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Former minor star bags 2-4 as Galway begin O'Neill era with victory over Brian Lohan's Clare

The Tribesmen got the better of the Banner in Ballinderreen.

Galway forward Sean Bleahene.
Galway forward Sean Bleahene.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Galway 4-16

Clare 0-21

Declan Rooney reports from Ballinderreen

SHANE O’NEILL PICKED up his first win as Galway hurling manager with a 2-4 haul from former minor star Sean Bleahene the standout from their seven-point win over Clare at Ballinderreen.

New Clare manager Brian Lohan fielded an experimental starting 15, and despite a sluggish first-half they improved massively after the interval.

Colin Guilfoyle scored ten frees in that second-half alone, but it wasn’t sufficient as Galway’s three goals before the break gave them a healthy cushion.

With Kevin Hussey dominant at the back, and with goalkeeper Fergal Flannery masterful from his puckouts, Galway pounded the Clare backline from the start.

Bleahene, Sean Linnane and the lively Tadhg Haran landed good points, before Flannery and Bleahene combined before Haran cracked their first goal in the 14th minute.

brian-lohan Brian Lohan fielded an experimental starting team for Clare. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Six minutes later Bleahene fired Galway’s second goal past Eibhear Quiligan, and right on half-time the Ahascragh/Fohenagh target man scored his second for a 3-9 to 0-10 lead.

With two weeks preparation under their new manager Clare were understandably a long way from their top form, but a couple of Gary Cooney points before the break kept them in touch. They lost Niall Deasy to a blood injury at the interval, while the arrival of David Reidy, Ian Galvin and Aidan McCarthy saw their play improve.

They scored 11 points after the break – ten of them came from Guilfoyle frees – although they were all in vain as substitute Brian Concannon scored Galway’s fourth goal in the 47th minute, which wrapped up a convincing win for the Tribesmen.

Galway scorers: Sean Bleahene 2-4, Tadhg Haran 1-4 (1’sl), Brian Concannon 1-1, Jason Flynn 0-3 (3f), Sean Linnane 0-2, Ronan O’Meara 0-1, Ja Mannion 0-1

Clare scorers: Colin Guilfoyle 0-10 (10f), Niall Deasy 0-4 (3f), Gary Cooney 0-2, Oisin Donnellan 0-1, Ryan Taylor 0-1, Aron Shanagher 0-1, Domhnall McMahon 0-1, Aidan McCarthy 0-1

Galway

1 Fergal Flannery

2 Jack Grealish
3 Paul Killeen
4 Declan Cronin

5 Kevin Hussey
6 Jamie Holland
7 Joe Mooney

8 Sean Linnane
9 Sean Loftus

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10 Tadhg Haran
11 Jason Flynn
12 Ronan O’Meara

13 Donal Mannion
14 Sean Bleahene
15 Ja Mannion

Subs:
James Skehill
Sean Kilduff
Johnny Coen
Brian Concannon
Mark Horan

Clare

1 Eibhear Quilligan

2 Jason McCarthy
3 Paidi Fitzpatrick
4 Eoin Quirke

5 Keith Whyte
6 Kevin Hehir
7 Eoin Tuohy

8 Oisin Donnellan
9 Ryan Taylor

10 Aron Shanagher
11 Niall Deasy
12 Domhnall McMahon

13 Michael O’Neill
14 Colin Guilfoyle
15 Gary Cooney

Subs:
Keith Hogan
Cathal McInerney
Cathal Malone
Diarmuid Ryan
Stiofan McMahon
David Reidy
Ian Galvin
Aidan McCarthy

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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