Galway fight to end as Brogan sweats on final
Allianz Football League Div 1
Alan Brogan's faint hopes of playing in the final against Cork on Sunday week rests on a piece of video footage which Dublin manager Pat Gilroy was set to study last night.
Brogan's seventh-minute dismissal following an off-the-ball clash with Galway defender Johnny Duane reduced the Dubs to 14 men for most of the match -- but they managed to hold on for a draw which retained their unbeaten status.
The sending-off was somewhat bizarre, as referee Pat Fox let play continue for over a minute before returning to the scene, where he consulted with a linesman who was close to the incident.
Brogan, who showed his predatory instincts to great effect by scoring Dublin's first goal in the third minute, was then sent off on a straight red card for striking.
"I only saw the tail end of it and it looked to me like a push. The two of them got tangled up. The linesman obviously called it as a strike," said Gilroy.
"If we have a video of it we will look at it, but if it is a strike then it's end of story. Alan has an immaculate track record, so we'll look at it."
It was a strange match but interesting in the respective challenges posed for both sides -- and each team knows they had the winning of it.
Dublin hit Galway with that quick goal by Brogan and they got another with a superb shot by Pat Burke in the 28th minute, both from pressurising Galway players into conceding turnovers.
The 14 men led 2-7 to 0-6 at half-time, having kept their wide count to three in the first half, while Galway missed the target four times before the interval.
Galway manager Tomas O Flatharta identified the key errors in that half as the Tribesmen rectified their problems after the interval.
"What happened in the first half was we went into the tackle with the ball instead of moving it quicker, and as a result Dublin got turnovers and the two goals came from that," said O Flatharta.
"We moved it much quicker in the second half and we nearly got it in the end."
Galway had reason to rue their shooting and decision-making as the Dubs worked unselfishly for each other in the effort to stay ahead.
Their return of only two points -- a 41st-minute free by Bernard Brogan, and a Dean Kelly point in the 65th minute -- indicates the trend of the play in that second half.
Galway made it hard for themselves, but their best spell of scoring five points between the 44th and 53rd brought them within three points of the Dubs at 0-11 to 2-8.
Cormac Bane with two frees, sub Gareth Bradshaw, Paul Conroy, and the irrepressible Padraic Joyce got the scores -- and they might have had a goal but for a decisive block by Dublin goalie Michael Savage.
The good spell for Galway was then undone with wides by Gary Sice, Joyce and Joe Bergin, which piled on the agony for the home supporters among the attendance of 4,000.
Conroy finally broke that tension with a well-taken point in the 59th minute and Sice finally got his range to bring the Tribesmen within a point.
Substitute Kevin Brady finally equalised from a Bergin-Joyce move, which gave him the chance to lash the ball over the bar to leave the sides level on 0-14 to 2-8 with seven minutes of normal time to go.
The tackles were tough and by that stage referee Fox had issued Brogan with his red card, and yellows for Bryan Cullen and Dennis Bastick.
Also in his book were Galway's Gary O'Donnell, Joyce, and Finian Hanley's name was added to the yellow card count in the 67th minute.
Pacey wing-forward Dean Kelly -- who had come on for Dublin earlier -- raised his team's hopes when he popped over a 65th-minute point and then it was all hands on deck to try and deny Galway.
Dublin could regret going for goal earlier in the game and in the last minute Bane was the Tribesmen's hero when he levelled the scores with a thumping high ball that went over from 30 metres out.
Galway will take heart from the performances of Joyce, Bane, Bergin and Conroy, who showed up well in a side that has work to do to be ready for the championship.
Dublin did very little wrong and manager Gilroy can be happy with most of his players. Paul Brogan at full-back, Sean Murray and Dennis Bastick in midfield and Diarmuid Connolly and Bernard Brogan all caught the eye.
Man of the Match: Sean Murray (Dublin)
Scorers -- Galway: P Joyce (4f), C Bane (2f) 0-4 each, P Conroy 0-3, O Concannen, G Bradshaw, G Sice, K Brady 0-1 each. Dublin: B Brogan 0-5 (4f), A Brogan 1-0, P Burke 1-0, S Murray, D Bastick, P Flynn, D Kelly 0-1 each.
Galway -- A Flaherty 6; A Burke 6, C Forde 6, J Duane 6; G O'Donnell 6, G Higgins 6, G Sice 6; J Bergin 6, F Hanley 6; P Joyce 7, O Concannen 6, C Kenny 6; M Clancy 6, P Conroy 7, C Bane 7. Subs: N Coyne 6 for O'Donnell (h-t), G Bradshaw 6 for Clancy (42), K Brady 6 for Kenny (52).
Dublin -- M Savage 7; P McMahon 7, P Brogan 8, N Devereux 6; K Nolan 7, G Brennan 7, P Casey 7; D Bastick 7, S Murray 8; P Flynn 7, P Burke 7, B Cullen; 7 B Brogan, D Connolly 7, A Brogan 5. Subs: M Fitzsimons 7 for Devereux (h-t), D Kelly 7 for Burke (54), D Lally 6 for Connolly (60), P Andrews 6 for Cullen (67); D Nelson for Kelly (70).
Ref -- P Fox (Westmeath)