Galway 0-29 Wexford 1-17
In front of a record crowd at Croke Park for a Leinster Final Galway brushed aside Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford on Sunday. The game started at a frantic pace with Conor Cooney striking a nice point inside 30 seconds. Joe Canning then tapped over a free to give Galway a 0-02 to 0-00 score lead after 3 minutes. However, got on the scoreboard a minute later with Paul Morris firing over. Padraic Mannion responded for Galway, but McDonald scored a fine point for Wexford. Indeed McDonald pointed a free to leave the side’s level 0-03 each after 11 minutes. Conor Cooney once again came to the fore with a well taken point, but Wexford wing back Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Matthew O’Hanlon struck over points for the Model men. The scores were level once again midway through the opening half with McDonald pointing and responding to a Canning free for Galway. Wexford were ahead on 19 minutes when Lee Chin pointed a free from long range.
St Martin’s club man Jack O’Connor stretched the lead out to two, before David Burke and another Canning free levelled the scores once more. Matthew O’Hanlon scored his second point of the day, before Canning pointed from a free yet again. However, Willie Devereaux put Wexford back in front. Conor Cooney was in devastating form and he notched his fourth from play to make it 0-11 each on the half an hour mark. Canning edged Galway back in front, before Joseph Cooney and Canning pointed yet again to give Galway the lead at the break.
The second half opened with Wexford getting a 40 minute penalty after midfielder Aidan Nolan was dragged down, however Colm Callanan denied Conor McDonald and that looked to be turning point despite Chin converting the resulting 65 from the penalty save. Canning responded for Galway and the gap remained at three points. Conor Cooney got his fifth point of the game with 27 minutes remaining, and that extended the lead to four, 0-16 to 0-12. The gap was out to five when Canning once again pointed from a free, Joseph Cooney and Niall Burke then pointed and the gap was out to seven. The game was well and truly over when Joseph Cooney pointed. Galway were now nine points ahead but to be fair to Wexford they never gave up. On 52 minutes Diarmuid O’Keeffe tapped in from close range after been assisted with a good pass from Jack Guiney, Chin and McDonald added further points and the gap was back to four. However, Conor Cooney was on hand to stretch the gap back out to five 0-22 to 1-14 with just 15 minutes left. Cooney landed his seventh point of the day as he tapped over a close free and then up stepped Canning to land a sideline from 40 metres out to put more distance between the sides yet again. Canning hit his 10th point of the day and then Cooney pointed hit his eight to extend the lead to 8 points with 10 minutes left.
Niall Burke was on target once again for Galway, while Joseph Cooney scored a fine point after McDonald had pointed a free for Wexford. Cathal Dunbar hit another score for Wexford only for Shane Maloney to respond for the Tribesmen. Thomas Monaghan hit Galway’s last score of the game and it was Lee Chin who scored the final point for Wexford as Galway ran out nine point winners and booked their place in the All-Ireland semi-finals in August.
Player of the Match: Conor Cooney