Farragher fires Galway to glory
The 2010 Leinster hurling championship promises to be particularly interesting and an efficient Galway outfit will take ample satisfaction from this triumph.
Galway have suffered plenty of bother at Parnell Park in the National League in the past few years so the purposeful way in which this seven-point win was eked out offers cause for optimism among their followers.
A solid defence in which Shane Kavanagh and Tony Og Regan ruled supreme, a crafty midfield where Ger Farragher's immaculate stickwork thrilled, and a pacy attack that hit 1-22 while only registering three wides ensured Galway travelled back to the west heartened.
The opening period was packed with good hurling as both teams enjoyed pockets of supremacy. There were the usual glimpses of attacking skill from Galway, but what will have pleased John McIntyre was the manner in which the forwards battled. Dublin's backs were put under severe pressure as Aonghus Callanan, Aidan Harte, and Niall Hayes worked selflessly.
Callanan and David Burke nailed early points for Galway, but Dublin responded, reeling off four without reply courtesy of the polished Alan McCrabbe. Then Galway netted a 14th-minute goal. Donnellan pulled on a loose ball, Joe Gantley gathered possession, escaped from Sean O'Sullivan, and rattled the net with a blistering finish.
Moments later, Niall Corcoran, a Galway native but now a regular in the Dublin set-up, switched into full-back in an attempt to curb Gantley's influence.
Farragher, effective at centrefield, and Callanan stretched Galway's advantage with points from distance, but Dublin continued to toil diligently. Another Farragher long-range score edged Galway 1-6 to 0-6 ahead 23 minutes in, but McCrabbe and Ryan pointed from play before the All Star split the uprights with a sublime sideline cut.
Galway concluded the half with a real flourish. Substitute Eanna Ryan released Niall Cahalan, and the raiding midfielder steered Galway in front, and Farragher then delivered a delightful sideline as Galway went in at the break armed with a 1-9 to 0-10 advantage.
The third quarter carried significance for Dublin, but it was Galway who were the sharper outfit. In the 12 minutes immediately after the restart, Galway outscored the locals by seven points to two courtesy of Callanan, Farragher (3), Gantley, David Burke, and Niall Hayes as the Tribesmen edged 1-16 to 0-12 clear. Farragher's midfield promptings were splendid as the Castlegar star was drilling points from distance as well as providing ammunition to a lively forward line. Shane Durkin nicked a consolation goal for the Dubs, but Galway were full value for their success.
Scorers -- Galway: G Farragher 0-9 (5f,1 sl), J Gantley 1-3, A Callanan 0-3, D Burke, A Harte 0-2 each, N Cahalan, N Hayes, I Tannian 0-1 each. Dublin: A McCrabbe 0-11 (7f, 1 sl), S Durkin 1-0, S Lambert 0-2, S Ryan, K Flynn 0-1 each.
Galway -- C Callanan; D Joyce, S Kavanagh, P Holland; D Barry, T Og Regan, K Hynes; G Farragher, N Cahalan; A Callanan, C Donnellan, D Burke; A Harte, J Gantley, N Hayes. Subs: E Ryan for Donnellan (30), C Donnellan for Hynes (63), K Kilkenny for Farragher (65), I Tannian for Callanan (66), T Mannion for Barry (68).
Dublin -- G Maguire; N Corcoran, S O'Sullivan, R Trainor; S Hiney, R Fallon, M O'Brien; J McCaffrey, S Lambert; D Curtin, S Ryan, J Kelly; P Carton, K Flynn, A McCrabbe. Subs: S Durkin for Curtin (43), R Walsh for Kelly (63).
Ref -- J Owens (Wexford).