Galway click into gear early to brush aside New York challenge

New York 0-6 Galway 3-13

In front of a crowd of around 3,500, Galway took control from the throw-in in Peter Ford’s first championship game in charge.

New York had been hoping to atone for a hammering by Mayo 12 months ago and had placed great faith in former Westmeath man PJ Ward but his opening efforts proved ominous, as one sailed wide t in the opening minute and an 11th minute free was way off target.

The visitors took full advantage and sent over five points before the exiles troubled the scoreboard. Michael Meehan opened up in the third minute, slotting the ball over the bar after Pádraig Joyce had seen his shot from a narrow angle blocked by keeper Evan Byrne.

Matthew Clancy, a late replacement at corner-forward for Sean Armstrong, justified his inclusion with consecutive points before Joe Bergin chipped in from midfield and Michael Donnellan - in his first game for the county since last year’s championship - opened his account.

Ward finally got New York up and running with a 19th minute free but Galway responded quickly when Niall Coleman launched a long ball into Joyce who showed great awareness to handpass over his shoulder to Michael Meehan for the corner-forward to fire past Byrne into the roof of the net.

The 24th minute goal effectively ended the contest as New York struggled to find any rhythm. Donnellan stretched the lead with a point before the home side struck with a Ward point and then a free either side of another point from Joyce.

Galway needed little assistance from the officials as half-time approached but they got it when Donegal referee Jimmy White appeared to miss a push by Joyce on full-back James Mitchell which allowed Meehan in for his second goal. Matthew Clancy added a point in injury time to compound New York’s misery as they went in at half-time trailing 2-8 to 0-3.

The restart saw Galway continue in unabated with a Joyce point before Paul Clancy added two more and a goal as the game adopted the feel of a Galway workout. New York managed three second-half points from Ward, and subs Michael Keaveney and Matthew Mitchell in reply to further Galway scores by Bergin and Shay Walsh as the visitors wrapped up a comfortable afternoon.

Scorers: New York: PJ Ward 0-4, Keaveney, M. Mitchell 0-1 each. Galway: M. Meehan 2-1, P. Clancy 1-2, M. Clancy 0-3, P. Joyce, M. Donnellan, J. Bergin 0-2 each, Walsh 0-1.

NEW YORK: E. Byrne; P. Murphy (captain), J. Mitchell, N. Corbett; N. Smith, P. O’Connor, S. Campbell; C. Loughnane, S. Lordan; R. Garvey, R. Moran, M. Dobbins; P.J. Ward, B. Newman, P. Smith.

GALWAY: A. Keane; R. Fahey, K. Fitzgerald, V. Feeney; D. Meehan, D. Burke, M. Comer; J. Bergin, N. Coleman; J. Devane, P. Clancy, M. Donnellan; M. Meehan, P. Joyce, M. Clancy.

Referee: J. White (Donegal).

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