GAA round-up: Seven goal thriller ends in win for Galway

Galway beat Waterford 4-28 to 3-23 at Pearse Stadium to go level with Tipperary on six points in Division 1A.
GAA round-up: Seven goal thriller ends in win for Galway

Muireann Duffy

Galway and Waterford did not disappoint in the final National Hurling League game of the weekend, producing a thrilling first-half battle in Pearse Stadium.

The game got off to a good start with an early goal from Jack Prendergast in the 3rd minute putting Liam Cahill's side four ahead.

Quietening down for a period, the game sprang back to life after the water break when Galway's Adrian Touhey nipped in for a goal in the 24th minute.

Waterford where speedy with their reply, following with a goal from Shane Bennett four minutes later to bring the game to 1-8 to 2-10, but two more for the homeside from Joe Canning and Brian Concannon brought them into half-time four points to the good.

Although Waterford looked sharp after the break, bringing the game back to two points after a goal from Dessie Hutchinson, and then to one after a point from Jamie Barron, from there Galway found their rhythm once again with three unanswered points.

Stretching their lead to six by the second-half water break, a final goal for Concannon in the 60th minute put the game beyond the visitors, eventually ending 4-28 to 3-23.

The win now puts Galway level with Tipperary on the league table, both with six points.

Relegation danger

Earlier, Laois needed a win today to have any chance of climbing out of the relegation play-off spot, but unfortunately for them, a trip to Nowlan Park made that a very tall ask.

Brian Cody's side had picked up three wins prior to this weekend, and within the first five minutes had clocked up four points to no reply.

Capturing the ease of Kilkenny's scoring efforts, a puck-out in the 22nd minute found Liam Blanchfield to give him a run on goal. While his initial strike was well hooked, a panicked Laois defence allowed the full-forward to kick the sliotar over the line, giving his side a ten-point lead.

The outlook of the game did not improve for Laois from there, with the Cats doubling the visitors tally by half-time, 1-15 to 0-9.

While Seamus Plunkett's men could do little to close the gap, to their credit they kept the scoreboard ticking over, taking 13 points in the second half.

Kilkenny's win means they will take the top spot in Division 1B regardless of next weekend's outcomes given no other county can catch up with their eight points.

Meanwhile in Division 1A, Tipperary put themselves top of the table with a huge win over Westmeath.

Goals from John McGrath, Mark Kehoe and two from Jason Forde aided the Premier county to a 4-27 to 0-16 victory, setting up a relegation meeting between Laois and Shane O'Brien's team to decide who will be dropping to Division 2 next season.

In Division 2, Offaly got an equally emphatic win over Down, finishing 5-25 to 1-19. Their fourth win of the league means they will top the group and take the 2A title regardless of the result of their final outing next weekend.

Proving today was a day for goals, Carlow also clocked up five to see off Meath at Páirc Tailteann, while Kildare nabbed four to beat Roscommon 4-25 to 0-10.

A much closer encounter was had in Ballinascreen, where Derry beat Donegal by a single point in Division 2B, ending 3-22 to 3-21.

Leitrim took a three-point beating from Cavan at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada (1-17 to 1-20), while today's clash in Darver ended 3-16 to 0-15 points in Louth's favour against Fermanagh.

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