Galway 1-09 Tyrone 0-08

Galway marked their return to the top flight by scoring a thoroughly deserved Allianz League Division 1 victory over Tyrone in a fiery encounter at Tuam Stadium.

The hosts led throughout after making a blistering start and while Tyrone staged a good comeback in the second-half, it was the Tribesmen who moved up a gear again in the final quarter to secure a great win.

Kevin Walsh’s men were in a good position when they opened up a 1-03 to 0-03 lead by half-time, despite playing against the breeze.

They hit Tyrone early with new Galway captain Damien Comer breaking through for a superb goal after just 16 seconds.

Galway didn’t allow Mickey Harte’s men to settle and Comer followed up his goal with a point and Shane Walsh landed a free to lead by 1-02 to 0-00 after just seven minutes.

Tyrone finally got going after 15 minutes when Tiernan scored their opening point, but they were wasteful in their shooting and by half-time struck eight wides to Galway's two.

Conor McAliskey reduced the margin after 24 minutes but then Tyrone lost their other corner-forward Darren McCurry after an off the ball incident with Galway defender Eoghan Kerin.

Cathal McShane cut the gap to a goal at the break when he scored an excellent point from the left on the half hour.

Tyrone got a good start to the second-half when McAliskey pointed after three minutes.

Galway, though, took control again with Eamon Branigan shooting two points to lead by double scores, 1-05 to 0-04, after 46 minutes.

And they extended their lead when Patrick Sweeney and Walsh found the target before Matthew Donnelly gave Tyrone hope when he pointed after 55 minutes to cut the gap to 1-07 to 0-05.

Two frees from Peter Harte ensured a tight finish when the gap was cut to a goal.

Then a pointed free from Ronan O’Neill had Galway fans worried five minutes from time, but Galway finished strongly with points from Comer and Walsh sealing a deserved win as Mickey Harte’s 16th league campaign in charge of Tyrone started on a losing note.

Galway: Ruairi Lavelle; Declan Kyne, Sean Andy O Ceallaigh, Eoghan Kerin; Sean Kelly, Gareth Bradshaw, Cathal Sweeney; Paul Conroy, Peter Cooke; Johnny Heaney, Adrian Varley, Eamon Brannigan (0-02); Shane Walsh (0-04, 0-03f), Damien Comer (1-02), Patrick Sweeney (0-01).

Subs used: Padraic Cunningham for Varley (52), Tom Flynn for P Sweeney (60), Johnny Duane for Kelly (66), Gary O’Donnell for Brannigan (73), Sean Armstrong for Walsh (76).

Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Hugh Pat McGeary; Tiarnan McCann (0-01), Padraig Hampsey, Kieran McGeary; Padraig McNulty, Matthew Donnelly (0-01); Conal McCann, Niall Sludden, Peter Harte (0-02, 0-02f); Connor McAliskey (0-02, 0-01f), Cathal McShane (0-01), Darren McCurry.

Subs used: Mark Bradley for McNamee (20), Ronan O’Neill (0-01) for McAliskey (46), Declan McClure for McNulty (46), Ronan McNabb for K McGeary (51), Richard Donnelly for C McCann (57), Lee Brennan for Sludden (68).

Referee: Ciaran Brannigan (Down).