Thursday 14 December 2017

Smith's early dismissal fails to derail Galway passage to Cup decider

Galway 2-18 Carlow 0-15

Ronan Burke, Galway, is tackled by Carlow's Eoin Doyle
Ronan Burke, Galway, is tackled by Carlow's Eoin Doyle
Ronan Burke, Galway, in action against Seamus Murphy, Carlow
Galway's Colm Flynn attempts to block a shot from Carlow's Seamus Murphy
David Collins, left, and Gearaid McInerney, Galway, in action against John Michael Nolan, Carlow.
Carlow's Ger Coady under pressure from Dean Higgins, Galway Newsdesk Newsdesk

GALWAY hurlers struck for late goals in each half from Padraig Brehony and Jonathan Glynn to deservedly book a place in the Walsh Cup final but they were given a decent challenge from a plucky Carlow side before an attendance of 500 at Network Cullen Park yesterday.

The Tribesmen were down to 14 men in the seventh minute when centre-forward Andrew Smith was issued with a straight red card by Gavin Quilty, following an off-the-ball incident in the Carlow goalmouth.

Carlow depended to a great extent on the wonderful accuracy from placed balls by right full-forward Marty Kavanagh, who finished with 0-9, – 0-7 from frees, many long-distance efforts – and one from a ’65.

It was pretty much point for point throughout an even first half, with Carlow leading on a number of occasions. On 21 minutes, with the home side holding a one-point lead, Carlow created their best goaling chance of the game when corner-forward Eoin Doyle bore down on the Galway goal but his shot was capably dealt with by Galway goalie Colm Callanan.

The visitors had edged 0-9 to 0-8 ahead in the 35th minute before a short puck-out by Carlow went horribly wrong. The ball was turned over by Galway and eventually Padraig Brehony crashed the sliotar to the net from close range. A fine point from play by Carlow midfielder left it 1-9 to 0-9 at the break. Galway recorded the opening two points of the second half from Dean Higgins frees and while Kavanagh’s brilliance from frees kept Carlow in touch – it was 1-11 to 0-11 after 45 minutes – the superior strength and hurling craft of the Tribesmen began to manifest itself.

They were dominant in midfield where Joseph Cooney and Johnny Coen were impressive, while their half-back line of Colm Flynn, David Collins and the influential Gearóid McInerney kept the Carlow half-forward line very much in check.

The game reached a pivotal point in the 50th minute when, with Galway 1-12 to 0-12 ahead, Carlow’s Seamus Murphy was deemed to have been fouled in the large square.

Marty Kavanagh took the penalty but one-on-one with Colm Callanan the St Mullins clubman sent his effort wide.

Galway, without the potency of the injured Joe Canning in attack, dominated the later stages of the game but it was to Carlow’s credit that entering the final five minutes they trailed by only four points, 1-16 to 0-15.

Then a high ball from midfield saw Jonathan Glynn outwit two defenders for the Ardrahan clubman to drill the ball past Kevin Kehoe.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Glynn

Scorers – Galway: D Higgins 0-6 (4fs), P Brehony 1-2, J Glynn 1-1, J Cooney, J Flynn (2fs) 0-2 each, J Regan, J Coen (f), B Molloy, G Kelly, E Burke 0-1 each. Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-9 (7fs, 1’65), D Byrne, J M Nolan 0-2 each, C Wall, Seamus Murphy 0-1 each.

Galway – C Callanan 7; R Burke 7, F Moore 7, P Mannion 7; C Flynn 7, D Collins 7, G McInerney 8; J Cooney 7, J Coen 8; D Higgins 7, A Smith, P Brehony 8; J Regan 6, J Glynn 9, B Molloy 6. Subs: J Flynn 6 for C Flynn (53); E Burke for Molloy (56); P Kileen for McInerney (61); G Kelly for Cooney (67).

Carlow – K Kehoe 7; A Corcoran 6, M Ryan 6, E Nolan 6; R Coady 6, J Rogers 6, G Coady 6; C Wall 6, D Byrne 7; H P O’Byrne 6, J M Nolan 7, Seamus Murphy 6; M Kavanagh 8, D O’Neill 5, E Doyle 5. Subs: P Coady for E Nolan (inj, 23); Sean Murphy 6 for O’Neill (40); M Brennan for Doyle (65).

Ref – G Quilty (Kilkenny)

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