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Wexford shake off slow start to grind out draw with Galway

Despite some errant first-half shooting, Davy Fitzgerald’s side battled back from the brink to share the points at Pearse Stadium.

Brian Concannon is tackled by Damien Reck and Rory O’Connor.
Brian Concannon is tackled by Damien Reck and Rory O’Connor.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Declan Rooney reports from Pearse Stadium

DAVY FITZGERALD WAS sent off in the second-half but his Wexford side staged an impressive comeback to clinch a draw with Galway at Pearse Stadium.

Wexford fired seven points in a row to take the lead for the first time in the game with seven minutes remaining, but Jason Flynn saved Galway, who only scored six points in the second half.

It was an error-strewn game and the teams hit a combined 30 wides but Wexford should have won it at the death when Cathal Dunbar’s shot was saved by Colm Callanan. A point would have won it for Wexford.

Having won the toss, Wexford elected to play against the very strong wind at Pearse Stadium, and Galway’s advantage was clear when they raced into a 0-6 to 0-0 lead after 17 minutes. It was an horrendous start from Wexford, pockmarked with some very poor shooting and by half-time they had hit ten wides.

But they were lucky that Galway were also wasteful at the other end. Once again Niall Burke was on free-taking duty for the Tribesmen and he gave them a fourth-minute lead.

That advantage was doubled in the seventh minute when Jason Flynn intercepted a Mark Fanning puck-out, but Niall Burke’s third wide of the half in the ninth minute underlined the difficulties both teams had with the conditions. Just after that Conor Cooney had a great goal chance that was well saved by Fanning, but it should have resulted in a goal for Galway.

Lee Chin was most guilty for Wexford and he saw five shots miss the target before the interval – he also had a shot blocked down – but after Conor Whelan added to a couple of Niall Burke points to put Galway six ahead, it was Chin who put Wexford on the board with a brilliant free into the wind from the left wing.

Lee Chin misses a free Lee Chin missed a host of chances in the first half. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Once they got that score Wexford improved, and their defence began to win their individual and collective duels with the Galway forwards. Aidan Nolan’s point and a couple of frees from Chin made it 0-8 to 0-4 by the 33rd minute, but Galway finished the half well with Conor Cooney and Whelan getting points for their side.

Galway should be disappointed with their use of the ball in the first-half and the six-point lead they held was just about par for the course. When Diarmuid O’Keeffe pointed 15 seconds after the restart, Wexford had the start they needed.

But three of the next four points went to Galway, all of which came from Jason Flynn frees, after he was handed the job when Niall Burke was withdrawn.

Nine minutes after the break Davy Fitzgerald was sent from the sideline by referee Johnny Murphy following a verbal altercation with sideline official Mick Murtagh, but his side responded with two points in a row from Chin frees.

Cathal Mannion hit his first point from play after 51 minutes as Galway settled again, but Galway’s challenge fell asunder. Six points in a row between the 52nd and 60th minute drew Wexford level at 0-14 each – two came from Rory O’Connor – and after Flynn and Chin both missed lead frees, Shaun Murphy put Wexford ahead for the first time in the 63rd minute with a point from the left.

Flynn then hit a 65 and a dubious point from play to put Galway one point clear, but Liam Og McGovern levelled it.

Both sides had goal chances to seal it, but in the end a point each was all they deserved.

Scorers for Galway: Jason Flynn 0-6 (3f, 1’65), Niall Burke 0-4 (3f, 1’65), Conor Whelan 0-3, David Burke 0-1, Conor Cooney 0-1, Cathal Mannion 0-1

Scorers for Wexford: Lee Chin 0-7 (6f, 1’65), Cathal Dunbar 0-2, Rory O’Connor 0-2, Diarmuid O’Keeffe 0-1, Aidan Nolan 0-1, Liam Og McGovern 0-1, Conor McDonald 0-1, Shaun Murphy 0-1.

1 Colm Callanan (Kinvara)

5 Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
3 Daithí Burke (Turloughmore)
4 Aidan Harte (Gort)

18 Sean Loftus (Turloughmore)
6 Gearóid McInerney (Oranmore/Maree)
24 Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)

8 Johnny Coen (Loughrea)
9 David Burke (St Thomas) (c)

10 Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
11 Niall Burke (Oranmore/Maree)
12 Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins)

14 Conor Cooney (St Thomas)
13 Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
15 Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)

25 Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan) for N Burke (41)
7 Kevin Hussey (Turloughmore) for Coen (57)
21 John Hanbury (Rahoon Newcastle) for Joseph Cooney (60
23 Davy Glennon (Mullagh) for Concannon (66)

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1 Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown)

4 Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers)
3 Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
2 Damien Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien)

5 Paudie Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn)
6 Matthew O’Hanlon (St James) (jc)
7 Shaun Murphy (Oulart-The Ballagh)

11 Aidan Nolan (Halfway House Bunclody)
9 Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)

10 Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers) (jc)
14 Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s)
8 Kevin Foley (Rapparees)

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

17 Shane Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien) for D Reck (9-11, blood)
12 Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s) for Foley (49)
21 Paul Morris (Ferns St Aidan’s) for Nolan (49)

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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