Galway 1-12 Down 0-8: A grandson of a former All-Ireland medal winner with Down sealed their fate at Tuam Stadium yesterday when the Mourne men surrendered their unbeaten start to the league.
Danny Cummins, a grandson of the late Down star of the 1960s Patsy O'Hagan, killed off any hope of a late revival when he blasted to the net two minutes from time.
At that stage Galway were hanging on to a three points lead after Down had missed several good goal chances.
Down failed to score for the closing 20 minutes and manager James McCartan conceded that it was hard to win matches when only two players scored.
Donal O'Hare, who got all their first half tally, and Kevin McKernan were the only players to hit the target on an ideal day for football, but McCartan said he wasn't unduly worried about the lack of scoring power in this one.
"We couldn't miss last week and this week we couldn't hit the target and somewhere in between lies the truth. If it happens again, then we will be concerned," said McCartan.
He knew Galway would be fired up after losing their opening three matches and wasn't at all surprised at the fired-up performance produced by the Tribesmen.
"Galway are a good footballing county with a long tradition and we knew that once you lose your first three games you're going to come out fighting.
"But I wouldn't be too critical of our guys. The performance was okay. It probably was enough that we could have nicked the game. I felt we were creating chances that we just didn't take and if we had taken those we might have nicked the game despite not playing well."
O'Hare was the only Down player to score in the opening half but it still took a late effort from former Kildare star James Kavanagh to give the Tribesmen a 0-6 to 0-5 interval lead.
Man of the match Eddie Hoare pointed just 11 seconds after the restart for Galway but O'Hara hit back for Down and then Kevin McKernan tied the match.
He was also on target after Michael Martin had landed a free but that score from McKernan after 50 minutes was the final one of the match for Down.
Galway strung 14 passes together for Michael Martin to give them a 51st lead they never surrendered and efforts from Kavanagh and Tom Flynn increased their lead before Cummins wrapped it all up in the closing stages.
Galway: T Healy; D O'Neill, F Hanley, J Moore; G Bradshaw, G O'Donnell, P Varley 0-1; F O'Curraoin, T Flynn 0-1; G Sice 0-1, E Hoare 0-3, S Armstrong 0-1(f); M Martin 0-3,(0-2f), P Conroy, J Kavanagh 0-2. Subs used: A Tierney for Hanley (46m), K Kelly for D O'Neill (62m), D Cummins (1-0) for M Martin (62m), G Higgins for E Hoare (69m), D O'Connell for G Sice (69m).
Yellow cards: P Varley (58m), E Hoare (64m)
Down: B McVeigh; D McCartan, B McArdle, O Costello; R Boyle, A Carr, C Garvey; P Turley, P Fitzpatrick; K McKernan 0-2, M Poland, C Maginn; D O'Hare 0-6 (0-4f), N Madine, J Johnston. Subs used: C Laverty for Fitzpatrick (half time), D Rooney for Turley (54m), B Coulter for Madine (56m), R Johnston for Johnston (56m), D O'Hanlon for Garvey (62m), C O'Hare for Maginn (66m).
Referee: Derek O'Mahony (Tipperary).