Murphy efforts to no avail as Galway fend off Sligo rally
Galway 2-9 Sligo 0-12
This was a very useful workout for both sides as Kevin Walsh's experimental Galway held off a good recovery by a Sligo side who also had several new faces on board.
Galway's ability to find the net in each half proved decisive in good conditions at Tuam Stadium as both sides made a decent start to the new campaign.
The Tribesmen, with Damien Comer finishing a superb move to the net after ten minutes, led by 1-7 to 0-5 at the break but Niall Carew's Sligo were undaunted by the deficit.
And even when Galway sub Enda Tierney finished to the net from close range after goalkeeper Aidan Devaney had done superbly to smother an effort from another sub Jason Lyons after 47 minutes, Sligo did not give up.
They held Galway scoreless for the remainder of the contest and came close to snatching it with midfielder Niall Murphy leading the challenge.
He kicked three points in a row to bring his tally to 0-6, with all but a point of it coming from play, while experienced full-back Johnny Martyn marked his return with a late point.
However, the Galway defence held out for a deserved win, leaving manager Walsh pleased with the outcome against his former side.
"Outside of the victory it was important to look at a few new faces and see how they coped, and a few of them did cope very, very well," said Walsh.
"It is important for the player development more than anything else, and it is nice to get the win on the day. So that sets us up for Leitrim in the next round.
"It's good to get back on the pitch, especially with so many new faces on board."
Carew also had reason to be fairly content with the first display of 2016, particularly the way his side remained in the game right to the net when clawing back big deficits.
"It was an ideal run out for both teams. The thing for us was just to blood a few young lads, it was good for them.
"It is good for us too, because we only have small numbers to pick from. I was glad they performed," added the Sligo manager.
SCORERS - Galway: D Comer 1-1; E Tierney 1-0; S Maughan 0-2 (0-1f), A Varley 0-2; D Cummins, E Brannigan, P Mannion, J Heaney 0-1 each.Sligo: N Murphy 0-6 (0-1f); J Rodgers 0-1 (0-1f); N Gaughan, P Hughes, K Sweeney, E McHugh, J Martyn 0-1 each
GALWAY - T Dolan; D Wynne, C Silke, E Kerin; J Heaney, A Coyne, R Greene; P Conroy, E Hoare; D Comer, S Maughan, E Brannigan; P Mannion, A Varley, D Cummins. Subs: F O Curraoin for Conroy (30 mins), E Tierney for Comer (39), J Lyons for Maughan (46),N Walsh for Mannion (52), M Reddington for Brannigan (57)
SLIGO - A Devaney; L Henry, J Martyn, M Gordon; G O Kelly-Lynch, D Maye, L Bree; N Murphy, E McHugh; N Ewing, J Hynes, N Gaughan; K Sweeney, P Hughes, B Egan. Subs: P McNamara for Gaughan (28 mins, black card), J Rodgers for Egan (35), K Cawley for Sweeney (56), D Cummins for Hynes (60), J Gillen for O Kelly-Lynch (60)
REF - Paul Daly (Roscommon)
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