Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
Galway 4-22 Offaly 0-17
By Cian O’Connell at Pearse Stadium (from www.gaa.ie)
Henry Shefflin’s arrival as Galway manager has brought equal measures of interest, hope, and expectation to the west of Ireland.
Ultimately, this proved to be a comfortable for Galway, who were too strong for Offaly in Salthill.
Next weekend’s tussle at the TUS Gaelic Grounds against Limerick promises to be a revealing fixture for the maroon and white team against the All Ireland champions.
Galway did what was required on home turf, though, which ensured a satisfactory afternoon for the locals.
The opening period provided glimpses of Galway’s considerable attacking ability with Tom Monaghan and Conor Whelan carrying a significant threat.
Monaghan and Whelan both rifled over three points from play before the break for Galway, who eventually departed at the interval armed with a 1-12 to 0-8 advantage.
Gearoid McInerney’s goal arrived in additional time when the Oranmore-Maree clubman embarked on an 80 yard solo run before providing a cool finish.
That contribution ensured Galway, who converted 1-12 from 22 attempts, led by seven against a spirited Offaly outfit.
After the restart Galway mined a second goal when substitute John Fleming reacted smartly to prod the sliotar over the line following a burst from the influential Whelan.
Fleming turned provider for NUIG colleague Evan Niland, who rattled the Offaly net in the 51st minute to steer Galway 3-16 to 0-12 clear.
Eoghan Cahill was accurate throughout for Offaly, who just were unable to pose any serious with Galway dictating the agenda.
Substitutes Shane Ryan and Donal O’Shea combined with the promising Salthill-Knocknacarra attacker drilling a fourth Galway goal late on.
Galway’s next assignment with Limerick will be worth monitoring.
Scorers for Galway: Evan Niland 1-6 (5fs, 1 65), John Fleming 1-2, Gearoid McInerney and Donal O’Shea (65) 1-1, Tom Monaghan and Conor Whelan 0-3 each, Ronan Glennon 0-2, Brian Concannon, Cianan Fahy, Jack Hastings, and Eanna Burke 0-1 each.
Scorers for Offaly: Eoghan Cahill 0-10 (8fs), Liam Langton 0-2 (2fs), Killian Sampson, John Murphy, Jack Screeney, Jason Sampson, and Adrian Cleary 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Eanna Murphy; Jack Grealish, Daithí Burke, Declan Cronin; Gearoid McInerney, Padraic Mannion, Tiernan Killeen; Joseph Cooney, Ronan Glennon; Tom Monaghan, Jack Hastings, Cianan Fahy; Evan Niland, Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon.
Subs: John Fleming for Concannon (20), Eanna Burke for Fahy (54), Donal O’Shea for Niland (54), Conor Walsh for Monaghan (59), Shane Ryan for Hastings (64)
OFFALY: Conor Clancy; David King, Ciaran Burke, Jack Screeney; Killian Sampson, Ben Conneely, Joey Keenaghan; Ross Ravenhill, Leon Fox; Adrian Cleary, Eimhin Kelly, Eoghan Cahill; John Murphy, Jason Sampson, Luke O’Connor.
Subs: Conor Molloy for King (HT), Liam Langton for Cleary (HT), Brian Duignan for Fox (54), David Nally for Ravenhill (54), Dara Maher for Molloy (54), Eoghan Parlon for Cahill (69).
REFEREE: Rory McGann (Clare).