Galway’s Conor Whelan and David King of Offaly battle for possession.
Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
John Fallon reports from Pearse Stadium
HENRY SHEFFLIN’S GALWAY got their Allianz Hurling League campaign off to a flying start with a double-scores win over Offaly in a low-tempo game in Salthill.
The Tribesmen always held the upper hand as Offaly – managed by Shefflin’s former Ballyhale Shamrocks team-mate Michael Fennelly – never looked like creating a shock in a one-sided encounter.
Offaly opted to play with the wind in the opening half but they were in trouble when they trailed by 1-12 to 0-8 at the interval, with Galway on top in most positions.
Galway could have had three or four goals in that opening half but didn’t turn the screw, with Evan Niland shooting a penalty wide after 22 minutes.
But the opening goal was worth waiting for as Galway half-back Gearoid McInerney took off on a 70-metre run before batting the ball to the net from close range just before the break.
It completed a miserable opening half for Offaly, with McInerney keeping close tabs on Eoghan Cahill, who had impressed when the sides clashed in the Walsh Cup last month.
The Tribesmen got on top from the outset and led by 0-4 to 0-1 after 10 minutes, with Tom Monaghan, Jack Hastings and Conor Whelan impressing up front.
Offaly managed just four points from play in the opening half and two of them came from wing-backs Jack Screeney and Killian Sampson.
Galway manager Henry Shefflin issues instructions.
Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
John Murphy and Adrian Cleary also found the range, with Cahill hitting four frees, but they didn’t look likely to build a lead with the wind and never actually got in front.
Galway hit eight wides to Offaly’s four in the opening half, but still managed to open up a lead with Monaghan shooting three from play in the opening 15 minutes, while Whelan picked off three as well in addition to being fouled for the penalty which Niland drilled low and wide.
Whelan blasted the side-netting with another goal chance before McInerney burst through to show his forwards how to do it as they went in leading by seven points.
John Fleming got Galway’s second goal five minutes after the restart after more good work by Whelan and they pulled away from there.
Fleming turned provider for Galway’s third goal, which Niland finished well, with Cahill doing his utmost to keep Offaly in contention.
Donal O’Shea, son of former Tipperary manager Eamon and the first player from the Salthill/Knocknacarra club to play in the Allianz League, blasted home Galway’s fourth goal after being set up by debutant Shane Ryan, son of former Galway star Eanna, in the closing stages.
Scorers for Galway: Evan Niland 1-6 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), John Fleming 1-2, Gearoid McInerney 1-1, Donal O’Shea 1-1 (0-1 ’65), Tom Monaghan 0-3, Conor Whelan 0-3, Ronan Glennon 0-2, Brian Concannon 0-1, Cianan Fahy 0-1, Jack Hastings 0-1, Eanna Burke 0-1.
Scorers for Offaly: Eoghan Cahill 0-10 (0-8f), Liam Langton 0-2f, Jack Screeney 0-1, Killian Sampson 0-1, Jason Sampson 0-1, John Murphy 0-1, Adrian Cleary 0-1.
1. Eanna Murphy (Tommy Larkins)
2. Jack Grealish (Gort)
3. Daithi Burke (Turloughmore)
18. Declan Cronin (Cappataggle)
6. Gearoid McInerney (Oranmore/Maree)
5. Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh/Fohenagh)
7. Tiernan Killeen (Loughrea)
8. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)
9. Ronan Glennon (Mullagh)
10. Tom Monaghan (Craughwell)
11. Jack Hastings (Liam Mellows)
12. Cianan Fahy (Ardrahan)
13. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge)
14. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
15. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)
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25. John Fleming (Meelick/Eyrecourt) for Concannon (19)
26. Eanna Burke (St Thomas’) for C Fahy (56)
24. Donal O’Shea (Salthill/Knocknacarra) for Niland (56)
22. Conor Walsh (Turloughmore) for Monaghan (59)
19. Shane Ryan (Clarinbridge) for Hastings (63)
1. Conor Clancy (St Rynagh’s)
4. David King (Coolderry)
3. Ciaran Burke (Durrow)
5. Jack Screeney (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
7. Killian Sampson (Shinrone)
6. Ben Conneely (St Rynagh’s)
2. Joey Keenaghan (Clodiagh Gaels)
8. Ross Ravenhill (Durrow)
9. Leon Fox (Belmont)
15. Adrian Cleary (Shinrone)
12. Eimhin Kelly (Lusmagh)
13. Eoghan Cahill (Birr)
14. John Murphy (Ballinamere)
11. Jason Sampson (Shinrone)
10. Luke O’Connor (St Rynagh’s)
17. Conor Molloy (Coolderry) for King (HT)
26. Liam Langton (Clodiagh Gaels) for Cleary (HT)
20. David Nally (Belmont) for Ravenhill (56)
22. Brian Duignan (Durrow) for Fox (56)
18. Dara Maher (Shinrone) for Molloy (56)
21. Eoghan Parlon (Coolderry) for Cahill (68)
Referee: Rory McGann (Clare)
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