Galway lose out to Wexford in Walsh Cup Final

Lee Chin of Wexford and Ronan Glennon of Galway, right, challenge for the sliotar during the Dioralyte Walsh Cup Final match between Wexford and Galway at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Lee Chin of Wexford and Ronan Glennon of Galway, right, challenge for the sliotar during the Dioralyte Walsh Cup Final match between Wexford and Galway at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Galway’s bid to claim a fifth Walsh Cup title came up short last Sunday in Carlow's Netwatch Cullen Park where Wexford deservedly won the competition for the first time since 2020 on a 1-21 to 0-16 score-line.

With the opening round of the Allianz National League campaign next on the agenda this coming Saturday, the news that Kevin Cooney picked up a significant hamstring injury adds to a list of absentees that already includes Cathal Mannion and Brian Concannon.

Westmeath are the first visitors to Pearse Stadium (throw-in:2 pm ) as Division 1B gets underway, and it will be interesting to see whether Henry Shefflin continues to give extended game time to less established panel members ahead of tougher tests in the shape of road games against Tipperary and Limerick.

Yet another league restructure is coming in 2025, with the top three teams in each group guaranteed a place in a seven team Division 1 next year. This effort to return an element of competitiveness to the league action was badly needed, but for Galway this will probably boil down to whether they can get the better of Dublin in Salthill on March 10th.

Galway, who have 17 players still involved in the Fitzgibbon Cup, made nine changes to the starting team that took on Wexford, with Jack Grealish making his first appearance and Greg Thomas and Sean O’Hanlon getting starts in attack.

Wexford hit the ground running, though, and with Lee Chin and Jack O’Connor leading the way, Keith Rossiter’s side dominated the exchanges in the middle third from early on. This was far from a team full of recognised names, though, but Galway were still playing second fiddle and trailed by 0-11 to 0-8 at the break.

Matters did not improve after the interval as Wexford stretched further ahead, Chin ending up with nine points to his name while substitute Seamus Casey struck for a late goal. Sean Linnane and Darren Morrissey were introduced for Galway in the final quarter, but there was no coming back for the Tribesmen in a game where they never led.

Wexford: A Duggan; N Murphy, C Foley, E Ryan; C McGuckin, D Reck, C Molloy; C Hearne (0-1 ), C Byrne Dunbar (0-3 ); J O’Connor (0-2 ), L Chin (0-9, 5fs ), J Byrne (0-3 ); R Lawlor (0-1 ), C Byrne (0-2 ), K Foley. Subs: S Casey (1-0 ) for C Byrne (56 ), C Dunbar for Hearne (58 ), S Donohoe for Molloy (65 ), J Doran for Lawlor (69 ), D Carley for K Foley (71 ).

Galway: E Murphy; J Grealish, E Lawless, D Loftus; R Glennon, G McInerney, D Concannon; T Killeen, I McGlynn; J Cooney, T Monaghan (0-3 ), S O’Hanlon (0-1 ); A Connaire (0-2 ), K Cooney (0-5, 4fs ), G Thomas (0-1 ). Subs: G Lee for Killeen (35 ), C Fahy for Concannon (35 ), E Niland (0-2fs ) for K Cooney (46 ), S Linnane for O’Hanlon (49 ), D Morrissey for McGlynn (51 ), M McManus (0-1 ) for Thomas (56 ), D O’Shea (0-1, a ‘65 ) for Connaire (61 ).

Referee: O Beehan (Kilkenny ).

 

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