Dublin 3-19 Galway 0-24
A match which simply took the breath away, that stormed the senses and went right to the wire. Two teams, at their wits' end, were tied 17 times. For a long time during the second half Galway seemed to have the edge. They kept nosing in front, only for Dublin to reel them back in.
Joe Canning's introduction, his first appearance in the championship after injury, brought two points from his first two touches, and you'd have thought that Galway had more shooting power and experience. But Dublin refused to stop.
Three minutes from the end of normal time, Chris Crummey got the ball near the Galway goal, did a little dance and fired a shot that crept into the corner. A goal then, Dublin's third, was like a stake to the heart for Galway. With reports from Wexford of a match poised on an equally fine thread, Galway were a goal behind and desperate to save themselves. Fergal Whiteley hit a score, having come off the bench, to make that task harder and while Jason Flynn fired one in response, the last came from Oisín O'Rorke, capping a fine match by the Dublin free taker.
So Galway, the All-Ireland champions of 2017 and finalists in three of the last four years, are gone. The result from Wexford, a draw, sealing their fate as they missed out on score difference. The modest win at home to Carlow came back to haunt them. Mattie Kenny's men take the third qualifying spot but, of all the teams, their result was the most noteworthy.
Dublin made the pitch small and denied Galway a goal chance, with Sean Moran falling back to sweep and the defence outstanding in holding the Galway forwards from inflicting the kind of damage that is their calling card. They came into the match after a huge win in Kilkenny but that, and the springing of Canning, could not save them. Conal Keaney, on the wrong side of 35, lasted the full game and scored three points. O'Rorke took over the frees in the absence of Paul Ryan and refused to blink. Eamonn Dillon scored a goal and had one of his best matches for Dublin in the championship.
They even managed without their inspirational full-back Eoghan O'Donnell, who left the field with what looked like a hamstring injury after 14 minutes, having strained it when winning a ball ahead of Jason Flynn three minutes earlier. Shane Barrett, who had his red card overturned earlier in the week, stood in and gave a storming display. The 2017 Liam MacCarthy Cup winners were also hit by injury when Conor Whelan left the field in the first half after a crunching shoulder hit from Barrett.
A lack of scoring power has been Dublin's chief nemesis up to now, but the goals proved their lifeline. Dillon scored their first in the 29th minute, tearing away and batting past Colm Callanan, to give them a 1-8 to 0-8 lead. In a pulsating half, the teams were level eight times. But Galway showed resilience in scoring the last four points before the interval, one a monster free from Callanan, the last score being one of three from David Burke who profited from a Dublin mistake. That run gave Galway a slender advantage, 0-12 to 1-8.
The westerners should have had a penalty in the second minute but referee Cathal McAllister overlooked a foul by Alan Nolan on Adrian Tuohy after being set up by Cathal Mannion. Dublin were strong on their puck-outs, picking out Danny Sutcliffe and Keaney who helped give them a good return on there aerial battles and a large amount of possession.
That return also managed to limit the influence of the Galway half-back line where Pádraic Mannion had his hands full with Sutcliffe and picked up an early yellow card for a high challenge. Galway fans were incensed late in the first half when McAllister didn't apply similar punishment to Rushe for a high challenge when Galway were coming out with the ball, and the match official's overall performance made him deeply unpopular with the Tribe's followers in particular.
Cian Boland picked off two first-half scores and was fouled for another with O'Rorke being steady on frees. The breeze, favouring Dublin in the second half, picked up by the time the teams returned for the second period.
The second half was just over a minute old when Dublin netted from a brilliantly executed Moran penalty after Daithí Burke fouled Crummey. The score gave Dublin a huge boost, putting them back in front, 2-8 to 0-12.
But the Connacht men responded and quickly drew level before bringing on Canning in the 47th minute, to a rousing reception from the travelling support.
From there it was gripping and impossible to predict how it would pan out. Until Crummey, an unlikely match winner perhaps, became just that.
Scorers - Dublin: O O'Rorke 0-9 (6fs, 1 '65); E Dillon 1-1; C Crummey 1-0; S Moran 1-0 (pen); C Keaney 0-3; C Boland 0-2; D Sutcliffe, L Rushe, A Nolan, F Whiteley 0-1 each. Galway: C Mannion 0-9 (7fs); David Burke, J Flynn 0-3 each; J Canning 0-2; C Whelan, B Concannon, C Callanan, J Coen, J Cooney, P Mannion, D Glennon 0-1 each.
Dublin: A Nolan; P Smyth, E O'Donnell, C Hendricken; C Crummey, S Moran, S Barrett; S Treacy, T Connolly; C Keaney, D Sutcliffe, C Boland; F Whitely, L Rushe, E Dillon. Subs: J Madden for O'Donnell (14); F Whitely for Boland (46); D O'Connell for Treacy (57); R Hayes for Rushe (66).
Galway: C Callanan; D Morrissey, Daithí Burke, A Harte; P Mannion, G McInerney, J Cooney; J Coen, David Burke; C Mannion, J Glynn, A Tuohy; C Whelan, J Flynn, B Concannon. Subs: D Glennon for Whelan (26); J Canning for Tuohy (46); N Burke for Concannon (53); T Monaghan or N Burke (60); S Linnae for Coen (70). Referee: C McAllister (Cork).
Sunday Indo Sport