Galway youngsters ease past Offaly in historic Leinster U21 clash

Eirgrid U21 Leinster Hurling Quater Final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore

Offaly 0-8 Galway 1-20

Both sides struggled with the wet and windy conditions in the early stages of this encounter, but as Galway settled into the contest they showed a superior ability to retain the ball and deal with the conditions than their opponents from the faithful county.

Galway had the advantage of a strong wind at their backs in the first half and picked off points from distance from their trio of half forwards Sean Blehane, Cianan Fahy and senior panelist Brian Concannon. Evan Niland weighed in with four points from placed balls. Brian Duignan’s accuracy from placed balls and a point from Wayne Mooney was all Offaly had to show for their first half efforts. At half-time Galway lead by 0-11 to 0-4

Offaly had wind advantage in the second half, but it appeared to make little difference to the contest as Galway tagged on three more points in the opening minutes of the half. Offaly’s discipline started to falter and after Joe Maher, Brian Duignan and Conor Langton all picked up yellow cards. An apparent verbal outburst aimed at referee David Hughes led to a red card for Offaly’s Oisin Kelly.

Galway were beginning to capitalise on some lose play around the middle of the field from Offaly and Sean Loftus intercepted a stray pass to pick off a point from distance. Cathal O’Brien replied with a fine point from the middle of the field for Offaly, but this was immediately answered by the Galway men with the games only goal. Sean Loftus pounced on another stray ball and layed the ball off to Sean Blehane who returned the ball to Loftus who had taken up a position near the right endline, despite the narrow angle Loftus fired the ball past Eoghan Cahill in the Offaly net.

The game was finished as a contest at this stage and both Offaly and Galway emptied their benches. Evan Niland added his 9th point of the game, his first from open play, before Cianian Fahy helped himself to a brace of points. Substitute Jack Canning scored the final point of the game in stoppage time as the game drew to a close with a scoreline of Offaly 0-08 Galway 1-20.

Eoghan Cahill, who made some fine saves, and Brian Duignan caught the eye for Offaly, While Sean Loftus, Evan Niland and the entire half forward line of Blehane, Fahy and Concannon impressed for the tribesmen.

Galway return to Tullamore next Wednesday night to face Kilkenny in the Leinster semi-final, While Wexford meet Dublin in the other semi-final.


  1. Eanna Murphy (Tommy Larkins)

2. Ian O’Shea (Athenry)

3. Fintan Burke (St Thomas – captain)

4. Shane Bannon (Clarinbridge)

5. Caelom Mulry (Abbeyknockmoy)

6. Mark Hughes (Liam Mellows)

7. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore) 1-2

8. Thomas Monaghan (Craughwell)

9. Jack Grealish (Gort)

10. Sean Bleahane (Ahascragh-Fohenagh) 0-3

11. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly) 0-1

12. Cianan Fahy (Ardrahan) 0-4 (0-1f)

13. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge) 0-9 (0-8f)

14. Ronan Murphy (Tommy Larkins)

15. Kevin Cooney (Sarsfields)


21. Cian Salmon (Clarinbridge)

22. Jack Canning(Portumna)  0-1

25. Andrew Greaney (Craughwell)

19. Conor Caulfield (Kilconieran)

20. Liam Forde (Ardrahan)


  1. Eoghan Cahill (Birr – captain)

2. Michael Gilligan (Seir Kieran)

3. Ben Conneely (St Rynagh’s)

4. Cathal O’Meara (Clara)

5. Ross Connaughton (Carrig & Riverstown)

6. Paddy Delaney (Kinnitty)

7. Dylan Watkins (Birr)

8. Cathal O’Brien (Shamrocks) 0-1

9. David Buckley (Clodiagh Gaels)

10. Brian Duignan (Ballinamere) 0-5 (0-4f, 0-1’65)

11. Liam Langton (Clodiagh Gaels)

12. Joe Keenaghan (Clodiagh Gaels)

13. Conor Langton (Clodiagh Gaels)

14. Oisin Kelly (Belmont)

15. Wayne Mooney (Shamrocks) 0-1


22. Joe Maher (Ballinamere)

17. Ciarán Cleary (Shinrone)

20. Eoghan Callaghan (Kinnity)

21. Eimhin Kelly (Lusmagh)

23. Eoin Woods (St.Rynagh’s Banagher) 0-1

Referee – David Hughes (Carlow)




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