Saturday 24 March 2018

Molloy leads way as Galway dethrone 14-man Model

Galway 1-20 Wexford 0-11 Leinster IHC final

Galway's Dean Higgins opened proceedings inside one minute with a point
Galway's Dean Higgins opened proceedings inside one minute with a point
Galway keeper James Skehill went largely untested Newsdesk Newsdesk

This was as easy as it gets as Galway cruised to victory over reigning champions Wexford in a desperately disappointing final at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.

Galway took the initiative from the outset. Fielding seven of their U-21 side they dominated the opening 30 minutes.

They opened their account inside one minute through a Dean Higgins point. After Joe Kelly (free), and Paul Flaherty had exchanged points, the Westerners struck for the opening goal on seven minutes when Shane Moloney set up Brian Molloy who finished high to the net from close range making it 1-2 to 0-1.

Points from Molloy and Flaherty extended their lead, before Kelly responded.

Galway were struggling to turn their abundant possession into scores, having to rely on some long-range points from Moloney, Tadgh Harnan, Eanna Burke and Flaherty, before Molloy closed out the first-half scoring, giving his side a 1-9 to 0-3 interval lead.

A disappointing Wexford outfit did not manage a single point from play in that opening half, and they failed to muster a single attempt for goal, with Galway's former senior keeper James Skehill untested.

Galway quickly stretched their lead on the resumption with a Moloney free.

And matters deteriorated for Wexford when they had centre-forward John Lacey straight red carded for a high pull on centre-back Daragh Burke after 34 minutes, leaving them with a real uphill battle.

The Model men, though, were undeterred and got their first point from play in the 36th minute, from Jim Berry.

The sides continued to trade points and Galway led 1-13 to 0-9 at the end of the third quarter as Wexford battled to remain in contention.

The Tribesmen, though, began to utilise their numerical advantage, adding points through Molloy, Moloney and sub Ronan O'Meara to run out comfortable winners and dethrone the provincial kingpins.

Galway have now set up an All-Ireland final clash with reigning champions Cork.

Scorers - Galway: B Molloy 1-5; P Flaherty, S Moloney (1 '65', 1f) 0-3 each; R O'Meara, C Whelan, T Harnan 0-2 each; D Nevin, E Burke, D Higgins 0-1 each. Wexford: J Kelly 0-7 (6fs); J Berry 0-2; T Dwyer, M O'Hanlon 0-1 each.

Wexford - D Flynn; B Mulligan, J Breen, J Tonks; P Kenny, M O'Regan, P Nolan; T Dwyer, M Moloney; B Carton, J Lacey, J Kelly; T O'Leary, M O'Hanlon, J Berry. Subs: T Waters for O'Regan (36); T Mahon for Moloney (40); J Reck for Carton (40); W Furlong for O'Leary (49); J Dwyer for Kelly (58).

Galway - J Skehill; C Flynn, D O'Donoghue, A Tuohy; P Flaherty, D Burke, S Cooney; K McHugh, D Higgins; E Brannigan, T Harnan, E Burke; B Molloy, C whelan, S Moloney. Subs: D Nevin for McHugh (38); R O'Meara for Tuohy (41); J Kennedy for Brannigan (52); E Mahoney for Cooney (56); B Keane for O'Donoghue (58).

Ref -P Burke (Kilkenny).

Irish Independent

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