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Tommy Dickson/INPHO Galway boss John Caulfield (file pic).
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Galway stun Bray Wanderers in play-offs to set up clash with Longford
In the other game, UCD were defeated in a thriller.

SUBSTITUTE WILSON Waweru struck eight minutes from time as Galway United booked a First Division play-off final date with Longford Town next Friday.

The striker was quickest to react to the rebound after Brian Maher had denied Shane Doherty from close range for the game’s only goal.

John Caulfield’s side only found out they’d be in the play-offs on Thursday after an FAI arbitration hearing overturned a walkover granted to Cabinteely against Wexford in August.

That result meant Galway pipped Cabo for the final spot and they took their second chance with gusto.

Enda Curran forced Brian Maher into an early save with a well-hit shot from the edge of the box, while Callum Thompson replied with a skied effort at the other end.

There were few clear-cut chances in the first half but plenty of shots from distance, the best of which saw Galway keeper Micheál Schlingermann tip Derek Daly’s shot around the post.

The second half was livelier and opened up as Caulfield introduced the pacey Waweru and Mikey Place for Enda Curran and Timmy Molloy.

It was Bray who went closest to taking the lead, however, with a smart turn and shot by Ryan McEvoy rattling the base of the post.

Galway hit the woodwork themselves with 14 minutes remaining, as full-back Jack Lynch saw his shot from 12 yards hit the top of the bar.

The Tribesmen hit the front with eight minutes remaining as Stephen Christopher did well to dig out a cross from the right and, though Waweru’s overhead attempt fell flat, Shane Doherty mopped up.

The winger saw his shot from close range blocked by the legs of Maher, but the rebound fell kindly for Waweru to finish into the roof of the net.

Place could have wrapped up the win injury time, as the attacker broke through into the box, but he shanked his shot, however the whistle blew seconds later.

Meanwhile, there was similar drama in the other play-off match, as Longford beat UCD 3-2 after extra-time.

The game finished 1-1 in normal time. Colm Whelan put the Students ahead on 17 minutes, before Joe Gorman equalised with just a minute of normal time remaining.

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Yoyo Mahdy put the hosts back in front in the 110th minute, before another Gorman goal brought the match level once again.

Then, in the dying moments, a stunning Dean Byrne effort sealed a jubilant Longford’s progress.

Bray Wanderers: Brian Maher; John Ross Wilson, Aaron Barry, Kilian Cantwell, Dylan Barnett; Paul Keegan, Sean McEvoy, Callum Thompson; Derek Daly (Darragh Lynch 85), Ryan Graydon, Joe Doyle  (Gary Shaw 85).

Galway United: Micheál Schlingermann; Jack Lynch, Killian Brouder, Maurice Nugent, Marc Ludden; Stephen Christopher, Shane Duggan, Sam Warde; Shane Doherty, Timmy Molloy (Mikey Place 56), Enda Curran (Wilson Waweru 56).

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea.

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy


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