Galway continue impressive start with six point win over Down

Down have now scored just 0-7 from play in their opening two league matches

Shane Walsh scored 0-5 for Galway in their win over Down in Newry. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Down 0-9 Galway 1-12

Down fell to a second defeat in Division Two of the football league as Galway continued their impressive start to the campaign by backing up their opening round win over Meath with another decisive victory at Pairc Esler in Newry.

Padraic Joyce’s men, who held Meath scoreless in the opening half last week, contained James McCartan’s men to just two points when they had the strong win behind them in the first half of this one.

And Galway, with midfielder Paul Conroy in superb form, used the wind well to build a 1-7 to 0-2 interval lead.


Down rallied after the restart and looked poised to set up a good finish when they sliced the lead in half with four points in eight minutes, but that was as near as they got as the Tribesmen pulled away again to seal another good win.

Down haven’t scored a goal in their opening two matches and Galway have not conceded one, so Conroy’s strike after six minutes, when he was set up by the equally impressive Shane Walsh, was always going to be significant.

Barry O’Hagan, Down’s main scoring threat, responded with their opening score shortly afterwards, but they only managed another point against the wind as Galway pulled away with Rob Finnerty, Walsh and substitute Damien Comer kicking good points to lead by eight at the break.

Three points from O’Hagan, and another from Cormac McCartan from a goal chance, shredded the lead to 1-7 to 0-6 after 43 minutes, but Galway responded impressively. Kieran Molloy and Sean Kelly tightened up the defence and their patient build-ups were rewarded as Owen Gallagher, the former Antrim player who has settled well with his adopted county, landed his second point. Walsh supplied the remainder as they pushed on to continue their impressive start and leave Down with plenty of worries, having scored just 0-7 from play in their opening two matches.

DOWN: G McMahon; P Fegan, F McElroy, B McArdle; R McCormack, N McParland, D O'Hagan; A Doherty, O Murdock; C Mooney, L Kerr, C McCartan (0-1); B O'Hagan (0-5, 0-2 marks, 0-1 free), K McKernan, A Gilmore (0-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: C Poland for D O'Hagan (51 mins), P Hevern for McKernan (55 mins), J McCartan for Mooney (59 mins), C Francis for McCormack (66 mins), T Close for McParland (68 mins).

GALWAY: C Flaherty; K Molloy, S Kelly, J McGrath; D McHugh, J Daly, C McDaid; Paul Kelly, P Conroy (1-2); M Tierney, O Gallagher (0-2), F Ó Laoí; T Culhane (0-1 mark), R Finnerty (0-1), S Walsh (0-5, 0-4 frees, 0-1 mark). Subs: D Comer (0-1 mark) for Finnerty (29 mins), Paddy Kelly for Ó Laoí (45 mins), T Gill for Daly (51 mins), C Sweeney for Culhane (55 mins), D Conneely for Paddy Kelly (68 mins).

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).