SD Galway 2 - 2 Mervue UnitedSat, Apr 14 2012
Derby games are always tight affairs, but this Galway City game proved to be an entertaining open match from start to finish as SD Galway and Mervue United couldn’t be separated and they had to settle for a share of the points at Deacy Park on Friday night.
The game was preceded by a minute applause for the late Eamon “Chick” Deacy, who the Galway FA have decided to rename Terryland Park in memory of, as such is esteem the former Aston Villa and Galway United player is held in the city of the tribes. It was also for former Galway United and Mervue United player, Eugene Halion, who sadly passed away just this week at the young age of 46.
The visitors started brightly and Alan Murphy picked out Pat Hoban on two occasions inside the opening seven minutes. First Hoban hit the side netting from Murphy’s cross from the right and then he headed a free-kick from the left against Ronan Burke’s crossbar.
But it was the hosts who hit the front on just 12 minutes when Enda Curran latched onto a long ball forward from Brian Geraghty and held off Damien O’Rourke as he slipped the ball under Brian O’Donoghue to net against his old club.
Another Murphy free-kick came back of the wall and the midfielder found the target from the loose ball but Burke was well positioned to gather in the centre of the goals. Curran almost caught O’Donoghue out at the other end as he tried a cheeky effort from 30 yards out but the keeper scrambled back to claw away the goal bound effort just before the half hour mark.
Curran then unleashed another strike which O’Donoghue collected as the home side looked to double their lead as they played with confidence. On the stroke of half time Johnny Glynn’s side found themselves level with the goal of the game. Mervue fullback Barry McEntee played the ball forward and SD Galway’s left back Tommy Bradshaw headed the ball away but only to Gary Kelly who struck a first time effort from 30 yards straight into the bottom corner with Burke well beaten.
SD Galway re-emerged for the second period and didn’t let that late concession affect them as straight away Curran was firing in a low effort which flew just past the visitor’s post. Geraghty then met a Brian Gaffney corner with a header which Kenny Farrell did well to clear off the line as Tony Mannion’s side almost hit the front again.
Mervue’s Murphy did well on the hour mark as he got into the home box before beating Burke with a low strike but watched as the ball smashed off the base of the upright and was scrambled clear by the Galway defence. Three minutes later and they did add their second as once again Murphy delivered a perfect ball into the six yard box from a corner and captain O’Rourke headed to the net in a crowded goalmouth.
Gaffney went close on 69 minutes but saw his well struck effort tipped over by O’Donoghue, while Geraghty appealed for a penalty shortly afterwards when he was barged over in the box when about to connect with a ball into the danger area.
At this stage goalscorer Curran had retired after a hefty challenge to be replaced by young Jason Lyons who was to proved Galway’s saviour. Ronan Conlon and Bradshaw combined down the left as the fullback left Lee and McEntee for dead before picking out Lyons on the penalty spot and the young striker coolly side-footed the ball into the corner past O’Donoghue with thirteen minutes remaining.
Gaffney then flashed a ball from Conlon across the goals, while Hoban shot wide at the other end having got into a good position. Mervue also fashioned a late chance in injury time as sub Philip Keegan released Hoban into space with the striker pulling the ball back only for Keegan to fire high and over the crossbar.
A fair result in the end as the sides’ record a third derby draw in seven meetings and a second 2-2 draw in three seasons.
SD Galway: Ronan Burke; Michael Harty, Paddy Quinlan (Eric Browne 26), Brian Geraghty, Tommy Bradshaw; Ronan Conlon, Luke McConnell, Eugene Greaney, Micheal Tierney (Eduardo Dusi 87), Brian Gaffney; Enda Curran (Jason Lyons 70).
Subs not used: Liam Grant (GK), Cian Fadden, Gerry Dolan.
Booked: Brian Geraghty (51), Eugene Greaney (86).
Mervue United: Brian O’Donoghue; Barry McEntee, Damien O’Rourke, Marc Ludden, Kenny Farrell; Alex Lee, Gary Kelly, Noel Varley, Alan Murphy (Philip Keegan 85); Jason Molloy (Etanda Nkololo 81), Pat Hoban.
Subs not used: Conor O’Malley (GK), Shane Keogh, Mike Collins, Michael McSweeney.
Booked: Jason Molloy (23), Noel Varley (93).
Referee: Ray Matthews (Westmeath).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Brian Gaffney (SD Galway).