Sheppard saves Galway
Galway United 1
Bray Wanderers 0
The stakes were piled high at Terryland Park and Galway United delivered an ice-cool performance under pressure to preserve their Premier Division status.
It has been an eventful season at the Corribside club, but Sean Connor has kept Galway highly competitive and this victory was all about the home side's character.
A lively opening period was laced with passion and it was the gritty Galwegians who seized the initiative in the 16th minute.
Jamie McKenzie, impressively anchoring the Galway defence, skipped forward from the back to rifle a deep cross into the Bray area.
Derek O'Brien was crafty enough to make a headed connection and though Bray custodian Matt Gregg saved, Karl Sheppard bundled Galway ahead with an opportunistic finish.
Galway protected that advantage for the remainder of the opening period as the Tribesmen left the field in a satisfied mood at the interval.
After the break, O'Brien spurned a couple of gilt-edged opportunities to extend Galway's lead, but Bray rarely threatened.
Eight minutes from time, Bray were reduced to 10 men when Adam Mitchell was sent after clattering into Sheppard.
Galway didn't finish with the full complement either as O'Brien saw red in stoppage-time for kicking the ball away, but that scarcely mattered on a night of high drama in the west.
Galway United -- Ryan; Sinnott, McKenzie, Meynell, Walsh; Curran, Conneely, O'Donnell, O'Brien; Molloy (King 72, Keane 90), Sheppard.
Bray Wanderers -- Gregg; Doyle, Mitchell, Webster, Massey; G Kelly (Tresson 77), D O'Connor, Dempsey, J Kelly; Shields (O'Neill 46), Shaw.
Ref -- D Hancock (Dublin).