Sluggish Tribesmen no match for much-improved Dublin
Dublin 1-17 Galway 0-13
Sean McGrath's second-half goal gave Ger Cunningham's Dublin their first win of the Allianz hurling league as a lacklustre Galway failed to build on last week's win over Cork.
Galway, who lost Joe Canning to injury at half-time, were second best throughout, as four points from the brilliant Niall McMorrow and a rock solid performance from Liam Rushe at centre-back gave the home side a well earned victory.
On the back of last week's 12-point drubbing at the hands of Tipperary, an early response was always likely from Dublin in front of the 4,754 in attendance at Parnell Park.
In the first 35 minutes last night they set Galway back on their heels with a physical, high octane performance that saw they lead 0-10 to 0-7 at the interval and they finished the job with an efficient second-half.
After David O'Callaghan got Dublin off to a flyer inside a minute, points from Padraig Brehony and Niall Burke appeared to have settled Galway.
But four-in-a-row from the flawless David Treacy, who hit two frees, Darragh McConnell on his debut, and McMorrow following a shocking James Skehill puck-out, meant Dublin led by three points after 13 minutes.
Although he wasn’t hugely involved in open play a couple of Canning frees from the right brought Galway back into contention, but Dublin responded again with a powerful ten minutes that saw them land four without reply.
Things should have gotten a lot worse for Galway in the 28th minute when Eamon Dillon looked certain to score the first goal of the game, but he was tugged back by John Hanbury inside the big rectangle. Referee Fergal Horgan didn’t spot the foul, Dillon got his shot away and Skehill pulled off a super reflex save.
Straight away Canning landed third free to cut the lead to four. His fourth soon followed, and Canning added to that with a great point from play which rewarded the hard work of Davy Glennon.
At the other end Treacy had been immaculate from placed balls, and he continued that trend before the break to give his side a three-point cushion.
Canning was replaced by Joseph Cooney at the break, and in his absence Cathal Mannion cut Dublin's lead to two points from a free, but two points in a minute from McMorrow had Dublin on the front foot again.
But McGrath's goal in the 45th minute was the key score and his low finish past Skehill gave his side an unassailable lead.
Scorers – Dublin: D Treacy 0-10 (9f, 1'65), N McMorrow 0-4, S McGrath 1-0, D O'Callaghan, D McConnell, C Cronin 0-1. Galway: J Canning 0-5 (4f), C Mannion 0-3 (2f, 1'65), D Burke (1f), P Brehony, N Burke, A Harte, A Smith 0-1.
Dublin – C Dooley; E O'Donnell, C O'Callaghan, O Gough; C Crummey, L Rushe, J McCaffrey; D McConnell, D Plunkett; S McGrath, N McMorrow, D Treacy; E Dillon, D O'Callaghan, M Schutte. Subs: C Cronin for McGrath (46), S Treacy for O'Callaghan (72), J Madden for McCaffrey (74).
Galway – J Skehill; F Moore, J Hanbury, P Hoban; P Mannion, G Lally, A Harte; D Burke, A Tuohy; P Brehony, C Mannion, N Burke; C Whelan, J Canning, D Glennon. Subs: C Flynn for Moore (24), A Smith for Lally (h-t), J Cooney for Canning (h-t), D Collins forTuohy (43), P Claffey for Hanbury (54).
Ref – F Horgan (Tipperary).