Early Tribe surge decisive

Galway manager Mattie Murphy certainly knows a thing or two about minor hurling and reckons the Tribesmen’s true worth will be revealed in next month’s fascinating All-Ireland semi-final encounter with Tipperary.

On Saturday in Tullamore Galway were far too classy for Wexford, who failed to recover following their Leinster decider defeat by Dublin. Murphy has steered Galway to six All-Ireland titles and insisted a blistering opening eight minutes, in which the victors registered 2-4, compared to 0-1, was significant.

“I suppose we got the start that you would dream about,” he said.

“Once we got the 2-4 on the board it was always going to be an uphill battle for Wexford. Minors are funny animals in that they can drop their heads easy enough.

“We were 16 points up at half-time and that is not a true reflection of where Wexford are at. They are a good bit better than that. I have sympathy for them because they are a good bit better than that. When I was playing underage hurling for Galway that is where we were at very often.”

That is not the case now as reigning champions Galway thundered into the contest with Michael Mullins netting following a slick fourth minute move involving the excellent Ronan O’Meara and Darragh Dolan. Then Mullins turned provided for Dolan to crash a splendid goal and Murphy was delighted with the vision his attackers showed as they accumulated a mammoth 2-15 to 0-5 interval advantage.

“I think that we were lucky enough with the first two goals that the right lads got the ball in the right positions.

“Sometimes you might get a lad in a position and he might suffer from what I call tunnel vision. I think that a lot of our lads have great lateral vision in that they can see what is going on around them.”

Wexford did improve, a goal two minutes after the restart from Conor McDonald trimming the deficit, but Galway regained the initiative when Adrian Morrissey grabbed a major on 41.

Donal Shanley replied with a Wexford goal, but Jason Flynn sealed the deal for Galway, who were prompted by influential defensive displays from captain Paul Killeen and Sean Sweeney. Murphy, though, is looking forward to a clash with Munster standard bearers Tipperary.

“We are looking down the road where we have a serious, serious All-Ireland semi-final to come against a very highly-rated Tipperary team,” he said.

“They deserve to be because they won the Nenagh Co-op tournament two years ago very handsomely. Our lads were at the end of a serious hiding the last day, we are under no illusions. We are in an All-Ireland semi-final that is all we are looking at.

“You never really know what they are like until the first day out. That is the bottom line. Until you play a game you are in trouble no matter what kind of a game it is. The next day you could turn around and Tipp could get a run on us.

“Minors being minors you wouldn’t know what could happen. It happened us before. We will be on our guard anyway. We are in a semi-final and that is the main thing.”

Scorers for Galway: A Morrissey, D Dolan, J Flynn 1-2 each, R O’Meara 0-5, M Mullins 1-1, B Molloy 0-3 (2fs), C Mannion, S Caufield 0-2 each, B Murtagh (0-1).

Scorers for Wexford: C McDonald 1-3 (1f), D Shanley 1-2, C Devitt, T French (1f) 0-2 each, B O’Brien, K Foley 0-1 each.

GALWAY: M Ó Conghaile; D O’Donoghue, P Killeen, B Keane; S Caufield, S Sweeney, S Cooney; B Murtagh, C Mannion; J Flynn, D Dolan, A Morrissey; R O’Meara, M Mullins, B Molloy.

Subs: S Collins for Murtagh (48), A Higgins for Morrissey (50), P English for Dolan (51), L Cosgrove for Sweeney (52), C Howe for Molloy (60).

WEXFORD: O O’Leary; S Doyle, S Murphy, E Conroy; L Ryan, A Kenny, A Roche; S Kenny, J Cash; K Foley, C Devitt, J O’Connor; C McDonald, D Shanley, B O’Brien.

Subs: C Heffernan for Roche (17), T French for O’Connor (28), B Eviston for O’Brien (39), C Devereux for Cash (54).

Referee: E Hasson (Derry).

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