Tullamore Town 0
Galway Utd 1
With no game at the weekend, Galway Utd arrived in Leah Victoria Park last Wednesday with their full Premier Division side. Whether this could be regarded as being in the spirit of the game is open to conjecture, but it certainly provided Tullamore with an opportunity to flex their muscles against the best league in the country, and they were not found wanting.
The speed and sharpness of the visitors was clearly in evidence early on as Town were forced to chase and harry to stay in the game. Derek O'Brien was first to threaten when he flashed his shot just outside the left post. As Tullamore hit back Kevin Duffy played a lovely ball through to Michael Hoey but Ger Hanley was quickly off his line to clear while, at the other end, Eoghan O'Shea did well to cut out the danger following good play on the left by Seamus Conneely. Brian Francis nearly opened the scoring on thirty minutes when he charged down a clearance from Sean Kelly, but Shane Guthrie did well to get back to clear, and then Mark Clohessy was called into action to save a long range effort from Derek O'Brien. With 40 minutes on the clock, Galway hit the front when John Russell crossed from the right and John Sangi rose to send a looping header just inside the right post to leave the score 1-0 at the interval.
With Simon Keegan coming on at half-time, Tullamore started to hit their stride and good play between Kevin Duffy, Michael Hoey and Stephen Francis set up Brian Francis but his shot was charged down while, at the other end, a great break through the middle by Iarlaith Davoren resulted in a fine save by Mark Clohessy. Town again threatened when following good play on the left by Keegan, Willie Duffy fired in a dangerous cross that found Stephen Francis but his shot flew inches wide.
At this stage of the game the home side were more than matching their more illustrious opponents but Galway demonstrated how dangerous they could be when John Sangi just failed to get on the end of a great John Russell cross. As the visitors began to raise the tempo both O'Brien and Breen were denied by superb relieving tackles from Scott Delaney and Stephen Francis. Kevin Duffy then created danger on the left but Ger Hanley was quickly off his line to gather and as the game continued to ebb and flow Eoghan O'Shea did well to get back to deny Russell as time ran out for the home side.
Given the quality of the opposition, this was a hugely impressive performance by Town which delighted manager Mark Dempsey. The back four of Stephen Duffy, Eoghan O'Shea, Scott Delaney and Willie Duffy were outstanding, while Kevin Duffy and Brian Francis in midfield showed they are comfortable in any company. Up front Michael Hoey was a great target man throughout while Mark Dunne always looked dangerous. Unfortunately for Tullamore their final three games are all away from home with Salthill Devon up next, but based on this showing they are well capable of picking up points on the road.
Tullamore: Mark Clohessy, Stephen Duffy, Eoghan O'Shea, Scott Delaney, Willie Duffy, Ross Whittaker, Brian Francis, Kevin Duffy, Stephen Francis, Michael Hoey and Mark Dunne. Subs: Simon Keegan, Michael Kenaney, Shane Mannion, Gary Buckley and Joe Mooney.
League of Ireland A Championship
Tullamore Town are away to Salthill Devon next Saturday, 19th September, kick-off 3pm.