Galbally ensured that they will be playing Intermediate football again next season when they recovered from a slow start to comfortably get the better of Fintona in this play off encounter at Father Hackett Park in Augher on Saturday afternoon.
Division Three side Fintona established an early two point lead but by the break it was Galbally who had their noses in front and in the second period they restricted their opponents to just two scores with Mickey Murphy the star of the show. The county man weighed in with seven points from play from either foot in a top class display of marksmanship that Fintona simply couldn’t deal with. Blaine Nugent also contributed four points in this battle of the Pearses on a day when the winners also had good displays from Aidan Carberry, Damian McCrory, Fearghal McGarrity, Sean Murphy and Eamon McElroy. After an impressive season in Junior football Fintona found the gap between the two divisions too much despite the efforts of Kieran McDonnell, Kevin McGirr, Fergal McCann and Thomas McGrath.
Galbally almost got off to the perfect start when good work from Nugent saw him outpace the Fintona defence but his shot flew over the bar. In the fifth minute Fintona
keeper Ciaran McDonnell was called into action as he thwarted attacking half back Damian McCrory with a good stop. McGirr then levelled matters before Galbally keeper Philip Maguire made a superb save to deny Aaron McCarney. Mark Donnelly and McGrath added points for Fintona and the division three side were full value for their 0-3 to 0-1 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
Murphy then hit two superb scores to level matters but back came Fintona with full forward McGrath splitting the posts gain. That was to be the last time that they would lead however as Galbally finished the half strongly. Midfielder Ronan Hagan sent over the equaliser and after McElroy had fisted a point Nugent scored again to leave it 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval.
A Nugent free increased Galbally’s advantage on the restart before Murphy showed good strength to hold off a couple of challenges to hit another fine score. Galbally now had the bit between their teeth and good work from defender Martin Brannigan saw him find Murphy who did the rest with another good finish. Galbally had visibly lifted the pace of the game and Fintona were struggling to stay in touch and while they had a point from substitute Benny McCarney another well taken Murphy point left the winners leading by double scores going into the final quarter, 0-10 to 0-5.
Substitute McCarney then went close to a Fintona goal when he punched narrowly wide and moments later their keeper McDonnell came to the rescue again to deny Sean Murphy. Mickey Murphy and Aaron McCarney exchanged points and in the final five minutes the winners tagged on scores from substitute Christopher Morris, Murphy and Nugent to emerge comfortable winners in the end.