The first match in the 2010 championship was played this evening in Gaelic Park, New York, and for much of the seventy minutes there was a chance that one of the most sensational upsets in championship history might occur, as Galway laboured badly in the humid conditions to put away a sticky New York outfit. We’d struggled for the opening fifteen minutes or so in the same fixture last year, falling four points down to the Exiles before we opened up and then went on to kill off the contest by half-time. Galway, by contrast, only managed to make this evening’s game secure in stoppage time, despite New York having two men sent off during the second half. Galway were only a goal to the good as the match entered injury time but then a late goal and point ended up giving them a rather flattering seven-point winning margin, on a scoreline of 2-13 to 0-12 (match report from RTÉ is here).
Galway’s main man this evening in the Big Apple was the evergreen Padraig Joyce, who bagged 1-7 of the visitor’s total in his first competitive appearance for the county since Joe Kernan took over on the sideline for them. Although the Fat Controller is likely to be less than impressed about the manner in which his mother’s county flirted a little too keenly with humiliation in tonight’s championship opener, I don’t think he’ll be reading too much into it and neither should the rest of us either. The bottom line is that Galway have, albeit after a stuttering performance against a patched-together Exiles team, secured their place in the Connacht semi-final and now it’s up to our lads to do the same. Sligo on June 5th stand in our way of making this particular date and I expect we’d all be happy enough to escape from Markievicz Park with the same kind of winning margin that the Herrin Chokers eventually achieved in Gaelic Park this evening.