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Bray stare drop in face as Galway stay up

GALWAY United secured their Airtricity League Premier Division status for next season after condemning Bray Wanderers to a relegation play-off with a 1-0 win at Terryland Park.

A lively opening period was laced with passion and it was the gritty Galwegians who seized the initiative in the 16th minute.

Jamie McKenzie, who anchored the Galway defence, skipped forward from the back to rifle a deep cross into the Bray area, and Derek O'Brien's header forced a parried save from Bray goalkeeper Matt Gregg. But Karl Sheppard bundled home an opportunistic finish for the winner.

After the break, O'Brien failed to extend Galway's lead after he spurned a couple of gilt-edged opportunities, but Bray rarely threatened to score.

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.

Meanwhile, Monaghan United will take on Bray for a place in the top flight after they shocked Waterford United with a 3-1 win at the RSC.

Monaghan took the lead on 28 minutes when Waterford goalkeeper Kevin Burns fumbled a Cathal O'Connor corner, which allowed Aidan Lynch to score.

The visiting Monaghan added to their lead on 58 minutes when Barry Clancy's inch-perfect cross was met by Philly Hughes.

That goal stunned the home side, but they were back in the game inside seven minutes as Seamus Long sent a back-post header goalwards and Liam Kearney got a flick to nick it home.

For all the Blues' pressure in the closing stages, the game was decided at the other end on 84 minutes when Hughes swept a free-kick to the top right corner.

Cobh Ramblers' attempts to reach the First Division were dealt a blow when they were beaten 1-0 at home to Salthill Devon in the First Division promotion play-off first leg.