This junior hurling league meeting of two clubs who amalgamate at juvenile level served up an enthralling hour’s entertainment in Galmoy on Saturday.
Galmoy led by a point at half time, 1-8 to 1-7, and had increased that advantage to four at the three quarter stage, but a strong finish saw Windgap secure two precious league points. That they did was down to the fact that they had the greater hunger and a willingness to lay their bodies on the line for the cause when needed.
In Niall Walsh they had the best forward on view. He plundered 2-2 from play. His workrate was tremendous and he proved a constant thorn in the side of the Galmoy rearguard. The three Lonergan brothers too were always to the fore when the going got tough.
Niall Doherty gave his all for Galmoy from beginning to end and received most support from brothers, Noel and James Dunne.
Full-forward James Dunne had two early points for Galmoy, the second skimming the crossbar before Philly Lonergan opened the Windgap account. He had a great battle with Niall Doherty all through. Niall Walsh struck his first point courtesy of a low delivery by Peter Hennessy and then Walsh won a free which Cian Ryan pointed.
Darragh O’Shea then cleared long out of defence to Tommy Fleming, who off loaded to Tommy Lonergan. His pass to Niall Walsh still left the minor with plenty to do, but he managed to send a sweet strike to the corner of the net.
Galmoy replied with their own green flag in the 22nd minute. Donncha Gray soloed through the middle and passed to Phil Russell who goaled. Russell had some early difficulties from placed balls but rectified this to convert three before the interval.
Galmoy had a let off just before the break when Stephen Murphy mishandled a Philly Lonergan shot but the ball dribbled out for a 65 which wasn’t converted.
After Noel Doherty struck his third point following the break, Windgap replied in style. A long Cian Ryan delivery deceived players from both sides but the alert Niall Walsh ghosted in to flick the sliotar home. The sides were level, 2-8 to 1-11, when Stephen Delaney goaled for the hosts.
Joe Dollard sent in a ball to James Dunne who turned his man and soloed through before setting up Delaney to blast home. Windgap made a match winning move in the 48th minute when they moved Philly Lonergan to full forward with Eoin Cody moving out the field. The switch benefitted both players.
Lonergan pointed immediately and minor player Emmett Landy pounced on a loose ball to leave his side just two points down. That all changed in the 50th when a Gray shot for Galmoy was brought down from his crossbar by Windgap ’keeper, Paul McKenna who cleared cleverly to Eoin Cody.
Cody delivered to Philly Lonergan, who rounded his man and hit the score that lifted Windgap to greater heights. Phil Russell had a chance to equalise from a 20 metre free but decided to shoot for goal and saw his shot blocked.
He atoned a minute later from a line ball 30 metres out, Galmoy 2-13, Windgap 3-10.
From here to the end the visitors out shot their rivals 0-5 to 0-1 and finished with aplomb. Their last point from the wing by Niall Walsh typified their fighting spirit. Windgap fielded four minor players with Galmoy finishing with two minors on the pitch.
Windgap - Paul McKenna, Peter Landy, Sean Foley, Padraig Walsh, Darragh O’Shea, Conor Lonergan, William Phelan, Cian Ryan (0-1, free), Emmett Landy (0-2), Peter Hennessy, Philly Lonergan (1-5, 0-1 free), Tommy Lonergan (0-3), Tommy Fleming (0-1), Eoin Cody (0-1), Niall Walsh (2-2). Subs - Ger Purcell for C. Ryan (inj), James Murray for P. Hennessy.
Galmoy - Stephen Murphy, Mick Murphy, Brendan Phelan, Paul Delaney, Kevin Duggan, Niall Doherty (0-
1, free), John Phelan, Nigel Stanley, Donncha Gray (0-1), Padhric Gray (0-1), Stephen Delaney (1-0), Noel
Doherty (0-3), Phil Russell (1-6, 0-5 frees), James Dunne (0-2), Joe Dollard. Sub - Brandon Phelan for J. Dollard.
Referee - Gay Rafter (Threecastles).