Rampant Dubs send out early warning
Dublin 1-28 Galway 1-19
After a winter of controversy and discontent, the pressure was on the Dublin hurlers to hit the ground running in 2016 and an inexperienced outfit passed their first major test with flying colours.
Looking confident and assured in an energetic display, the Dubs easily put last year’s All-Ireland finalists to the sword, with David Treacy, Eamon Dillon and Niall McMorrow firing 1-19 between them at Parnell Park.
Dublin were out of the traps early and surged into a 0-5 to nil lead but a fortuitous goal from Galway All-Star David Burke, which came completely against the run of play, left the sides level at the break, 1-9 to 0-12.
The Dubs continued where they left off on the resumption, however, and Dillon’s 40th-minute goal was the springboard to a strong second-half showing as they surged into an unassailable lead to set up a final meeting with Wexford in Croke Park next Saturday.
Considering many regulars are absent, Dublin boss Ger Cunningham is delighted with how his young charges have acquitted themselves and welcomes early-season competitive action.
“We’re short maybe 15 players between injuries and colleges but it’s worked in our favour because it has given guys the opportunity – otherwise you’d be out looking for challenge games at this time of year,” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for some of the younger guys to come on and play a game in Croke Park next weekend and it’s great for us to be able to see them in that atmosphere.
“I think it’s good for their confidence. When you come into a new set-up you’ve got to find your way and it takes a while to settle in. All the players want is games. It’s very hard for them to impress in training.”
Minus Joe Canning, left off as a precaution following a knock, Galway struggled for traction up front and despite playing with the breeze, they were reliant on Niall Burke, who shot three first-half points, and made no significant inroads on the Dublin goal.
Galway battled hard throughout but after his late appointment, new manager Micheál Donoghue is playing catch-up, with just a handful of training sessions completed. But he believes yesterday served as a useful barometer.
“Not being disrespectful to any of the college games we had previous. . . that was going to be the first test and it was going to be our first gauge of where we were at,” Donoghue said.
“We knew coming up that we would be a bit off the pace. We would have loved to have gotten to Croke Park next week but we knew coming into the job that we were a bit behind the black ball. But we’ll make it up.”
From the get-go Dublin were the better side with five consecutive points via McMorrow (2), David Treacy, his younger brother Sean, and Chris Bennett, an early statement of intent as the Tribesmen struggled to deal with Dublin’s fluid transition from defence to attack.
Eanna Burke got Galway off the mark in the tenth minute, followed by a brace from Niall Burke, but Dublin were bossing affairs and David O’Callaghan’s kicked effort, a Treacy double and one from the lively Daire Plunkett left them four up, 0-9 to 0-5.
Eamon Dillon, a first-half replacement for the injured Chris Crummey, was denied by an excellent save by Galway keeper James Skehill – one of many – soon after and amazingly Galway were level when a speculative point attempt went all the way to the net.
David Burke’s effort was taken down by Dublin netminder Conor Dooley but after being miscontrolled it trickled agonisingly over the line.
David Treacy and Shane Moloney traded scores to leave it 0-12 to 0-19 at half-time.
David Burke and sub Jason Flynn sent Galway ahead within 60 seconds of the new half but McMorrow and David Treacy pegged them back before Dillon fired a beautiful first-time effort to the net, and they never looked back.
With O’Callaghan and David Treacy, who fired over a sublime sideline cut, in top form Dublin surged into a seven-point lead midway through the second half, 1-22 to 1-15, before yellow cards were brandished to McMorrow, Andy Smith and Davy Glennon after a brief skirmish.
Renewing acquaintances for the first time since the Fenway Classic last November, the game was played in a competitive spirit but the well-drilled Dubs were much the better side and finished with scores from Dillon and subs Paul Ryan and Sean O’Reilly.
For Donoghue and Galway, the work now begins.
“We’re still getting to know each other, and there’s a lot of work to do, but it’s something we are looking forward to,” he concluded.
SCORERS – Dublin: D Treacy 0-12 (5fs, 2 ’65s’, 1 s/l), E Dillon 1-3, N McMorrow 0-4, D O’Callaghan 0-3, P Ryan 0-2 (1f), S Treacy, D Plunkett, C Bennett, S O’Reilly 0-1 each. Galway: David Burke 1-3, S Moloney 0-5 (4fs), N Burke 0-3, E Burke, D Glennon 0-2 each, G McInerney, G Lally (f), J Flynn, A Smith 0-1 each.
DUBLIN – C Dooley; J Boland, O Gough, S Durkin; B Quinn, C Crummey, J McCaffrey; F O’Riain Brionn, N McMorrow; D Treacy, F McGibb, D Plunkett; S Treacy, D O’Callaghan, C Bennett. Subs: E Dillon for C Crummy (21), P Ryan for C Bennett (34), S O’Reilly for S Treacy (63), R Hardy for S Durkin (68).
GALWAY – J Skehill; J Coen, R Burke, P Hoban; P Claffey, G Lally, Daithi Burke; David Burke, P Brehony; A Smith, G McInerney, N Burke; E Burke, S Moloney D Glennon. Subs: A Harte for P Brehony (30m), J Flynn for Daithi Burke (ht), I Tannian for G Lally (48), S Morrissey for P Claffey (51).
REF – P O’Dwyer (Carlow)