Galway 0-16 Wexford 0-16
A rip-roaring finale ended with both Galway and Wexford both passing up golden opportunities to snatch a vital victory in the Leinster hurling round-robin draw at Pearse Stadium.
The contest ultimately ended in a stalemate at the Salthill venue where the swirling wind conditions tested both sides throughout.
Davy Fitzgerald's men reeled off seven points on the bounce between the 53rd and 64th minute in a spell where they turned a half-time deficit of six points back into a one point advantage to claw themselves back into the encounter.
Jason Flynn hit back with two points (one free) to retake the lead for last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists, but Liam Óg McGovern pointed with two minutes of normal time remaining for the final score of an afternoon riddled with poor decision-making, countless handling errors and at times atrocious shooting from both sets of players.
Conor Cooney did have a late goal chanced sniffed out by Jack O’Connor, who produced a wonderful hook to deny the St Thomas’ clubman, while Cathal Dunbar failed to rattle the net with a gilt-edged chance in stoppage time and his shot was superbly blocked by Colm Callanan to ensure a draw.
Under Davy, the Yellowbellies have yet to beat their western rivals in championship action and you have to go all the way back to 1996 for a victory over the Tribesmen.
With Galway minus their talisman attacker Joe Canning, the Wexford management team might have felt this was the perfect time to end this barren run but a catalogue of wides, 10 in total, and a slow Wexford start were the dominant factor in a first half meant it was going to be an a serious uphill battle against a team who have featured in the last two All-Ireland finals.
It took the visitors until the 23rd minute and Chin from a free to finally get on the scoreboard and by that stage they were trailed by a six point margin after Jason Flynn, Niall Burke (three) and impressive Conor Whelan (two) all found the target.
Wexford did improve as the half wore on, particularly around their own half-back line, but could only muster one Aidan Nolan point from open playing as their wayward shooting continued to let them down and went in at the interval trailing 0-10 to 0-4.
However,after their manager Davy Fitzgerald was banished to the stands in the early stages of the second half for encroaching onto the playing field, the incident seemed to ignite a fire under his players and from that point on they were well on top in most facets of the game but were simply unable to come away with the win.
Galway’s second half performance will be a cause for concern, only landing one point from play in a lacklustre performance, and only Cathal Mannion and Jason Flynn, who took over the frees after Niall Burke was substituted, registering scores in the second half.
Positives will be the return to action of All-Star Daithí Burke, Johnny Glynn, Joseph Cooney and John Hanbury who all saw action.
This draw leaves Micheál Donoghue’s on three points after two games in the group but with difficult away fixtures against Kilkenny and Dublin rounding out their Leinster Championship they are far from secure of a provincial final berth.
Wexford,on the other hand have bottom side Carlow away next before finishing their Leinster campaign at home to Kilkenny.
Galway: Colm Callanan; Padraic Mannion, Daithí Burke, Aidan Harte; Sean Loftus, Gearóid McInerney, Joseph Cooney; Johnny Coen, David Burke (0-01); Cathal Mannion (0-01), Niall Burke (0-04, 0-03f, 0-01 65), Jason Flynn (0-06, 0-03, 0-1 65); Conor Whelan (0-03), Conor Cooney (0-01), Brian Concannon.
Subs: Johnny Glynn for Niall Burke (41), Kevin Hussey for Johnny Coen (57), John Hanbury for Joseph Cooney (60), Davy Glennon for Brian Concannon (66).
Wexford: Mark Fanning; Simon Donohue, Liam Ryan, Damien Reck; Paudie Foley, Matthew O'Hanlon, Shaun Murphy (0-01); Aidan Nolan (0-01), Diarmuid O’Keefe (0-01); Lee Chin (0-7, 0-06f, 0-01 65), Rory O’Connor (0-02), Kevin Foley; Liam Óg McGovern (0-01), Cathal Dunbar(0-02) Conor McDonald (0-01).
Subs:Jack O’Connor for Paudie Foley (49), Paul Morris for Aidan Nolan (49).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).