SHELBOURNE 1 (C.Murphy 34′)
GALWAY FC 2(Connolly 59′, Keegan 82′)
Report courtesy of rte.ie/sport
Galway booked their place in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division promotion/relegation play-off against UCD with a 2-1 win at Shelbourne, going through 4-1 on aggregate.
Conor Murphy connected with a Gary Dempsey corner to head Shelbourne back into serious contention in the 31st minute.
But Galway talisman Ryan Connolly responded on the hour mark thumping a gorgeous strike through a cluster of bodies.
Jake Keegan filched the winner on 85 and Shels then had goalscorer Conor Murphy red carded in stoppage time.
So impressive when assuming a two-goal advantage at Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway were anxious to replicate the drive and desire of that performance.
Shelbourne craved a positive start to put some doubt into the visitors’ minds and within four minutes a Gary Dempsey corner was headed wide by John Sullivan.
Galway, though, carved a chance themselves seconds later when Colm Horgan’s clever right-wing cross found Keegan, who was unable to direct a header on target.
Shels’ set pieces were testing Galway and a 28th-minute Sean Russell free-kick was hooked wide by Sullivan.
But Johnny McDonnell’s side rattled the Galway net on 31 minutes as a Dempsey corner was headed home in a packed area by Murphy.
Galway should have restored parity in the 38th minute when Ryan Connolly released Keegan, but Nathan Murphy made a smart reflex save.
By the time the interval rolled around Shels remained one up on the night, but they were aware that another goal was required to level the tie.
Two minutes after the restart Galway skipper Paul Sinnott had an attempt gathered by Murphy as the visitors’ battled back.
Connolly rifled a glorious shot to the back of the Shels net on the hour mark as gutsy Galway restored parity much to the delight of the huge travelling support.
Keegan squeezed a nice goal in from an awkward angle with five minutes on the clock to seal the deal for Galway.
The Dublin side were beaten and the hard-working Murphy was dismissed in the closing stages as Galway admirably held out.
Shelbourne FC: Nathan Murphy, Lee Desmond, Adam O’Connor, Ryan Robinson (Philip Hand 70′), John Sullivan, Jordan Keegan, Luke Gallagher, Gary Dempsey (Lee Duffy 82′), Dylan Connolly, Sean Russell (Gareth Coughlan 75′), Conor Murphy.
Substitutes: Charlie Tracey, Anthony Hewitt, Jake Donnelly.
Galway FC: Conor Gleeson, Colm Horgan, Alex Byrne (Vinny Faherty 80′), Paddy Barrett, Marc Ludden, Ryan Connolly, Ryan Manning (Jason Molloy 89′), Gary Shanahan, Paul Sinnott, Stephen Walsh, Jake Keegan (Padraic Cunningham 89′).
Substitutes: Ger Hanley, Robbie Egan, Enda Curran, Martin Conneely.