Game of the Week: ‘Western’ show promise in Pearses win


Western Gaels 2-14 Pádraig Pearses 0-12

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC Group A (Round 2)

Western Gaels’ excellent start to the 2017 championship continued at Pairc an Phiarsaigh last Saturday evening when they saw off the challenge of the home side in very convincing fashion. The Frenchpark side can now go into the break with two outstanding and high scoring performances behind them. In contrast, Pádraig Pearses have now lost two out of two and will struggle to make the play-off stages on the basis of their two displays so far.

  Western Gaels dominated from the start and played some delightful football on a warm sunny evening. By the 18th minute of the opening half they led by 1-5 to 0-1. After Aaron Fehily and Niall Higgins exchanged points in the opening three minutes, the Gaels struck for their first goal in the 4th minute. Derek Moran’s sideline kick hopped in Pearses’ square and although Finbar Cregg missed with his fist, Kevin Higgins followed up to bundle the ball over the line. Further points from Kevin Higgins, Finbar Cregg and a Derek Moran free saw the visitors seven ahead.

  Pearses were really struggling and their challenge was not helped when they lost Conor Daly to a hamstring injury in the 3rd minute. Western Gaels were powering forward with every kick-out going to hand, and they had Cathal Cregg and Kevin Higgins in superb form. In the 21st minute, Western Gaels scored a cracking goal when Cathal Cregg’s brilliant pass found Finbar Cregg and he blasted home from 15 metres. Pearses did have a couple of points from Shane Carty and Daniel Glynn but by half-time the Gaels were ahead by 2-7 to 0-5.

  Pearses did improve somewhat in the second half but the damage was already done. The sides shared four points in the opening five minutes of the half before Western Gaels scored three points without reply from Tommy Gill, Sean Conroy and Cathal Cregg and by the 44th minute the Gaels led by 2-12 to 0-7. Seanie Fahy (2, 1 free) and Hubert Darcy scored points for the home side but the game was over as a contest by that stage and it petered out tamely in the final few minutes. On this form Western Gaels must be considered real title contenders but there is a long way to go yet.

  Best for a very impressive Western Gaels side were Donal Ward, Seanie McDermott, Ciaran Cafferky, Niall Murray, Kevin Higgins, Cathal Cregg and Finbar Cregg while for a disappointing Pearses side Ronan Daly, Seanie Fahy and Shane Carty were most prominent.

Western Gaels: Padraig Cummins; Sean Conroy (0-1), Donal Ward, Aidan Dowd; Seanie McDermott, Ciaran Cafferky (0-1), Oisin Ward (0-1); Niall Murray, Michael Higgins; Cathal Cregg (0-1), Niall Higgins (0-1), Kevin Higgins (1-3); Tommy Gill (0-1), Finbar Cregg (1-2), Derek Moran (0-3, frees). Subs: James Mc Donnell for N Higgins (37), John Duffy for Murray (45), Barry Creighton for McDermott (52, b/c), Niall Murray for M Higgins (59).

Pádraig Pearses: Adam McManus; Shane Dolan, Mark Richardson, Shane Carty (0-1); Ronan Daly, Davy Murray, Lorcan Daly; Conor Daly, Aaron Fehily (0-2); Conor Payne, Cathal Og Sullivan, Daniel Glynn (0-2); Seanie Fahy (0-4, 3 frees), Hubert Darcy (0-2, 1 free), Leon Fehily (0-1, free). Subs: Eamon Donoghue for C Daly (3), Tom Butler for Donoghue (31, b/c), Emmett Kelly for Payne (42).

Referee: Paddy Neilan.