Allianz HL D1: Galway cruise to victory
Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A
GALWAY 1-24 WESTMEATH 0-10
By Cian O'Connell at Pearse Stadium
Nothing is decided or defined in January, but Galway were fairly content to glean the spoils with the minimum of fuss in Salthill.
Shane ONeills first competitive match in charge yielded a comprehensive victory with a string of experiments also carried out against a willing Westmeath outfit.
The visitors were gritty throughout, but a Galway burst which featured 1-5 without reply in the opening period was when the chief damage occurred.
Moments later Westmeaths Aonghus Clarke was red carded with Galway five clear, but from then until the finish the only issue needed to be determined was the eventual winning margin.
Having edged 0-3 to 0-2 ahead Westmeath started in solid fashion, but then Galway, with Joe Canning and Cathal Mannion prominent, seized the initiative.
The goal arrived in the 17th minute as Padraic Mannions inviting pass was gathered by Conor Whelan, who unleashed a blistering effort from an acute angle.
Westmeaths cause was scarcely aided by Clarkes dismissal with Galways 1-12 from 18 attempts sufficient compared to the visitors 0-8 from 13 shots.
When the action recommenced Galway continued to set the agenda despite Westmeaths spirited display.
In the third quarter Galway spurned a string of goal opportunities, but still outscored the underdogs by 0-4 to 0-1
Tadhg Haran was productive for Galway with his fourth point of the afternoon steering ONeills charges into a commanding 1-17 to 0-9 advantage in the 54th minute.
The Liam Mellows clubman was in splendid form for Galway concluding the game with six from play as they cruised to an emphatic success.
Next Sundays trip to the LIT Gaelic Grounds to face Limerick will be a much more revealing affair.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-12 9fs, 165, Tadhg Haran 0-6, Conor Whelan 1-0, Cathal Mannion 0-3, Sean Linnane, Sean Bleahene, Thomas Monaghan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Westmeath: Killian Doyle 0-7 7fs, Darragh Clinton 0-2 1f, Cormac Boyle 0-1.
GALWAY: Eanna Murphy; Darren Morrissey, Gearoid McInerney, TJ Brennan; Johnny Coen, Padraic Mannion, Adrian Tuohey; Sean Linnane, Tadhg Haran; Diarmuid Kilcommins, Joe Canning, Cathal Mannion; Jason Flynn, Conor Whelan, Ja Mannion.
Subs: Aidan Harte for Coen HT, Sean Bleahene for Mannion 43, Thomas Monaghan for Flynn 57, Jack Grealish for Linnane 57, Paul Killeen for Morrissey 68.
WESTMEATH: Aaron McHugh; Adam Ennis, Tommy Doyle, Johnny Bermingham; Shane Clavin, Aonghus Clarke, Aaron Craig; Cormac Boyle, Liam Varley; Killian Doyle, Joey Boyle, Robbie Greville; Darragh Clinton, Eoin Price, Niall Mitchell.
Subs: Brendan Doyle for Bermingham 19, John Gilligan for Varley HT, Ciaran Doyle for K Doyle 42, Alan Cox for Greville 52, Jack Galvin for Price 62.
REFEREE: Johnny Murphy Limerick.