Victory over Down yesterday means a point from Sunday’s final game against Kildare will secure Division One football after a seven-year absence.
Despite playing the final 25 minutes with 14 men following a straight red card for an off-the-ball foul by Declan Kyne, Galway were comfortable in the second half.
Down now need something from their trip to Cork next week to avoid relegation for the second successive year.
The first half was competitive with the sides level six times and it was 0-8 apiece at the break.All the drama came in the third quarter with a flurry of goals and cards.
Two goals inside a minute from Eamonn Brannigan (a penalty) and Shane Walsh put Galway in control leading 2-8 to 0-8 after 42 minutes.
Barry O’Hagan’s 49th minute goal briefly gave Down hope of salvaging the game but Rory Lavelle’s point blank save from Ryan Johnston was a pivotal moment.
The Tribesmen soaked up Down’s spell of pressure and counter-attacked well, Gary Sice picking off a couple of fine scores on the break to take the sting out of Down’s challenge.
They were already fading away when a third Galway goal settled it.
Gary O’Donnell was upended in the square which gave them a second penalty. Reid parried Brannigan’s initial shot but he tapped home the rebound.
Down, conscious scoring difference could yet be crucial, battled to the end with Darragh O’Hanlon tapping over three late points to take his tally to 0-8.
D O’Hanlon 0-8 (5f), B O’Hagan 1-0, C Mooney 0-2, R Johnston 0-2, S Millar 0-1.
E Brannigan 2-1 (one pen), S Walsh 1-3, G Sice 0-3 (1f), B McHugh 0-3 (2f, one ‘45’), G O’Donnell 0-2, D Kyne 0-1, M Farragher 0-1, P Conroy 0-1 (f)
M Cunningham; R McAleenan, B McArdle, D O’Hagan; D O’Hanlon, C McGovern, C Mooney; A Carr, P Turley; K McKernan, C Maginn, J Murphy; S Millar, B O’Hagan, R Johnston.
M Reid for Cunningham (BC, 39), C Magee for Carr (47), J Johnston for Murphy (50), P Devlin for Millar (55), J Flynn for Mooney (BC, 70).
R Lavelle; D Wynne, D Kyne, C Sweeney; G O’Donnell, M Farragher, J Heaney; P Conroy, F O Curraoin; T Flynn, S Walsh, E Brannigan; G Sice, B McHugh, S Armstrong.
L Silke for Wynne (39), M Lundy for Armstrong (52), D Cummins for Walsh (68), G Bradshaw for McHugh (70), R Steede for Brannigan (70).
Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)