Galway 2-19 Offaly 0-19
Goals in either half helped Galway get Henry Shefflin's reign as manager off to a winning start in an entertaining Walsh Cup match at Ballinasloe.
It was a good workout for Shefflin and his former Ballyhale Shamrocks and Kilkenny teammate Michael Fennelly, now heading into his third year in charge of Offaly, in front of a limited capacity crowd of 3,000 at Duggan Park in Ballinasloe.
Galway led by 1-12 to 0-13 at the end of an entertaining half where eight Galway players found the target and seven from Offaly hit the range.
The sides were level three times during a lively opening quarter with points from Ronan Glennon and Conor Walsh helping Galway lead by 0-07 to 0-05 at the first water break.
Eoghan Cahill landed three points from play for Offaly in that opening quarter with John Murphy and wing-back Conor Molloy also hitting the target.
Galway lost experienced centre-forward Jason Flynn to a hamstring injury with Donal O’Shea, son of former Tipperary manager Eamon and the first from the Salthill/Knocknacarra junior club to play senior hurling for Galway, taking over the free-taking duties and he landed four from four before the break.
Galway led by 1-12 to 0-13 at the interval with eight players finding the target including debutant midfielder Ronan Glennon, younger brother of all-Ireland winner Davy who is now with Westmeath, while Brian Concannon struck for the only goal of the half when he rifled a first-time effort to the net just before the interval.
That pushed Galway four points clear for the second time in the game but the Offaly response was good. Brian Duignan, son of chairman Michael, became the seventh player to score while Cahill took his opening half haul to 0-07, five of them from play, to cut the gap to two at the break.
It was a tighter affair in the third quarter with less scores but Cahill’s accuracy helped Offaly draw level at 1-14 to 0-17 after 51 minutes before two more efforts from O’Shea edged Galway in front.
Another Cahill free cut the gap to the minimum going into the final quarter but Galway took over from there as both sides emptied their benches.
O’Shea pounced for Galway’s second goal 15 minutes from the end and they pulled away from there for a deserved win.
Galway: Darach Fahy; Stephen Barrett, Jack Fitzpatrick, Declan Cronin; Sean Blehane (0-01), Gearoid McInerney, Conor Walsh (0-01); Ronan Glennon (0-03), Ronan Murphy (0-01); John Fleming, Jason Flynn (0-02 (0-01f)), Cianan Fahy (0-01); Greg Thomas (0-01), Brian Concannon (1-00), Donal O'Shea 1-09 (0-07f, 0-01 ’65).
Subs: Adam Clarke for Flynn (9), 20 Adam Clarke (Craughwell) for Flynn (9, Gavin Lee for Fleming (51), Diarmuid Kilcommons for Murphy (57), Sean Neary for Glennon (63), Tiernan Killeen for Blehane (65), Caiman Killeen for Barrett (65).
Offaly: Stephen Corcoran; Joey Keenaghan, Ciaran Burke, David King; Conor Molloy (0-01), Ben Conneely, Killian Sampson; Ross Ravenhill (0-01), Leon Fox (0-01); Eoghan Cahill (0-11 (5f)), Jason Sampson (0-01), Adrian Cleary; John Murphy (0-01), Brian Duignan (0-01), David Nally.
Subs: Aidan Treacy (0-02 (0-01f)) for Fox (half-time), Padraic Guinan for Conneely (half-time), Eoghan Parlon for Cleary (51), Luke Nolan for Duignan (51).
Referee: Chris Mooney (Dublin)
Laois 1-16 Wexford 1-27
Wexford burst out of the blocks at Rathdowney to lead by 0-03 to no score, but a Stephen Maher goal had the sides level with eight minutes played.
The Yellowbellies then moved up a gear in Darragh Egan's first game in charge as points from Cathal Dunbar, Billy Dunne and Rory O'Connor saw them restore their lead and then stretch it to five at the break.
The gap at half-time could have been bigger, but Mark Fanning smashed a penalty to the wrong side of the upright.
The Slaneysiders did land a major within six minutes of the resumption as Richie Lawlor found the back of the net, and they controlled proceedings thereafter to start the year with a victory.
Dublin 2-27 Antrim 1-21
Antrim made a bright start at Parnell Park and a goal from Deaglan Murphy helped them to move eight ahead mid-way through the first half.
Colin Currie began to put his mark on the game for the hosts and they drew level shortly before Cian O'Sullivan's goal pushed them back ahead.
The two-point half-time lead could have been more but Dublin wasted chances, hitting 10 wides in the opening 35 minutes.
Mattie Kenny's charges had their second goal shortly after the restart - finished by Currie - and they were able to push on from there, with the Blues manager sure to be happy to see both Eamon Dillon and Shane Barrett getting game time late on.