Its hard to know if London played above average or Galway had a bad day at the office, but London beat the handicap by a huge 11pts.
The handicap was -13 and Galway only 16pts in the match, unders was also a winner in this game as it was in the New York v Mayo match.
Galway went to Ruislip as reigning champions but they were given a massive fright by Ciaran Deely’s London men on Sunday afternoon. Indeed the London players can hold their heads high despite the narrow loss. The crowd showed their appreciation with a standing ovation for the players as well at full time.
Shane Walsh kicked the opening score of championship 2019 from a free after Corofin man Ian Burke was fouled but Conor Doran had the sides back on level terms within a minute. The teams then traded scores, before Galway hit four on the spin through Tom Flynn, Mick Daly, Shane Walsh (free) and Liam Silke. Doran stopped the rot with a nice score for London from a placed ball, however, Burke and Antaine O’Laoi a championship debutant for the Westerners registered white flags to keep the scoreboard ticking over in Galway’s favor. Galway fans may have thought that Galway were going to pull away, it wasn’t to be the case though as Killian Butler dispatched a clinical goal, while the Londoners also tagged on a couple of points. Padraic Cunningham fisted over an effort to edge Galway in front just before the break. Doran replied at the opposite end of the pitch to give London plenty of hope going into the second half.
On the resumption, Galway looked to be getting into the groove kicking four unanswered points. Shane Walsh kicking two of those. However, London, who finished bottom of the Division 4 table refused to give up and Fergal McMahon kicked over a nice point. Galway did try to get some sort of momentum but try as they might they couldn’t. Indeed it was London who could have had a goal through Butler but his effort went agonisingly past the post. Minutes later Shane Walsh kicked the insurance score, but Galway will not be happy with this performance, a performance like this won’t beat Sligo.
Galway: R Lavelle; E Kerin, S A O’Ceallaigh, D Wynne; L Silke (0-1), J Daly, G O’Donnell (0-1); T Flynn (0-1), M Daly; A O’Laoi (0-1), P Cunningham (0-1), J Heaney (0-1); I Burke (0-2), S Walsh (0-7, 5f, 1 ’45), D Cummins. Subs: R Finnerty for Cummins (48mins), F O Curraoin for Cunningham (52), G Bradshaw for O’Donnell (61), E Brannigan for Daly (70).
London: G McEvoy; P Butler, M Moynihan, C O’Neill; D Carrabine, M Clarke, E Flanagan; A McDermott, L Feerick; M Gottsche, L Gavaghan (0-1), B Tully; C Doran (0-6, 3f), F McMahon (0-1), K Butler (1-1). Subs: A McGarvey for Tully (64mins), S Hickey for Doran (64), J Hynes for McMahon (64), D Dunne for Carrabine (64), P McGirr for O’Neill (70).
Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh)