/ GAA

Galway 1-16 Wexford 0-11

Updated: Sunday, 24 Mar 2013 15:27 | Comments

Graeme Molloy of Wexford tackles Galway's Michael Meehan
Graeme Molloy of Wexford tackles Galway's Michael Meehan

Galway took a massive step towards division two survival with a 1-16 to 0-11 victory over Wexford at Pearse Stadium.

Wing-back Gary Sice goaled for the Tribesmen 11 minutes from time to to tilt a precariously balanced tie in the favour of the home side, who had looked edgy in the second half.

Wexford briefly took the lead 15 minutes from time after four points on the spin, but Galway finished the stronger to ease their relegation concerns.

Danny Cummins kicked Galway ahead inside the first minute and, despite Shane Roche's first point to level matters, Galway accelerated and took control.

After the Galway forwards struggled from dead balls last week, Sean Armstrong started and immediately took over the free-kick duties from the left, and after the Salthill native pointed his first Michael Meehan followed suit to give Galway a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.

To that point it was all smooth sailing for Galway, but the class of Wexford's forwards began to shine though.

Colin Forde and Johnny Duane began to struggle to keep tabs on Roche and PJ Banville and five points from the Yellowbellies between the ninth and 16th minutes saw them open out a three-point lead.

But true to their hot and cold form of the season, Galway regrouped and hit four consecutive points of their own to take a 0-8 to 0-7 lead at the break, with three more of their scores before the interval arriving from Armstrong dead balls.

Galway started the second half as they finished the first, with points from Paul Conroy and substitute Garreth Bradshaw, but their fortunes took a worrying nose dive as the Wexford challenge reignited.

Aidan O'Brien's side briefly took the lead 15 minutes from time after four points on the spin, as Galway sat back and the prospect of defeat loomed large.

But, after his side failed to hit the target for 20 minutes, Armstrong pointed from play to level the game at 0-11 each, before Sice crept forward and finished low past Tom Hughes after Cummins picked out the rampaging wing-back to seal the win that lessens their relegation concerns.

Galway: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, C Forde; G O'Donnell, K Kelly, G Sice (1-0); F Ó Curraoin, A Griffin; J O'Brien, S Armstrong (0-05, 0-04f), C Doherty (0-01); P Conroy (0-01), M Meehan (0-02, 0-01f), D Cummins (0-03).

Subs: G Bradshaw (0-01) for Duane (34 mins), E Concannon for Griffin (half-time), S Denvir for O'Brien (54 mins), M Martin (0-03, 0-02f) for Doherty (61 mins), S Walsh for Meehan (64 mins)

Wexford: T Hughes; R Tierney, G Molloy, J Wadding; B Malone, D Murphy, A Flynn (0-01); D Waters, R Quinlivan; J Holmes, C Doyle, R Barry (0-01); S Roche (0-04, 0-03f), B Brosnan (0-02, 0-02f), PJ Banville (0-03).

Subs: C Carty for Doyle (25 mins), C Lyng for Holmes (58 mins), P Byrne for Roche (66 mins), L Chin for Murphy (69 mins), A Doyle for Flynn (69 mins).

Referee: P O'Sullivan (Kerry).

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