O’Connor on fire as Wexford maintain perfect start with six-point win over Galway
John Fallon reports at Pearse Stadium
WEXFORD CONTINUED THEIR perfect start to the league under new manager Darragh Egan as they carved out a fully merited win over a Galway side which struggled to get going in Salthill.
Wexford held an edge throughout and capably dealt with a Galway revival after the restart to make it three wins from three.
Wexford led by 1-9 to 0-7 at half-time having had the diagonal breeze in their favour and they were good value for that lead having displayed a much sharper first touch than Galway.
Their half-back line of Connal Flood, Paudie Foley and Damien Reck were on top and that ensured a plentiful supply of ball into an attack where Rory O’Connor, who hit three points in the opening half, was particularly sharp.
He was also involved in setting up the only goal of the half along with Mikie Dwyer with Cathal Dunbar, a late replacement for Conor McDonald, supplying the finish.
That put Wexford ahead by double scores, 1-7 to 0-5, after 24 minutes after a good spell when they hit 1-4 without reply in a seven minute spell.
Foley provided a couple of points from long-range frees as they pulled away after the sides were level three times in the opening quarter.
Galway, who lined out without full-forward Conor Whelan, kept in touch with three frees from Conor Cooney, while John Fleming, Kevin Cooney and Cathal Mannion, along with wing-backs Gearoid McInerney and Adrian Tuohey, also hit the range.
Conor Cooney led the way as Galway hit back after the restart and five points from and one from Joseph Cooney got them back on level terms after 51 minutes, with Jack O’Connor getting Wexford’s only score in that period.
Galway goalkeeper Darach Fahy did superbly to deny Cathal Dunbar but Diarmuid O’Keeffe edged them in front after 53 minutes and they never lost that lead.
Galway captain Daithi Burke was blocked by Dunbar and Oisin Pepper struck for Wexford’s second goal after 55 minutes to lead by 2-11 to 0-13 and with Simon Donohoe and Rory O’Connor tacking on points, there was no way back for the Tribesmen as they fell to their first league defeat under Henry Shefflin.
Scorers for Galway: Conor Cooney 0-9 (0-7f, 0-1 sideline), Gearoid McInerney 0-1, Adrian Tuohey 0-1, Joseph Cooney 0-1, Cianan Fahy 0-1, John Fleming 0-1, Kevin Cooney 0-1.
Scorers for Wexford: Rory O’Connor 0-5 (0-1f), Oisin Pepper 1-1, Cathal Dunbar 1-0, Diarmuid O’Keeffe 0-2, Paudie Foley 0-2 (0-2f), Jack O’Connor 0-2 (0-2f), Mikie Dwyer 0-1, Liam Og McGovern 0-1, Simon Donohoe 0-1.
1 Darach Fahy (Ardrahan)
2 Jack Grealish (Gort), 3 Daithi Burke (Turloughmore), 4 Fintan Burke (St Thomas’)
6 Gearoid McInerney (Oranmore-Maree), 5 Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh), Adrian Tuohey (Beagh)
8 Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields), 9 Ronan Glennon (Mullagh)
12 Tom Monaghan (Craughwell), 11 Conor Cooney (St Thomas’), 10 Cianan Fahy (Ardrahan)
15 Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh), 26 Kevin Cooney (Sarsfields), 13 John Fleming (Meelick/Eyrecourt)
18 TJ Brennan (Ardrahan) for P Mannion (14)
24 Jack Hastings (Liam Mellows) for Monaghan (36)
14 Evan Niland (Clarinbridge) for Fleming (36)
22 David Burke (St Thomas’) for Glennon (60)
25 Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree) for K Cooney (65)
1 Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barncourt)
2 Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers), 25 Shane Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien), 5 Matthew O’Hanlon (St James’),
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7 Connal Flood (Cloughbawn), 6 Paudie Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn), 4 Damien Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien)
8 Kevin Foley (Rapparees), 9 Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)
12 Charlie McGuckin (Naoimh Eanna), 11 Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s), 15 Rory O’Connor (St Martins’)
10 Liam Óg McGovern (St Anne’s), 13 Mikie Dwyer (St Mogue’s Fethard), 18 Cathal Dunbar (Naoimh Eanna)
24 Oisin Pepper (Rapparees) for Dwyer (45)
19 Oisin Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurm) for J O’Connor (51)
21 Rory Higgins (Rathnure) for McGovern (59)
20 Conor Hearne (Shelmaliers) for K Foley (63)
22 Richie Lawlor (Faythe Harriers) for McGuckian (70)
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).
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