Glenavy’s Eoghan Gallagher was one of the stars as Moycullen won their first Galway senior football champions title after edging out Mountbellew-Moylough at Pearse Stadium on Sunday evening.
Former Antrim star Gallagher, who is now resident in Galway, where he is a doctor, set up Moycullen’s second goal just before the second-half water break and he added two points from play during a thrilling game.
Dessie Conneely (1-9) led the way for the victors, with an early second-half goal and two late points in injury-time crucial in getting his club over the line for the very first time.
The sides couldn’t be separated during a tense first-half in Salthill, with Moycullen’s Conneely hands down the best forward on show during the opening 30 minutes.
Mountbellew-Moylough saw a huge goal chance crash back off the crossbar four minutes from the break, as two Conneely points afterwards sent the teams in all square on 0-7 each.
Barry McHugh fisted over a point to restore Mountbellew-Moylough’s lead early in the restart, but Moycullen’s response would reap maximum profit.
A slick move threaded Conneely through and the captain fired into the roof of the net to move his side in front for the first time since the early stages.
Minutes later, the ball would be in Moycullen’s net when Eoin Finnerty drilled home a penalty and quick free from Barry McHugh at the same end had Mountbellew-Moylough leading 1-9 to 1-8 with 42 minutes played.
County man Gareth Bradshaw levelled for Moycullen and right on the eve of the second water break they’d goal again.
This time Eoghan Gallagher pulled off brilliant work to set-up Conor Bohan and he fired in off the post.
Gallagher stretched the lead out to four after the water break prior to Michael Daly and McHugh (free) leaving things on a knife-edge for the closing stages.
A Conneely free on the eve of injury-time put a goal back in it and the Moycullen sharpshooter would seal the deal in the added minutes when he cut through to earn a free for what proved the insurance point.
Moycullen: Seamus Friel; Sean Kelly, David Wynne, Neil Mulcahy; Gareth Bradshaw (0-1), Aidan Claffey, Greg Bohan; Thomas Clarke, Mark Lydon; Paul Kelly, Conor Bohan (1-0), James McLoughlin; Owen Gallagher (0-2), Neil Walsh, Dessie Conneely (1-9, 5f, 1 ’45). Subs: Eoghan Kelly for G Bohan (43mins), Daniel Cox for Walsh (47).
Mountbellew/Moylough: Damien Boyle; Gary Sweeney, James Foley, Mark Mannion; Shane Moran, Colin Murray, Colin Ryan (0-1); Michael Daly (0-1), Matthew Barrett; Paul Donnellan (0-1), Gerard Doneoghue, Leo Donnellan; Eoin Finnerty (1-2, 1pen, 1m), Patrick Kelly, Barry McHugh (0-6, 4f). Subs: Sean Miland for L Donnellan (47mins), Billy Mannion for Donoghue (60).
Ref: Austin O’Connell