Four-goal Galway ease past Waterford

Four-goal Galway ease past Waterford

Galway 4-15 Waterford 1-15

Galway maintained their solid early season form with a runaway nine-point NHL win over Waterford at Pearse Stadium.

John McIntyre's charges scored two goals in either half through Niall Healy, Iarla Tannian (2) and Aidan Harte.

Healy's first minute goal saw Waterford fall behind but they recovered well to lead 1-8 to 2-3 at half-time, with Shane Walsh netting.

Deise free-taker Maurice Shanahan finished with nine points but Galway were razor sharp in open play and Tannian was the pick of their forwards.

Backed by the wind in the second half, Galway scored a handsome 2-12 and they made a lightning quick start with Healy finding the net after just 18 seconds.

Waterford made one late change in defence as right corner back Jerome Maher pulled out due to illness, and Aidan Kearney started in his place.

But the Deise were on the defensive straight away and they could do little as David Collins fired a ground ball through and Joe Gantley was able to pass for Healy to finish to the net.

A brace of frees from Maurice Shanahan after 4 and 8 minutes closed the gap before Gantley, midfielder Niall Cahalane and wing forward Aonghus Callanan took Galway's total to 1-3.

The Tribesmen tactics were paying off, helped by some good decision-making in attack and crisp striking from the half-back line and centre-field.

Tannian, operating in the right corner, claimed his first goal in the 14th minute when he darted through on goalkeeper Adrian Power and gave him little chance with a powerful drive to the net.

Waterford took a while to recover but Shanahan clipped over a free and the visitors notched their first point from play in the 26th minute through Shane Walsh.

Galway's accuracy took a nosedive and they failed to score over the remainder of the first half as points from Shanahan, Nagle and Walsh reduced the arrears further.

The home defence was left red-faced, three minutes before the break, when they failed to clear a centre and Walsh pounced to fire home his side's only goal.

A point from centre-field from Richie Foley levelled the game and then two further scores from Shanahan gave Davy Fitzgerald's men a two-point buffer to take into the second period.

On the resumption, Galway were back in top attacking form as Gantley, Ger Farragher and Collins collected three points in as many minutes.

Foley produced a levelling point once again but McIntyre's side broke four points clear by the 45th minute, courtesy of scores from Farragher, Aidan Harte, Gantley and Tannian.

A tame shot from Tannian was blocked by Deise stopper Power but the ball crept over the line, with the umpire signalling for Galway's third goal.

Cahalane and Tannian added two more points and Shanahan maintained his side's resistance, the Waterford defence was caught cold when an unmarked Harte raided forward to smash a ground shot high to the net for goal number four.

Simply stunned, there was no way back for Waterford - although team captain Stephen Molumphy, Thomas Connors and Shanahan did land late points. With the rain falling heavily, Farragher and Gantley did likewise for a Galway outfit that was fully deserving of their second straight league win.

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