Tuesday 24 April 2018

Conor Whelan on fire as Galway book Leinster final date with Wexford

GALWAY 0-33 OFFALY 1-11

Conor Whelan of Galway during the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Galway and Dublin at O'Connor Park, in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Conor Whelan of Galway during the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Galway and Dublin at O'Connor Park, in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Michael Verney in O'Moore Park, Portlaoise

Galway booked a mouth-watering Leinster final date with Wexford without ever leaving second gear against a plucky Offaly side which ran out of steam after a valiant first-half showing.

Joe Canning was held scoreless and removed on the hour mark, captain David Burke was subdued on a day when Galway hit no goal but others stepped up to the plate with Conor Whelan maintaining his rich vein of form.

The Kinvara attacker gave a tour de force hitting seven points from play and was un-markable on a day when Shane Moloney staked his claim for inclusion hitting four points off the bench.

Galway were expected to do early damage on the scoreboard but it was Offaly who were first off the mark with Oisín Kelly pouncing on a long delivery from Dermot Shortt to fire past Colm Callanan in the fourth minute.

It was a professional response from the Tribesmen, however, as they reeled off the next four points through half-back Padraic Mannion, Cathal Mannion, Conor Whelan and Conor Cooney.

Shane Dooley levelled with a free before trading scores with Padraic Mannion and the Faitfhul, who flooded their defence with extra bodies, were holding their own against the All-Ireland favourites, 0-5 to 1-2.

Dooley (free) and Cathal Mannion swapped points before Galway kicked on with four-in-a-row via Johnny Coen, Whelan, Aidan Harte and a Joe Canning free.

They lost Cathal Mannion to an ankle injury in the 24th minute before two Dooley placed balls kept Offaly in touch, either side of another Canning free, but Galway powered on before the break hitting five out of the next six points to open up a seven-point lead, 0-16 to 1-6.

Galway then put the game to bed hitting ten of the first eleven points on the resumption with Whelan and first-half sub Moloney impressing and it could have been worse had Offaly goalkeeper James Dempsey not pulled off a great save from Moloney in the 50th minute, 0-26 to 1-7.

Niall Burke came into his own in the final quarter hitting three points and Whelan continued his scoring exploits as the tribesmen ran out comfortable winners.

SCORERS – Galway: J Canning (6f) and C Whelan 0-7 each, N Burke 0-5, S Moloney 0-4, A Harte 0-3, P Mannion, C Mannion and J Coen 0-2 each

Offaly: S Dooley 0-9 (6f, 0-1 '65), O Kelly 1-0, E Nolan, L Langton 0-1 each.

GALWAY – C Callanan; A Tuohy, Daithí Burke, J Hanbury; P Mannion, G McInerney, A Harte; J Coen, David Burke; C Whelan, J Canning, C Mannion; J Flynn, C Cooney, N Burke.

Subs: S Moloney for C Mannion (24 inj), M Donohue for P Mannion (54) S Loftus for Tuohy (58), E Burke for Canning (61), P Brehony for David Burke (62)

OFFALY – J Dempsey; B Conneely, D Shortt, E Grogan; S Ryan, S Gardiner, D King; P Guinan, E Nolan; P Murphy, J Bergin, S Kinsella; S Cleary, S Dooley, O Kelly Subs: L Langton for Cleary (42), P Camon for Ryan (52), S Quirke for Guinan (54), D Doughan for Murphy (61), J Mulrooney for Kinsella (64)

REF – J Ryan (Tipperary)

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport