Quinn delivers for 13-man Galway

THIRTEEN-MAN Galway came with a late burst to deny Wexford in a thrilling All-Ireland MHC quarter-final at Semple Stadium yesterday.

Forced to play the last five minutes minus the red-carded Rory Foy and Niall Burke, Niall Quinn’s point a minute into injury-time gave Galway the unlikeliest of wins and a place in the semi-final against Cork next month.

Sheer perseverance won it for Galway in the end, but the Wexford mentors were guilty of not using their numerical superiority in those final minutes.

Wexford went into the game with the advantage of having played six championship games while it was Galway’s initial appearance, and it showed. The Leinster side were far sharper in the opening minutes and raced into an 0-3 to nil lead

However Galway were level by the ninth minutes, and two evenly matched sides were all square on three further occasions throughout the opening half.

The excellent free-taking of Niall Burke edged Galway in front coming up to the break but it was Wexford who came closest to a goal, but Shane Tomkins was halted by three defenders.

At half time Galway led 0-9 to 0-6 but Wexford upped the ante on the changeover with two quick points, and, as the pace of the game quickened, the sides were level twice more.

The superb striking of Joe Kelly and the surging runs of Liam Óg McGovern had the Galway defence in all sorts of trouble but Donal Cooney and Rory Foy stood firm in the face of the persistent pressure.

It took a superb save by Galway goalkeeper Fergal Flannery to deny Joe Kelly a goal but his accuracy from frees edged the Model County in front as the fourth quarter began

Wexford’s cause was further enhanced when Galway lost wing-back Foy for a second yellow card offence but they failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and the game was back in the melting pot after Paul Morris tied the game for the seventh time.

It was Wexford’s turn to soak up the pressure as Galway came forward in waves and the thickness of the crossbar denied Bernard Burke a goal. As the tension mounted Galway won a 20 metre free, but, as Niall Burke lined it up, the referee was called in by his umpires and, following a brief discussion, Burke was shone a straight red card and the free was disallowed. However, Wexford couldn’t make their two man advantage count and points by Damien Fox and Quinn secured a sensational win for the Tribesmen.Scorers for Galway: N. Burke 0-6 (frees); N. Quinn 0-3 (0-1 free); A. Dolan, B. Burke, L. Madden, J. Ryan, D. Burke, D. Fox, D. Glennon 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wexford: J. Kelly 0-4 (frees); L. Og McGovern 0-3; P. Morris 0-2 (0-1 free); S. Murphy, A. Shore (free), J. Gahan, D. O’Keeffe, P. Kelly, S. Tomkins 0-1 each.

GALWAY: F. Flannery; D. Connolly, D. Cooney, G. O’Halloran; J. Regan, N. Donoghue, R. Foy; D. Burke, D. Fox; N. Burke, N. Quinn, A. Dolan; R. Cummins, L. Madden, B. Burke.

Subs: C. Burke for Donoghue (37); D. Glennon for Regan (37); B. Flaherty for Cummins (52).

WEXFORD: M. Fanning; E. Moore, J. Leacy, P. Donnelly; C. Clince, A. Shore, S. Murphy; S. Tomkins, J. Kelly; H. Kehoe, P. Morris, L. Og McGovern; D. O’Keeffe, M. O’Hanlon, J. Gahan.

Subs: P. Kelly for O’Hanlon (26); J. Cullen for O’Keeffe (51); M. O’Hanlon for P. Kelly (55).

Referee: T. Ryan (Tipperary).

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