Allianz HL Q-F: Canning inspires Galway
Allianz Hurling League Quarter-Final
GALWAY 3-21 WEXFORD 3-11
By Cian O'Connell at Pearse Stadium
Ultimately a wild encounter was decided by a blistering Galway burst in the third quarter.
It was a satisfying afternoon in the west for Galway, who endured some anxious moments early on, before winning with a dash of style.
Joe Canning’s crafty performance included a 0-15 haul, but his display wasn’t solely about scores as the Portumna clubman was relevant throughout creating chances.
A strange opening period included a splendid Canning cameo, who mined a dozen points, but Galway, despite initially being backed by a reasonable breeze, still trailed by 3-5 to 0-13 at the break.
That was chiefly due to Wexford’s ability to pounce for goals with Conor McDonald and Lee Chin’s power disturbing the locals.
Davy Fitzgerald’s sharp outfit nailed 3-5 from 12 shots, while Galway converted 0-13 from 18 attempts during a lively start.
Galway had edged 0-3 to 0-2 ahead when Wexford struck for a goal as a McDonald effort trickled over the line.
With Canning drilling frees from a variety of angles and distances Galway responded hitting five of the next six scores, but once more Wexford grabbed a goal.
It was all about McDonald’s aerial ability as the Naomh Eanna clubman gathered Matthew O’Hanlon’s delivery before making the Galway net dance.
Two further Canning frees and a Cathal Mannion effort had Galway 0-11 to 2-4 in the ascendancy, but Chin blasted a third Wexford goal in the 31st minute.
The passionate visiting support were enthused and while parity was restored following two Canning points Wexford led at the turnaround as Paul Morris clipped a free in stoppage time.
Gearoid McInerney went back into the Galway full back line and that proved to be a significant switch.
When the action recommenced, though, Galway were primed for a battle and plundered two goals inside eight minutes.
Three minutes after the restart Davy Glennon’s pass released Cathal Mannion, who had the skill to blast a brilliant goal from an acute angle.
Buoyed up by Mannion’s major Galway quickly added a second in the 43rd minute as Niall Burke reacted promptly to steer the sliotar over the line following a Mark Fanning save from Glennon.
Brian Concannon and Mannion clipped points for Galway growing in confidence and gathering momentum suddenly were 2-18 to 3-6 clear.
Wexford, so forceful at the outset, couldn’t recover as Galway, inspired by Canning, remained in control for the rest of the game.
In the dying embers Galway decorated the victory when substitute Tadhg Haran announced his arrival by poking a goal after Canning had been thwarted by a Fanning save. Galway closed the deal with the minimum of fuss.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-15 (13fs, 165), Cathal Mannion 1-2, Niall Burke 1-1, Tadhg Haran 1-0, Brian Concannon 0-2, Conor Whelan 0-1.
Scorers for Wexford: Conor McDonald 2-2 (1f), Lee Chin 1-2, Paul Morris 0-4 (3fs, 165), Aidan Nolan, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Matthew O’Hanlon 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Fergal Flannery; Jack Grealish, Paul Killeen, Sean Loftus; Darren Morrissey, Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney; Aidan Harte, Cathal Mannion; Niall Burke, Joe Canning, Thomas Monaghan; Conor Whelan, Sean Bleahene, Brian Concannon.
Subs: Kevin Hussey for P Mannion (22), Davy Glennon for Monaghan (34), Johnny Coen for Morrissey (HT), Sean Kilduff for Harte (63), Tadhg Haran for Bleahene (68).
WEXFORD: Mark Fanning; Simon Donohoe, Liam Ryan, Damien Reck; Shaun Murphy, Matthew O’Hanlon, Paudie Foley; Jack O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Keeffe; Aidan Nolan, Lee Chin, Cathal Dunbar; Kevin Foley, Conor McDonald, Paul Morris.
Subs: Darren Byrne for Ryan (38), Liam Og McGovern for J O’Connor (46), Shane Reck for Byrne (52), Ian Byrne for Chin (58), Harry Kehoe for Morris (68).
REFEREE: Cathal McAllister (Cork).