Bitter blow for O'Brien after Wexford fail to match Sice's finishing kick
Wexford looked the more likely winners for long periods at Pearse Stadium but when it really mattered it was Galway who had the class and composure to push on and claim victory.
It was a disappointing outcome for a Wexford side who trailed by a point at the interval having played against the wind but who failed to score for the final 15 minutes when they had it behind them.
It now leaves them in serious relegation trouble and manager Aidan O'Brien said it was a very disappointing outcome to a game which held so much promise.
"We were going well for a long time and I was very pleased how we were playing in the first half. Even when we fell three points behind early in the second half, I thought we regained our composure and got back level or maybe a point back. But in the last 10 minutes we fell away badly, so that is very disappointing," he said.
Galway started well and Danny Cummins, Sean Armstrong and Michael Meehan landed early points to settle them, but Wexford's Shane Roche was in top form and he shot three points in the opening half and they turned around trailing by just 0-8 to 0-7.
Galway went a goal in front with points from Paul Conroy and sub Gareth Bradshaw. But Wexford responded and points from frees by Roche and Ben Brosnan reduced the margin before Redmond Barry equalised after 50 minutes.
Wexford then hit the front five minutes later and looked good for victory when PJ Banville pointed but, remarkably, that was their final score of the match.
Armstrong levelled the game 13 minutes from time as Wexford hit some bad wides and then they were made pay when wing-back Gary Sice burst forward to blast to the net after good work by Meehan and Cummins. Substitute Michael Martin sealed the win, landing three points in a strong finish.
"We are more relieved than anything else, to be honest," said Galway boss Alan Mulholland. "If we hadn't come through today we were looking at the other end of the division so that put relegation to bed now, I am nearly sure. We can rest easy now after that."
Man of the match: S Armstrong (Galway)
Scorers – Galway: S Armstrong 0-5 (4fs), G Sice 1-0, M Martin 0-3 (2fs), D Cummins 0-3, M Meehan 0-2 (1f), P Conroy, C Doherty, G Bradshaw 0-1 each. Wexford: S Roche 0-4 (1f), PJ Banville 0-3, B Brosnan 0-2 (2fs), A Flynn, R Barry 0-1 each.
Galway – M Breathnach 6; J Duane 6, F Hanley 7, C Forde 6; G O'Donnell 6, K Kelly 6, G Sice 7; F Ó Curraoin 7, A Griffin 6; J O'Brien 6, S Armstrong 8, C Doherty 7; P Conroy 7, M Meehan 6, D Cummins 7. Subs: G Bradshaw 7 for Duane (34), E Concannon 7 for Griffin (h-t), S Denvir 6 for O'Brien (54), M Martin 7 6 for Doherty (61), S Walsh for Meehan (64),
Wexford – T Hughes 6; R Tierney 6, G Molloy 7, J Wadding 6; B Malone 6, D Murphy 7, A Flynn 7 ; D Waters 6, R Quinlivan 7; J Holmes 8, C Doyle 6, R Barry 7; S Roche 8, B Brosnan 6, PJ Banville 7. Subs: C Carty 6 for Doyle (25), C Lyng for Holmes (58), P Byrne for Roche (66), L Chin for Murphy (69), A Doyle for Flynn (69).
Ref – P O'Sullivan (Kerry)