Youngsters fit right in as Meehan points way
Alan Mulholland praised his new brigade who helped Galway get 2013 off to a winning start against NUI Galway at Tuam Stadium.
Mulholland, who is entering his second season as Galway boss, handed debuts to David Finnegan, Conor Costello, John O'Brien, Sean Denvir and Shane Walsh, with three of the five scoring for the impressive Tribesmen.
"It was very encouraging, but the conditions were terrible. What we were looking for was a performance from the new guys that came in and we got that. I wouldn't say by any means it was a spectacular, but we got over the line.
"We have given them all programmes over the last while and they all did them to a tee. So the big result is that we saw those young lads fit in and not look out of place, that was the main thing."
On another positive note, the experienced face of Michael Meehan shone in a strong Galway full-forward line that featured Paul Conroy and Danny Cummins. Meehan showed no ill-effects from his ankle injury when he drilled over a free in the third minute to give Galway the lead.
"Mike's back to nearly full fitness now and himself and Danny were very dangerous inside in the full-forward line-breaks.
"It was great to get that out of Mike today, it is great to see him back," said Mulholland.
Kerry's Ian Galvin hit back soon after for NUIG with a neat curling effort, but a run of three points from Cummins, Conroy and Meehan gave the county team a 0-6 to 0-3 lead at half-time.
NUIG were dealt a hammer blow two minutes into the second-half when Robbie Kiely was sent off after referee James Molloy appeared to flash a straight red card on the advice of his linesman. However, it was later confirmed that he picked up a second yellow card after pushing his opponent and as a result will not miss any Sigerson Cup action.
From there on, the result was never in doubt and six consecutive points from Galway – including two from substitute Sean Armstrong – sealed a satisfying first win of the new season.
Scorers – Galway: M Meehan 0-4 (2f, 1 '45'), M Martin 0-3, P Conroy, S Armstrong 0-2 each, D Cummins, C Costello, J O'Brien, E Concannon, S Walsh 0-1 each. NUI Galway: I Galvin 0-2, F O Deasmhunaigh, C Walsh, E O hEochaigh, S Nally (f) 0-1 each.
Galway – M Breathnach; D O'Neill, D Finnegan, C Forde; C Costello, G Sice, G Bradshaw; A Griffin, N Coleman; J O'Brien, M Martin, S Denvir; M Meehan, P Conroy, D Cummins. Subs: S Walsh for Cummins (45), E Concannon for O'Brien (49), M Boyle for Denvir (49), G O'Donnell for Griffin (51), S Armstrong for Coleman (58).
NUI Galway – D O'Sullivan; K Moynagh, J Moore, C McDonald; G Sweeney, R Kiely, C Halloran; E O hEochaigh, S Moran; S Nally, F O Deasmhunaigh, C Walsh; I Galvin, K Murtagh, Cathal Brennan. Subs: D Gavin for Moynagh (27), K Crowe for O hEochaigh (37), C O'Donnell for Halloran (38), J Egan for Cathal Brennan (51), E Troy for Moran (58).
Ref – J Molloy (Galway)