Galway 1-16 Wexford 0-11
By Declan Rooney
Gary Sice's goal 11 minutes from time gave Galway the breathing space to pick up a vital division two win that has revitalised their promotion ambitions.
With time running out, it looked as though Wexford had enough in the tank to take the win over a lethargic Galway, but after Sice goaled, Galway hit six more points without reply to ease their relegation worries.
After winning the toss and choosing to play into the bitterly cold Salthill breeze, Wexford would have been disappointed with their start.
Danny Cummins kicked Galway ahead inside the first minute and despite Shane Roche's first point to level matters, Galway accelerated and took control.
After the Galway forwards struggled from dead balls last week, Sean Armstrong started and immediately took over the free-kick duties from the left, and after the Salthill native pointed his first Michael Meehan followed suit to give Galway a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
To that point it was all smooth sailing for Galway, but the class of Wexford's forwards began to shine though. Both Colin Forde and Johnny Duane began to struggle to keep tabs on Roche and PJ Banville and five points from the Yellowbellies between the 9th and 16th minutes saw them open out a three-point lead.
Indeed Galway were not helping themselves and one of those scores arrived after some sloppy defending from their own kick-out, which Adrian Flynn took advantage of, before Ben Brosnan drilled over a difficult free from the left as Wexford looked likely to run riot.
But true to their hot and cold form of the season, Galway regrouped and hit four consecutive points of their own to take a 0-8 to 0-7 lead at the break, with three more of their scores before the interval arriving from Armstrong dead balls.
Galway started the second half as they finished the first, with points from Paul Conroy and substitute Garreth Bradshaw, but their fortunes took a worrying nose dive as the Wexford challenge reignited.
Aidan O'Brien's side briefly took the lead 15 minutes from time after four points on the spin, as Galway seemed to sit back as the prospect of defeat loomed large.
But after failing to hit the target for 20 minutes Armstrong pointed from play to level the game at 0-11 each, before Sice crept forward and finished low past Tom Hughes after Cummins picked out the rampaging wing-backfo seal the win that softens their relegation concerns.
Galway: S Armstrong 0-5 (4f), G Sice 1-0, M Martin 0-3 (2f), D Cummins 0-3, M Meehan 0-2 (1f), P Conroy, C Doherty, G Bradshaw 0-1 each.
Wexford: S Roche 0-4 (3f), PJ Banville 0-3, B Brosnan 0-2 (2f), A Flynn, R Barry 0-1 each.
Galway: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, C Forde; G O'Donnell, K Kelly, G Sice; F Ó Curraoin, A Griffin; J O'Brien, S Armstrong, C Doherty; P Conroy, M Meehan, D Cummins.
Subs: G Bradshaw for Duane (34 mins), E Concannon for Griffin (half-time), S Denvir for O'Brien (54 mins), M Martin for Doherty (61 mins), S Walsh for Meehan (64 mins)
Wexford: T Hughes; R Tierney, G Molloy, J Wadding; B Malone, D Murphy, A Flynn; D Waters, R Quinlivan; J Holmes, C Doyle, R Barry; S Roche, B Brosnan, PJ Banville.
Subs: C Carty for Doyle (25 mins), C Lyng for Holmes (58 mins), P Byrne for Roche (66 mins), L Chin for Murphy (69 mins), A Doyle for Flynn (69 mins).
Referee: P O'Sullivan (Kerry).