Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO Conor Whelan lifts the Walsh Cup.
# Strong start
Galway stride clear in second half for an opening-day win away to Wexford
Henry Shefflin’s side reeled off 10 unanswered points in the second half to win a league fixture that doubled as the Walsh Cup final.

Galway 0-23 

Wexford 0-15

Ronan Fagan reports from Chadwicks’ Wexford Park 

HENRY SHEFFLIN GUIDED his Galway charges to a second-half romp to victory against Wexford at Chadwicks Wexford Park on Saturday.

And together with bagging the opening round NHL Division 1A league points, the Tribesmen also departed with the Walsh Cup trophy, following an agreement from both sides to allow their league meeting double as the decider of the pre-season competition. 

Wexford had seemed firmly in the hunt as they tied on 0-10 apiece at half-time while hitting ten disappointing wides during that period.

However, Galway brought all the energy to the second-half, with interval substitute Brian Concannon proving a master-stroke as the maroon and white went on to decisively out-shoot Wexford by ten points between the 48th and 63rd minutes.

Wexford rippled with promise amid misty showers in the opening stages only to blaze six wides while exchanging points inside the first seven minutes, with a monstrous Damien Reck free meeting a response from Donal O’Shea in his first league start for the Tribe.

The home fires seemed to be burning brightly, though, as a double from Charlie McGuckin followed Conor McDonald (free) and Mikie Dwyer points to carve open a 0-5 to 0-2, twelfth-minute scoreline. 

And Kevin Foley seemed certain to raise the Wexford support amid the 8,200 crowd to their feet when bursting through in the thirteenth minute, only to be bundled out.

Galway kept in touch through Conor Whelan and Evan Niland (free), before they reaped a rather generous penalty, a push on Niland harshly penalised. 

Wexford goalkeeper Mark Fanning heroically intervened with a masterful dive to his right from Niland’s attempt.

With Conor Whelan dropping back to aid the defence, Galway generated an upswing to tie on 0-10 apiece at the break with four more Niland placed-balls added to by Seán Linnane and Jarlath Mannion.

While Wexford were addressing their shortcomings at half-time – they hit six more wides than Galway in that first-half – the visitors sprang three personnel changes, with Brian Concannon the most effective.

Concannon brought a steady threat to the Galway inside-line, and he fed Jason Flynn for a cracking goal chance in the 39th minute only for Flynn to be snuffed out by an excellently-timed burst off his line by Fanning.

And the outstanding Fanning demonstrated further defiance in the 43rd minute when blocking Ronan Murphy’s path to goal after the substitute was sent bursting into space by Concannon.

But those sparks of danger were a sign of things to come for Wexford as Galway bossed matters, decisively reeling off ten unanswered points between the 48th and 63rd minutes to transform matters, 0-20 to 0-12.

Niland thrilled with four frees in that surge as defender Darren Morrissey, Tom Monaghan, Concannon (a cheeky, kicked point), Seán Linnane and Liam Collins sent the Tribesmen on the road to victory.

Galway were even happy to flash over points when goal threats seemed imminent, while only the crossbar kept out a flicked attempt from Liam Collins a minute into added-time.

Wexford were struggling, and even points from Gorey colleagues Charlie McGuckin, Conor McDonald (two frees) and Cathal Dunbar failed to ease the Model County’s hurt ahead of a trip to Westmeath next weekend. 

Scorers for Galway: Evan Niland 0-10 (9 frees, 1 ’65), Conor Whelan, Liam Collins 0-2 each, Donal O’Shea, Jarlath Mannion, Darren Morrissey, Tiernan Killeen, Tom Monaghan, Brian Concannon, Seán Linnane, Jason Flynn, Ronan Murphy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wexford: Conor McDonald 0-4 (3 frees), Charlie McGuckin 0-3, Damien Reck, Cathal Dunbar 0-2 each, Mikie Dwyer, Liam Ryan, Simon Donohoe, Kevin Foley 0-1 each.


1 Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown; 2 Shane Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien), 3 Liam Ryan (Rapparees), 4 Conor Devitt (Tara Rocks), 5 Conor Foley (Horeswood), 6 Damien Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien), 7 Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers); 8 Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St. Anne’s), 9 Kevin Foley (Rapparees); 10 Conor Hearne (Shelmaliers), 11 Liam Óg McGovern (St. Anne’s), 12 Charlie McGuckin (Naomh Eanna); 13 Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Eanna), 14 Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna), 15 Mikie Dwyer (Fethard)


21 Corey Byrne-Dunbar (Ferns St. Aidan’s) for McGovern (50)

20 Jack Doran (Naomh Eanna) for Foley (54)

23 Rory Higgins (Rathnure) for Dwyer (54)

22 Connal Flood (Cloughbawn) for Hearne (61)

19 David Clarke (Glynn-Barntown) for S Reck (66)



1 Eanna Murphy (Tommy Larkins); 2 Jack Grealish (Gort), 3 Gearóid McInerney (Oranmore-Maree), 4 Darren Morrissey (Sarsfields); 5 Eoin Lawless (Athenry), 19 Pádraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh), 7 TJ Brennan (Clarinbridge); 8 Tiernan Killeen (Loughrea), 9 Seán Linnane (Turloughmore); 10 Tom Monaghan (Craughwell), 13 Conor Whelan (Kinvara), 14 Donal O’Shea (Salthill-Knocknacarra); 11 Evan Niland (Clarinbridge), 25 Jarlath Mannion (Cappataggle), 12 Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins)


24 Martin McManus (Loughrea) for Flynn, temp. 27-28

21 Ronan Murphy (Tommy Larkins) for Killeen (HT)

26 Brian Concannon (Killimordaly) for J Mannion (HT)

18 Oisín Salmon (Clarinbridge) for Brennan (HT)

23 Liam Collins (Cappataggle) for O’Shea (60)

17 Jack Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)

Get instant updates on the Allianz Football and Hurling Leagues on The42 app. Brought to you by Allianz Insurance, proud sponsors of the Allianz Leagues for over 30 years.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel