Hard-working Galway hurlers shocked by fiery Wexford on a day to forget – Connacht Tribune

Wexford 1-28

Galway 0-23

THE warning signs were there. A hurling season that has so far failed to ignite for Galway was thrown into an unexpected crisis when they were shocked by 14-man Wexford in the Leinster Senior Championship last Saturday.

In one of the county’s worst summer performances in the last decade, Galway are suddenly under pressure to move out of the province after falling to the Slaneysiders in the league for the first time in 28 years.

The fate of the Tribesmen remains in their hands, and they still have everything to play for – not to mention the absence of their best player, Cathal Mannion, on Saturday – but it was a frightening effort at Wexford Park in front of a poor crowd of just more than a little over a year. 6,100.

In the end, Galway had a sad spectacle. They failed to fully exploit their extra presence in the final 20 minutes, several players were repeatedly caught out by their pace and the lack of leadership, particularly in a difficult second half, was truly troubling.

It’s not like they went to Wexford with their blinders on. To begin with, the team’s form hasn’t taken much of a dent. Galway had barely set the world on fire with an 11-point win over Carlow, while they were lucky to escape with a draw against injury-hit Kilkenny the previous weekend.

They should also have prepared themselves – both mentally and physically – for a major setback from Wexford following their dismal defeat to Antrim seven days earlier. Keith Rossiter’s men were fighting for their championship lives and were bound to produce a show full of fire and brimstone.

Their intensity and work rate got Galway into all sorts of trouble and it was a sign of Wexford’s tunnel vision when Cian Byrne was rightly dismissed for a dangerous header challenge on Donal O’Shea in the 51st minute it made no difference. to the trend of the match.

While many Galway players are in the dock this week for a labored and low-energy display, the team management are also guilty of a defeat few saw coming. Henry Shefflin and his mentors continue to try to fit square pegs into round holes.

Padraic Mannion, Gearóid McInerney and Daithí Burkle are all former All-Star defenders, but none of them were honored in the positions they played against Wexford. It’s baffling how Burke and McInerney – two archetypal center men – were picked on the wings, with Mannion once again lost in the last line of defence.

The three great servants are past their prime, but the positions they are asked to play are doing them no favors. David Burke and Seán Linnane started against Kilkenny but there was no sign of them at Wexford Park where Galway used five substitutes.

Pictured: Galway players Conor Cooney, Ronan Glennon and Gavin Lee are outnumbered by Wexford’s Eoin Ryan in Saturday’s Leinster Senior Hurling Championship clash at Wexford Park. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile.