GAA | Galway claim Leinster title with nine point victory over Wexford

GAA | Galway claim Leinster title with nine point victory over Wexford
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Galway beat Wexford by 0-29 to 1-17 to clam the Leinster SHC title for just the second time in their history today in Croke Park.

Both sides entered the game in excellent form, with Galway beating Tipperary and Offaly en route to the final, and Wexford entering the final off the back of a stunning win over Kilkenny.

It was a tight, entertaining first half, which saw the Model County leading Galway by 0-11 to 0-10 after half an hour.

Shaun Murphy played as a sweeper for Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford as expected, and Aidan Harte occupied a similar role for Galway.

Interestingly, four of Wexford’s nine points from open play came from defenders. However, the Tribesmen claimed the last five points of the half to enter the break with a three point advantage.

The league champions led by 0-14 to 0-11 at the break, and pulled away in the second half, due in part to a stunning performance from Conor Cooney, who scored eight points in total.

Joe Canning was also in ruthless form from dead balls, scoring 10 frees for Michael Donoghue’s side.

Lee Chin and David Burke were engaged in a fascinating tussle, and the Wexford man showed flashes of genius throughout, including one superb long range free in the first half. There was also an interesting battle between Joe Canning and roving Wexford centre back Matthew O’Hanlon, who chipped in with some fine scores of his own.

Willie Devereaux, Simon Donoghue, and Liam Ryan all took a pop at shackling Conor Cooney with little success, with four of the forward’s points coming in either half.

After the restart, Galway ‘keeper Colm Callanan saved a penalty from McDonald in the 40th minute after a foul on Aidan Nolan, and Galway responded brilliantly with seven unanswered points.

Diarmuid O’Keeffe scored a goal in the 53rd minute, finishing into an empty net after excellent work by Jack Guiney.

A Conor McDonald point then narrowed the gap to four, but any hopes of a Wexford comeback were dampened by another five unanswered points from Galway, including a beautiful late score from Joseph Cooney from a tight angle on the wing.

The official attendance was 60,032, which is a record for a Leinster hurling final.

President Michael D Higgins was on hand to help Galway skipper David Burke to lift the Bob O’Keefe Cup after the game.

 

Galway: C Callanan; A Tuohy, Daithi Burke, A Harte; P Mannion (0-01), G McInerney, J Hanbury; J Coen, David Burke (0-01); J Cooney (0-05), J Canning (0-10, 0-08f, 0-01 65, 0-1 s/l), J Flynn; C Whelan, C Cooney (0-08), N Burke (0-02).

Subs: T Monaghan (0-01) for Flynn 31, S Maloney (0-01) for Canning 67, G Lally for J Cooney 68, S Loftus for P Mannion 72.

Wexford: M Fanning; L Ryan, W Devereux (0-01), J Breen; S Donohoe, M O’Hanlon (0-02), D O’Keeffe (1-01); L Chin (0-04, 0-02f, 0-01 65), J O’Connor (0-01); P Morris (0-02), A Nolan, C McDonald (0-05, 0-03f); S Murphy, J Guiney, H Kehoe.

Subs: D Redmond for O’Connor h/t, E Moore for Donohoe 47, C Dunbar (0-01) for Kehoe 53, S Tomkins for Nolan 63.

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