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Joe Canning's 0-13 inspires Galway to Walsh Cup victory over Wexford

The talismanic forward scored 13 points to guide the Tribesmen to a convincing victory over Davy Fitzgerald’s side.

Joe Canning was in imperious form this afternoon against Wexford.
Joe Canning was in imperious form this afternoon against Wexford.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Galway 1-23

Wexford 0-20

Ronan Fagan reports from Bellefield.

GALWAY OVERCAME A numerical disadvantage for much of this Walsh Cup decider as Joe Canning’s 0-13 helped lift the Tribesmen to the silverware against a battling Wexford outfit.

Both sides were down to 14-men before Galway were reduced to 13, just before half-time leading 1-8 to 0-9.

And, with Canning in supreme form, the Tribesmen masked their handicap to control the destiny of the title, although they had to thwart several serious goal threats from Davy Fitzgerald’s men, who were themselves down to 13 men in added-time.

Wexford sparked into life as Ian Byrne and centre-back Matthew O’Hanlon shot them 0-2 to 0-0 clear on three minutes.

But four frees from Joe Canning tied matters on 0-4 apiece after 13 minutes, before midfielder Cathal Mannion, the star of the semi-final victory over Dublin, supplied two gems to nudge Galway ahead 0-6 to 0-4 on 19 minutes.

Liam Ryan is sent off by Sean Cleere Liam Ryan (Wexford) and Padraic Mannion (Galway) are sent off by referee Sean Cleere. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Ian Byrne cut the gap to 0-7 to 0-6 before Galway had Wexford hearts in their mouths when Joe Canning raced through on goal only to be denied by Mark Fanning’s brilliant intervention.

However, that local relief had hardly lifted before Canning fed Aidan Harte and the corner-back raced through on-one-on with the ‘keeper to roof a shot to the net. Jack Coyne tagged on a point to blow open a 1-8 to 0-6 gap after 30 minutes.

Wexford recovered through David Dunne, Conor McDonald and Ian Byrne to peg it back to 1-8 to 0-9 by the 34th-minute.

The remainder of the first-half became quite administrative for referee Seán Cleere, who red-carded Liam Ryan and Pádraic Mannion following a mass melee, while Galway corner-forward Jarlath Mannion was dismissed for a helmet infraction just before half-time.

Aidan Harte and Jack Grealish with Ian Byrne Aidan Harte and Jack Grealish of Galway chase down Wexford's Ian Byrne. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Surprisingly Wexford refused to relax their ‘sweeper’ tactic as Kevin Foley continued to operate as the auxiliary defender.

Nevertheless, Galway out-shot them by eight points to five during the third quarter to stretch ahead by 1-16 to 0-14 as Seán Kilduff, Davy Glennon and Seán Bleahene got in on the act.

Wexford were never without hope though, and Conor McDonald joined with subs Harry Kehoe and Paudie Foley (’65) to shave the margin to 1-18 to 0-17 after 60 minutes.

The home side were pressing hard for goals, and they gained a ray of hope when McDonald won a penalty. But ‘keeper Mark Fanning’s pile-driver flew over the crossbar on 63 minutes (1-18 to 0-18).

A subsequent burst of points from Joe Canning and Seán Linnane offered Galway the assurance of a 1-22 to 0-19 lead as Michéal Donoghue’s charges deservedly saw out the game to claim the Walsh Cup for the first-time since 2015 ahead of next weekend’s league opener against Laois, when Wexford will host All-Ireland champions, Limerick.

Scorers

Galway: Joe Canning 0-13 (10fs, 1 ’65, 1 sideline), Cathal Mannion 0-4, Aidan Harte 1-0, Jack Coyne 0-1, Sean Kilduff 0-1, Davy Glennon 0-1, Seán Bleahene 0-1, Seán Linnane 0-1, Tadhg Haran 0-1.

Wexford: Ian Byrne 0-5 (5fs), Matthew O’Hanlon 0-2, David Dunne 0-2, Conor McDonald 0-2, Pádraig Foley 0-2 (1f, 1 ’65), Paul Morris 0-2, Kevin Foley 0-1, Cathal Dunbar 0-1, Diarmuid O’Keeffe 0-1, Harry Kehoe 0-1, Mark Fanning 0-1 (pen.).

Galway

1 Fergal Flannery (Pádraig Pearse’s)

2 Jack Grealish (Gort)
3 Ronan Burke (Turloughmore)
4 Aidan Harte (Gort)

5 Kevin Hussey (Turloughmore)
6 Pádraig Mannion (Ahascragh Fohenagh)
7 Joe Mooney (Loughrea)

8 Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh Fohenagh)
9 Seán Kilduff (Clarinbridge)

10 Ronan Ó Meara (Portumna)
11 Joe Canning (Portumna)
12 Jack Coyne (Castlegar)

13 Jarlath Mannion (Cappataggle)
14 Seán Bleahane (Ahascragh Fohenagh)
15 Davey Glennon (Mullagh)

Subs:
21 Johnny Coen (Liam Mellows) for Mooney (44)
23 Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins) for Coyne (46)
19 Seán Linnane (Turloughmore) for Kilduff (58)
26 Kevin Cooney (Sarsfields) for O’Meara (59)
17 Shane Bannon (Clarinbridge) for Linnane (temp 62)
22 Tadhg Haran (Liam Mellows) for Bleahene (70+3)

Wexford

1 Mark Fanning (Glynn Barntown)

2 Shane Reck (Oylegate Glenbrien)
3 Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
4 Conor Firman (St Martin’s)

5 Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers)
6 Matthew O’Hanlon (St James’)
7 Shaun Murphy (Oulart The Ballagh)

8 Aidan Nolan (HWH Bunclody)
9 Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)

12 Ian Byrne (Ferns St Aidan’s)
10 David Dunne (Davidstown Courtnacuddy)
11 Kevin Foley (Rapparees)

13 Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Éanna)
14 Conor McDonald (Naomh Éanna)
15 Liam Óg McGovern (St Anne’s)

Subs:

17 Damien Reck (Oylegate Glenbrien) for Firman (27)
18 Pádraig Foley (Crossabeg Ballymurn) for S Reck (ht)
20 Paul Morris (Ferns St Aidan’s) for Byrne (ht)
24 Seamus Casey (Oylegate Glenbrien) for McGovern (55)
22 Rory Higgins (Rathnure) for Nolan (55)
19 Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for Dunne (55)

Referee: Seán Cleere (Kilkenny).

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