Galbally came up short in their attempt to lift the All Ireland Intermediate final when they lost out to Kerry champions Rathmore on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-11 on Sunday at Croke Park.
The key score came midway through the first half when Galbally goalkeeper Ronan Mc Geary prevented a sure point from going over the bar but in doing so allowed Shane Ryan to pounce and score the only goal of the game.
At that stage the sides were tied at 0-3 apiece and a minute before that Galbally fullback Conor Quinn broke up field and came close to snatching a goal but his effort was turned around the post by Rathmore goalkeeper Kenneth O’Keefe. That was one of two outstanding saves that the Kerryman made that were key to the outcome of the game.
The opening stages were close and tentative as both sides probed to find openings.Midfielder Mark Ryan and Chrissy Spiers clipped over early points for Rathmore. Galbally responded well and within four minutes were level following scores from Daniel Kerr and a well struck free from Conor Donaghy.
The Tyrone champions were well in the game and created the first of their goal chances when Enda Mc Garrity almost found the net. A goal at that time would have been a huge score for the Pearses. A sixteenth minute forty five was converted by Donaghy to put Galbally in front for the first time but Rathmore responded with Shane Ryan’s first score of the day to tie the game with twenty minutes on the clock.
Then came the most important minute of the game. Firstly Conor Quinn’s surging run failed to produce the goal it deserved and shortly after Rathmore were three ahead after Ryan pounced to fist to the net. Daniel Kerr pointed to reduce the deficit to two before Brendan O”Keefe and Chrissie Spiers pointed to leave the half time score 1-5 to 0-4 in favour of the Kerrymen.
Early second half points from James Darmody and Shane Ryan stretched the lead to six points. Conor Donaghy clipped over a forty second minute free but Galbally were struggling to win the key ballls around the middle that might have given them a platform to build from.
The Pearses lost Enda Mc Garrity to a black card but refused to let that affect their play. Points from Spiers and Ryan made it a seven point game and with less than ten minutes remaining it looked all over for the Tyrone champions.
Ronan Nugent pointed and then came the moment of the second half when a brilliant take and carry from Daniel Kerr followed by an inch perfect shot was turned around the post by O’Keefe. Galbally kept plugging away with Conor Donaghy adding four further points and Kerr also on target.
Unfortunately it was not enough and Rathmore held out to claim the title on a full time score of 1-11 to 0-11.
R Mc Geary, D Kerr (0-3), C Quinn, C Donnelly, M Lennon, C Morris, J Hetherington, E Mc Garrity, C Donnelly, S Wylie, L Rafferty, R Nugent (0-1) B Carberry, C Donaghy (0-7) S Murphy
K O Keefe, J O’Sullivan, A Moynihan, D Murphy, A Dineen, P Murphy, F Holohan, M Ryan, (0-1) C Ryan, B O’Keefe (0-1) C Spiers (0-3),B Friel, J Moynihan, J Darmody (0-2) S Ryan (1-3)
Subs: Rathmore – C O’Connor for J O’Sullivan, M Reen (0-1) for J Moynihan J O’Sullivan for A Dineen, A darmody for J Darmody
Galbally-A Carberry for B Carberry, F Mc Garrity for C Donnelly