Shane O'Neill starts Galway reign with a victory as Tribesmen edge Dublin in Walsh Cup semi-final
Galway 0-19 Dublin 0-18
GALWAY will travel to Wexford for next Sunday’s Walsh Cup final after a one-point victory in Parnell Park today in a typical January affair.
This was Galway’s first competitive game under new manager Shane O’Neill.
He cut a quiet figure on the sideline as a raft of young players got a first taste of senior action against an equally diluted Dublin team.
Though it was Dublin’s fourth game of this competition, Mattie Kenny’s insistence that they have all amounted to nothing better than glorified training sessions rang true here as well, with 14 players missing through Fitzgibbon Cup action and Kenny rotating heavily from the team that beat Laois on Thursday evening.
For Galway, 19-year-old debutant Diarmuid Kilcommins caught the attention early on, scoring two smart points from the right wing.
Another, Declan Cronin, struggled early on in the company of Eamonn Dillon, who threatened every time a ball was angled into his corner and soon swapped places with Jack Grealish.
The two best goal chances of the half both fell to Galway, however.
Davy Glennon skewed a shot high and wide after a congregation of Galway forwards turned over James Madden as Dublin tried to work the ball out of their own full-back line.
On a heavy, bobby pitch, it almost cost them on a number of occasion. But their determination to stick to their methods were admirable.
In the 35th minute, Thomas Monaghan scooped a shot outside Seán Brennan’s right-hand post after rounding Madden following a brilliant pass from Cathal Mannion.
Just minutes before, Mannion emerged from a half of almost complete anonymity to score the two most sweetly-struck points of the game until that point.
Galway led by a point at half-time and kept nudging in front all through the second half, only for Dublin to respond.
Danny Sutcliffe and Seán Moran got their first tastes of action in 2020 as substitutes, as a late Mannion free saw Galway through to defend their Walsh Cup title.
SCORERS – Galway: T Haran 0-8 (7f), C Mannion 0-3 (1f), J Coen, S Bleahane, D Kilcommins 0-2 each, TJ Brennan, C Walsh 0-1 each. Dublin: O O’Rorke 0-10 (8f), E Dillon, J Hetherton 0-2 each, C Crummey, C Boland, M Howard, D Sutcliffe 0-1 each.
GALWAY: E Murphy; D Cronin, R Burke, J Grealish; J Coen, G McInerney, TJ Brennan; S Linnane, A Harte; D Kilcommins, C Mannion, T Monaghan; S Bleahane, T Haran, D Glennon. Subs: P Killeen for Cronin (h-t), C Walsh for Linnane (45), R O’Meara for Monaghan (51), J Coyne for Bleahane (51), M Horan for Brennan (56), J Holland for Burke (56), Brennan for McInerney (65), Bleahane for Harnan (65), Monaghan for (66)
DUBLIN: S Brennan; C O’Callaghan, J Madden, A Dunphy; C Crummey, A O’Neill, T Connolly; C Boland, L McMullen; J Hetherton, C Derwin, M Schutte; M Howard, E Dillon, O O’Rorke. Subs: E O’Donnell for Derwin (48), S Moran for Madden (56), D Sutcliffe for Schutte (60), M Sweeney for Howard (66)
REF: P Murphy (Carlow)