returns to power Galway to victory in Salthill
Former All Star Cathal Mannion returned to the Galway panel in stunning fashion as he hit 1-5 from play in their huge 3-31 to 1-11 NHL Division 1B victory over Laois at Pearse Stadium in Salthill, writes Daragh Small.
Mannion had been on club duty with Ahascragh-Fohenagh, who lost their All-Ireland intermediate final against Carrickshock in Croke Park on February 18, and he showed Galway manager Micheal Donoghue what he had been missing.
Joe Canning also continued his recovery from injury – he scored 1-2 when he was brought on as a second-half substitute, while fellow replacement Conor Whelan scored Galway’s third goal.
Stephen Bergin scored the consolatory goal for Laois but they were second best throughout and they couldn’t cope with Galway after they had to play against the strong breeze in the first-half – they trailed 0-20 to 0-5 at half-time.
Galway reeled off nine points in a row at the start of the game, and they were completely dominant before the break. Every shot found its range until Jason Flynn missed a free in the eighth minute, and then Aidan Corby and Patrick Purcell replied for Laois. But after that Galway continued to press their opponents and the hosts were 15 points clear at half-time.
The result was already secure before Mannion scored Galway’s first goal seven minutes after the break. Bergin netted Laois’ goal 13 minutes from time, but Canning struck a penalty moments later and Whelan was on target too.
Galway: C Mannion 1-5, J Flynn 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 65), J Canning 1-2 (1-0 pen), P Flaherty 0-5, C Whelan 1-0, C Cooney 0-3 T Monaghan 0-3, J Cooney 0-1, David Burke 0-1, P Mannion 0-1, P Killeen 0-1, A Harte 0-1, Daithi Burke 0-1, J Coen 0-1.
Laois: R King 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 65), S Bergin 1-0, A Corby 0-1, P Purcell 0-1, C Taylor 0-1, B Conroy 0-1, A Dunphy 0-1.
Galway: J Skehill; P Killeen (E Burke 50), J Hanbury, P Mannion (G Lally 55); A Harte, Daithi Burke, S Loftus; J Coen, David Burke; C Mannion, J Cooney (J Canning 44), P Flaherty; J Flynn, T Monaghan (M Keating 66), C Cooney (C Whelan 53).
Laois: E Rowland; C Healy, L Bergin, D Palmer (L O’Connell 75); S Downey, R Mullaney (J Kelly 62), P Whelan; C Taylor, P Purcell; E Lyons (A Dunphy 30), A Corby (E Killeen 67), R King; W Dunphy (S Bergin 51, blood), N Foyle, B Conroy.
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)