Saints teach Galway hard lesson for the season ahead
Galway United 0 St Patrick's Athletic 3
A fortnight ago Galway were on the verge of extinction and for a while at a passionate Terryland Park last night they traded jabs with St Patrick's Athletic.
But in four harrowing minutes after the restart St Pat's delivered the decisive blows and a reminder life is not easy in the League of Ireland.
Anto Murphy, David McMillan and Derek Pender grabbed goals that rendered all of Galway's initial work redundant.
The opening period was all about Galway's purpose as Sean Connor's rapidly assembled team troubled the visitors in front of a 1,512 crowd.
Pat's did have chances at the start and end of the first half, but in between there was so much to admire about the way Galway battled.
Daryl Kavanagh's subtle touch released McMillan in the fifth minute, but the pacy frontrunner was unable to hit the target.
Then Galway enjoyed a spell in which Steve Feeney and Sean Kelly went close to giving the locals a shock lead.
Six minutes before the interval Feeney had to make a terrific last-gasp challenge to thwart Kavanagh as Galway continued to demonstrate the required grit.
But everything changed after the restart as a 49th-minute Murphy piledriver was quickly followed by a smart back-post finish from McMillan on 52 minutes.
Gary Rogers made a delightful save from a dipping Gary Curran volley in the 82nd minute, but Galway didn't threaten again after that, and Pender sealed the success in stoppage-time.
Galway United -- Fleming; Shaun Kelly, Feeney, Maher, Walsh; Ryan (G Kelly 84), Sean Kelly, Curran, Moore; Keane (Curran 42), Yoffe (Cash 64).
St Pat's -- Rogers; Pender, Kenna, E McMillan, Shortall (Bermingham 75); Murphy (Daly 70), Mulcahy, McFaul, Doyle (Keegan 89); Kavanagh, D McMillan.
Ref -- P Sutton (Clare).