Wexford were confirmed as Galway’s opponents for this Saturday’s Allianz League quarter-final at Pearse Stadium (1.30pm ) after Davy Fitzgerald’s men utilised the wind conditions in their favour to overturn a five-point half-time deficit against Kilkenny last Sunday.
While Galway have won the four championship contests between the counties since moving into Leinster in 2009, and will meet again on May 26 in Salthill in the group stages, Wexford were successful on their last visit west when they emerged 1-21 to 3-13 winners of a division 1B clash on a grey February day in 2017.
That would be Galway’s last defeat of that memorable year, and manager Micheál Donoghue will be eager not to give Wexford any further positive momentum ahead of the summer clash. Wexford have not won the league since 1973, and while Fitzgerald may shrug off the suggestion, the pressure must be on in his third year in charge to produce some sort of silverware.
Galway, however, came unstuck in the second half last weekend against Waterford in Walsh Park, losing by 1-18 to 2-13. It was a game considerably affected by the appalling weather that again hit the south east for the second successive weekend.
It is not often a sliotar will be driven back the way it came by the strength of the wind, but such was the case with one of Fergal Flannery’s second half puck-outs on a day of driving rain, sleet and bitter cold.
First-half goals by Jason Flynn and Brian Concannon had edged Galway 10 points clear at the break as Joe Canning continued his excellent form from placed balls. But Waterford had impressively stitched seven points into the wind as Galway came out of the blocks slowly, and the visitors could only manage to add two to their tally after the turnaround.
Their lead swiftly evaporated as the hosts took control, and defensive stubbornness kept Waterford scoreless for 10 minutes as the clock wound down. However in injury time Shane Bennett struck for the crucial goal that finally put the home side in front, and moved Galway down to third place in the final standings.
GALWAY: F Flannery; J Grealish, R Burke, A Harte; K Hussey, P Mannion, G McInerney; C Mannion, S Loftus; N Burke (0-3 ), J Canning (0-7, 0-6f ), C Whelan (0-2 ), D Glennon, J Flynn (1-1, 0-1f ), B Concannon (1-0 ). Subs: S Bleahene for Flynn (53 mins ), S Linnane for C Mannion (55 mins ), P Killeen for Grealish (62 mins ), S Kilduff for Linnane (68 mins ), J Hanbury for Burke (73 mins ).
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