Dublin outclass Galway to reach Leinster final

Dublin 0-19 Galway 2-07

Dublin outclassed and outmuscled Galway to reach the Leinster Final Senior Hurling Championship with a 0-19 to 2-07 victory in a topsy turvy game in Tullamore. The Dubs set-up a mouth-watering provincial final with Kilkenny on July 3 and did it the hard way by playing most of the second half with 14 men.

The first Championship meeting between the two sides since 1941, saw Anthony Daly’s team full value for their victory at O’Connor Park, where Paul Ryan starred with 0-13 and Galway were made to rue a tally of 15 wides on a day when Joe Canning and many of his forward colleagues were simply not at the races, despite the Canning registering 1-3 for his side.

Canning’s goal was all that kept the Tribesmen in contention at half-time, as they trailed by seven points thanks to a splendid second quarter display by the Dubs as Ryan, Conal Keaney and ‘Man of the Match’ Liam Rushe were all outstanding.

In the second-half, the Dubs kept their foot firmly on the throttle but a scrappy goal from Joe Gantley, who was Galway’s best performer by , and the aforementioned red card for Ryan O’Dwyer within a minute made for a nervy finish, but the battling Sky Blues earned victory in the end.

Paul Ryan opened the Dubs’ account with a coolly struck free from the right flank inside the first minute, which looked certain to be cancelled-out by Joe Canning but the Portumna man’s free wasn’t high enough to rise above the stick of Tomas Brady.

Ryan sent over another before Canning eventually got the Tribesmen off the mark with a central free from 40 metres, before the full-forward handed the Tribesmen a huge early boost.

After a Dublin attack had fizzled out in the right corner, Galway’s defence sent the ball up to Canning, who turned marker Tomas Brady, who fell to the ground injured, sharply and raced away to flash the ball past Gary Maguire to the Dublin net.

It proved a double-whammy for Dublin, as Anthony Daly was forced to shuffle his deck early on and withdraw the injured Brady for Simon Lambert, with Peter Kelly moving back to guard Canning.

A Ryan free and a well-hooked shot from Keaney was the perfect response from the Dubs, who held the upper hand in midfield, and when Peader Carton was impeded in the corner Ryan had little fuss in putting his team back in the lead.

The Dublin free-taker further showcased his accuracy on 17 minutes when a pinged an 80-metre puck between the Galway posts to double the lead to leave his strike-rate at five from six. Ryan (free) and Joe Gantley swapped scores to maintain the difference at two on 24 minutes.

Shooting into the stiff breeze, Galway’s wides’ tally rise to six as Ryan’s seventh free and Keaney’s second from play punished the Tribesmen’s inaccuracy. A sizzling run by Keaney in the next attack saw the dual star take the easy option and set-up O’David Callaghan to raise a white flag.

Keaney continued to be a thorn in Galway’s side with a sweet score from the left, which was in turn backed up by O’Callaghan flying the ball over, after being assisted by the brilliant Liam Rushe, to send Dublin in at the break with a deserved 0-12 to 1-2 lead.

Galway resumed with purpose and had an early goal chance from Cyril Donnellan snuffed out, before Gantley ended a baron spell with his second from play.

Ryan’s first from play arrived in the next attack from the acutest of angles down the left flank, but Galway were presented with a goal chance went the pacy Gantley raced through and got himself dragged down on the edge of the square. Not opting for a point, Canning drove the ball low towards the net where it was parried by Maguire and the danger was cleared by Dublin’s stern defence.

Ryan (free) and Alan McCrabbe helped the Dubs take full advantage and move them nine clear, with Canning registering only his second accurate free in response.

A well-spotted pass from O’Callaghan into Carton saw the corner-forward impeded directly in front of the posts, which saw Ryan oblige with his 10th score of the game in just his eight championship appearance for the Metropolitans.

Gantley’s third and another placed ball from Ryan maintained the difference at nine, but with time ticking away John McIntyre’s side were badly in need of a goal to have any chance. The Galway boss switched Gantley to full-forward and Canning to ‘the 40′.

It paid immediate dividends for the trailers as a Canning point from centre-field, which was cancelled-out by a splendid score from Ryan, got the wheels in motion for Galway. A long range free from James Skehill in the 56th minute saw the men in maroon get a rare chance in the Dublin square and the deadly Gantley pounced on it to roll to the net.

Less than a minute later, Dublin were reduced to 14 men when Ryan O’Dwyer was issued a straight red card by Waterford referee Michael Wadding for smacking Shane Kavanagh on the back of the head with his hurley.

Substitute Alan Kearns made it a five-point game, after which Galway would rue bringing their wides tally up to 13. Two genuine goal opportunities then went by the wayside for the westerners. The first saw Gantley denied by a superb save from Maguire after cutting inside and losing his marker, and the second which Kearns shot straight at the Dublin net-minder after racing through the centre.

Had both chances been taken, Galway would have led in injury-time, but instead Ryan’s 11th free assured Dublin their place in the Leinster final alongside Kilkenny.

Dublin: G Maguire; N Corcoran, T Brady, O Gough; J McCaffrey, P Kelly, S Durkin; L Rushe, A McCrabbe (0-1); C McCormack, R O’Dwyer, C Keaney (0-3); P Carton, D O’Callaghan (0-2), P Ryan (0-13, 11f). Subs: S Lambert, S Ryan for R O’Dwyer (26, blood),

Galway: J Skehill; D Joyce, D Collins, F Moore; S Kavanagh, T Og Regan, A Cullinane; B Daly, D Burke; E Ryan, C Donnellan, J Gantley (1-3); D Hayes, J Canning (1-3, 2f), A Callanan. Subs: A Kearns (0-1), D Barry

Ref: M Wadding (Waterford)

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