Joe Canning's late sideline cut grabs victory for Galway over Mattie Kenny's Dublin in Walsh cup semi
Dublin 1-17 Galway 0-21
GALWAY’S hurlers began their competitive 2019 with a win, beating Dublin in a Walsh Cup semi-final today in Parnell Park that appeared to be chugging harmlessly towards an inevitable conclusion before sparking furiously towards a frantic end.
Having cruised as far as the final five minutes, a Seán Moran penalty in a run of 1-4 without reply from Dublin managed to put them level before a brilliant Joe Canning sideline granted Galway victory.
Mícheal Donoghue’s men play Wexford in next week’s final.
Dublin, who were playing their fourth match of the competition, have a week’s rest before they play Carlow in their opening match of the League.
This was a game Galway led from early, thanks to their superior score-taking and a stiff, direct wind that howled towards the scoreboard end of Parnell Park.
Other than the wind, the first half’s prevailing force was Cathal Mannion, who finished the match with ten points.
Playing in midfield, Mannion took up smart positions behind his attack, instinctively finding pockets of space and separation from his marker, Tomás Connolly.
Mannion scored 0-7 in that first period, four of which came from play.
It would be unwise to understate the influence of the wind, however.
Frequently, James Skehill’s puck-outs plonked awkwardly down on the edge of the Dublin square, although Galway’s only goal chance in the half was tipped over by Alan Nolan when Brian Concannon went clear.
Galway started with five players who began their last competitive outing, their 2018 All-Ireland defeat to Waterford.
In keeping with Dublin’s previous three Walsh Cup games, Eamonn Dillon was a crackling threat in attack, although his team mates found it difficult to keep him nourished in possession.
Galway led 0-15 to 0-8 at half-time and were worth every point of their lead.
The only ponderable at the break was how valuable the wind would be for Dublin and whether they could shackle Mannion, particularly with Conor Whelan threatening to cut loose and the unexpected presence of one Joe Canning on the Galway bench.
Liam Rushe was the pick of the Dublin forwards while Chris Crummey was again influential in the comeback that granted us a dramatic finale before Canning’s sublime late match-winning sideline cut.
SCORERS – Galway: C Mannion 0-10 (5f), B Concannon 0-3 (1f), S Blehane, D Glennon (1f) 0-2, P Mannion, C Whelan, J Canning, A Harte (sideline) 0-1 each. Dublin: J Hetherton 0-8 (8f), D Moran 1-0 (pen), C Crummey, D Burke, E Dillon, O O’Rorke (2f) 0-2 each, F Whitely 0-1.
GALWAY: J Skehill; J Grealish, J Fitzpatrick, S Linnane; K Hussey, P Mannion, A Harte; S Kilduff, C Mannion; P Brehony, C Whelan, S Blehane; T Monaghan, B Concannon, D Glennon. Subs: S Loftus for Brehony (55) S Maloney for Kilduff (55), R Ó Meara for Glennon (62), J Canning for Blehane (67)
DUBLIN: A Nolan; P Smyth, E O’Donnell, L Gannon; C Crummey, Moran, S Barrett; T Connolly, R McBride; J Hetherton, F Whitely, F McGibb; E Dillon, L Rushe, D Burke. Subs: S Treacy for Smyth (h-t), D Gray for O’Donnell (47), C Conway for McBride (47), O O’Rorke for McGibb (51), D Keogh for Barrett (62), D O’Connell for Whitely (64), C Burke for D Burke (68)
REF: P O’Dwyer (Carlow)