Tuohy eases Tribesmen to decider with landslide win
Galway 4-37 IT Carlow 0-15
Galway brought their winning tally to 71 points over four games, as Micheál Donoghue's troops raced into the Walsh Cup final.
In one of the easiest wins Galway will ever earn, Donoghue handed debuts to Kevin McHugo, Aiden Helebert and Gavin Lally, bringing the total number of players used in 2017 to 35.
However, it was the return of one of last year's discoveries, Adrian Tuohy, that will please the most.
Tuohy hadn't struck a ball in anger since August's All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary, when both he and Joe Canning were forced off injured at half-time in Croke Park.
A dislocated elbow has had the Beagh man sidelined since, but in his first 35 minutes since the summer he drove the Tribesmen past a hapless IT Carlow with a stellar showing.
Donoghue said it was testament to his hard work that he is back and ready for Galway's Division 1B campaign.
"He's made massive strides in the last couple of weeks. It was just great to see him back on the pitch," said Donoghue.
"In fairness, early on you could see the enthusiasm from him in just being back and delighted to be out there.
"I'm glad for him, he's had a hard few months, but he's put it in and that's just his reward getting back on the pitch."
By the time Tuohy fired over his first point from halfway on 11 minutes, Galway were already in total control after goals from Sean McInerney and Conor Whelan in the early stages.
Further points in the 14th and 32nd minutes rounded off a great return for Tuohy, as Jason Flynn's 26th-minute goal saw Galway lead by 3-21 to 0-5 at half-time.
Nine points from sub Shane Moloney was the highlight of the second-half, although McInerney's second goal after 50 minutes rounded off another impressive display for the son of Gerry and brother of Gearóid.
DJ Carey's side were dominated throughout, but the former Kilkenny great was forced into 11 changes from the side that beat DIT in the Fitzgibbon Cup last week, due to their upcoming clash with Mary Immaculate in the same competition this Thursday.
Galway face a real step up in class against Kilkenny in the final next weekend, and the Tribesmen's manger lamented the facile victory.
"From speaking to them, their commitment is to the Fitzgibbon, that's understandable because the games are coming in quick succession," said Donoghue.
"So it was probably an easier day than we would have liked in our preparation, but that's what it was."
Scorers - Galway: S Moloney 0-9 (2f, 1'65), J Flynn 1-6 (3f), S McInerney 2-3, A Helebert 0-4, C Whelan 1-1, J Cooney 0-3, A Tuohy 0-3, D Nevin 0-2, G Lally, K McHugo, C Salmon, S Loftus, T Monaghan, D Glennon 0-1 each.
IT Carlow: M O'Hanlon 0-8 (5f), C Bolger 0-2, E Rowland 0-2 (2f), S Phelan, S Bergin, S Casey 0-1 each.
Galway: J Skehill; M Keating, J Hanbury, P Kileen; B Flaherty, Greg Lally, A Tuohy; K McHugo, J Coen; C Salmon, J Cooney, C Whelan; S McInerney, J Flynn, A Helebert. Subs: S Moloney for Tuohy (h-t), S Loftus for Coen (h-t), P Brehony for Cooney (h-t), D Glennon for Flynn (h-t), M Donoghue for Hanbury (38), D Nevin for McHugo (47), B Molloy for Helebert (47), T Monaghan for Whelan (47), R Burke for Killeen (52), Gavin Lally for Skehill (52), J Grealish for Greg Lally (60).
IT Carlow: E Rowland; K Hannafin, D Tobin, C Madden; T Gallagher, R Moran, D O'Hanlon; S Phelan, C Bolger; M O'Hanlon, J Fitzpatrick, M Redmond; S Bergin, L Mullally, A Mortimer. Subs: M Dowling for Mortimer (54), S Casey for Fitzpatrick (54), R Brown for D O'Hanlon (57), C Brennan for Bolger (63).
Ref: A Devine (Westmeath).