Leinster SHC: Dublin 3-19 Galway 0-24
GALWAY have been sensationally dumped out of this year’s All-Ireland SHC after a four-point defeat to Dublin in Parnell Park tonight.
Amazingly, the only scenario that could have ended the 2017 All-Ireland champions' involvement in this year’s race for Liam MacCarthy transpired after Kilkenny and Wexford also drew in Wexford Park.
A late Chris Crummey goal after a tour de force from Conal Keaney saw Dublin deservedly beat Galway for the first time since the 2013 Leinster SHC final.
As the Dublin supporters gathered in the centre of the pitch in Parnell Park to sing 'come on you boys in blue' after a long-awaited victory over one of Leinster's top teams, Galway fans anxiously checked their phones for news from Wexford Park.
Minutes after the final whistle here, their worst fears were confirmed.
The tension in Parnell Park tonight mirrored what was at stake.
Only briefly did either team threaten to mount any sort of authority in the first half.
Shane Barrett, cleared on Thursday night by the CHC, was added to the Dublin defence.
Liam Rushe, who missed the Carlow game with an ankle injury, took up arms with Daithí Burke at the edge of the Galway square while Oisín O'Rorke was also a late change to Mattie Kenny's named fifteen and charged with freetaking duties in the absence of both Paul Ryan and David Treacy.
Disaster struck for the home side however when Eoghan O'Donnell, perhaps the best full-back in Ireland this year, succumbed to a hamstring injury he was being treated for before the game after 14 minutes.
Galway had their own misfortune when Conor Whelan left the action after a hefty challenge from Barrett.
Galway's inaccuracy cost them a couple of scores in a tight half whereas Dublin's problem was their final ball.
In the 28minute, they got their chance though and Eamonn Dillon surged clear and batted past Colm Callanan.
Prior to that, Dublin's strength had been their ability of their wing-forwards to win Alan Nolan's high hanging puck outs.
Conal Keaney won three skyscrapers in the first half while Danny Sutcliffe came down with a couple of clean balls over Pádraic Mannion.
Yet Galway's response was to hit the final four points of the half directly after Dublin’s goal through Cathal Mannion (two), Callanan (free) and David Burke.
With Johnny Glynn causing blind panic with his battering ram act down the central channel of the Dublin defence and Joe Canning sitting patiently on the bench, the omens for Galway were good as they went in at the break.
But within seconds of the restart, Dublin had a penalty.
Again, Dillon took on his man and played in Chris Crummey, who was hauled to the ground by Daithí Burke.
Seán Moran, who scored 1-1 from two penalties against Wexford earlier in the Championship, smashed this one in off the ground and past Callanan.
Again, Galway's response was impressive and in the 47th minute, their support rose to greet Canning for the first time since March.
He scored with both his first touch and his second.
But Keaney was heroic for Dublin and when Crummey went steaming through in the 69minute, he buried the goal that sealed a spot in the All-Ireland series for Dublin and crushed Galway's Liam MacCarthy dream.
SCORERS – Dublin: O O’Rorke 0-9 (6f, 1 ’65), E Dillon 1-1, C Keaney 0-3, C Crummey, S Moran (pen) 1-0 each, C Boland 0-2, A Nolan, D Sutcliffe, L Rushe, F Whitely 0-1. Galway: C Mannion 0-9 (7f), J Flynn, D Burke 0-3 each, J Canning 0-2, C Callanan (f), P Mannion, J Cooney, J Coen, C Whelan, B Concannon, 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, C Boland, E Dillon; L Rushe, O O’Rorke, D Sutcliffe. Subs: J Madden for O’Donnell (14 inj), F Whitely for Boland (47), D Gray for Hendricken (51), D O’Connell for Treacy (57), R Hayes for Rushe (65)
GALWAY: C Callanan; D Morrissey, Daithí Burke, A Harte; P Mannion, J Cooney, G McInerney; J Coen, David Burke; C Mannion, J Glynn, A Touhy; C Whelan, J Flynn, B Concannon. Subs: D Glennon for Whelan (26 inj), J Canning for Touhy (47), N Burke for Concannon (54), T Monaghan for N Burke 60), S Linnane for Coen (70)
REF: C McAllister (Cork)