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Winning start for Galway as they ease past Offaly to set up Kilkenny meeting while Dubs see off Westmeath

Galway 1-10 Offaly 0-8

Liam Forde of Galway in action against Cathal O'Brien of Offaly
Liam Forde of Galway in action against Cathal O'Brien of Offaly

Galway made a winning start to their campaign as they eased passed Offaly at Bord Na Móna O'Connor Park last night to set up a semi-final clash with Kilkenny next Wednesday.

That game will be a much sterner test of their mettle but they are where they want to be – in a Leinster semi-final.

They had little trouble in accounting for the Offaly men who were on home soil, with Evan Niland in fine form for the winners with nine points.

The only negative from a Galway point of view was an injury to Jack Grealish, who left the field on a stretcher in the final minute of the game.

Galway had the game signed, sealed and delivered well before Seán Loftus grabbed their goal with five minutes to go with Offaly having to play the final 12 minutes with 14 men due to the dismissal of Oisín Kelly.

After a quick opening exchange of points, Galway eased their way into control of the game. While not firing on all cylinders, the Tribesmen still opened up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 12 minutes with wing forward Cianan Fahy landing two of those.

Niland was proving reliable on the frees as he hit four in the opening half with Wayne Mooney hitting Offaly’s only score from play in the half on 13 minutes.

Seán Blehane landed three points in the last three minutes of the half as Galway held a comfortable 0-11 to 0-4 half-time lead.

The second half saw Galway continue to dominate with wing-back Loftus popping up with a fine score from distance on 40 minutes to put them 0-14 to 0-5.

Galway led by eight when Kelly was sent off  on 48 minutes but the floodgates well and truly opened after that as they found even more time and space on the ball.

As Niland continued to rack up the frees, Offaly faded out of the game and Loftus raided up from wing-back to fire the game’s only goal five minutes from time to make it 1-16 to 0-7.

Offaly did hit late points from Cathal O’Brien and Eoin Woods but Galway were never in doubt of not setting up that big semi-final clash.

A seriously outclassed Offaly were no match for Galway, with substitute Jack Canning landing the final score of the game to give them a 15-point win in the end.

scorers – Galway: E Niland 0-9 (8f), S Loftus 1-2, C Fahy 0-4 (1f), S Blehane 0-3 each, B Concannon and J Canning 0-1 each. Offaly: B Duignan 0-5 (4f, 1 ‘65), W Mooney, C O’Brien and E Woods 0-1 each.

GALWAY – E Murphy; S Bannon, F Burke, I O’Shea; C Mulry, M Hughes, S Loftus; T Monaghan, J Grealish; S Blehane, B Concannon, C Fahy; R Murphy, E Niland, K Cooney. Subs: J Canning for K Cooney (45), C Salmon for R Murphy (45), A Greaney for I O’Shea (52), C Caulfield for C Mulry (52), L Forde for S Blehane (56).

OFFALY – E Cahill; D Watkins, M Gilligan, C O’Meara; R Connaughton, B Conneely, C O’Brien; J Keenaghan, P Delaney; W Mooney, O Kelly, L Langton; B Duignan, D Buckley, C Langton. Subs: J Maher for R Connaughton (h-t), C Cleary for W Mooney (44), E Callaghan for C Langton (44), E Kelly for L Langton (45), E Woods for B Duignan (53).

Ref – D Hughes (Carlow)

 

 

Burke reels in Lake men as Dubs book semi spot

Dublin 2-13 Westmeath 1-13

Wasteful Dublin shot 19 wides but still managed to edge past Westmeath in wet and windy Mullingar.

Wind-assisted Westmeath got off to a great start and they led by 1-2 to 0-0 after five minutes.

The goal came courtesy of a great individual effort by Killian Doyle and the two points from his twin brother Ciaran, the first of them from a sublime sideline cut. 

Donal Burke opened Dublin’s account with a great goal in the sixth minute.

The visitors were wasteful from play and placed balls, while the Doyles, who accounted for all of their team’s scores throughout the course of the game, kept the scoreboard ticking over for the home team, who led by 1-9 to 1-5 at the interval.

Dublin resumed in the fashion their management would have hoped for as the impressive Burke doubled his goal tally within three minutes of the resumption.

Paul O’Brien’s troops continued to dominate proceedings but their poor shooting meant that Westmeath were always still in touch.

Niall Mitchell spurned a goal opportunity for Michael Ryan’s charges in the 38th minute and an immediate Dublin counter-attack yielded an equalising point by Fergal Whitely.

Dublin took the lead for the first time in the 53rd minute when Burke slotted over a wonderful angled point to put his side ahead by 2-10 to 1-12.

Their profligacy continued right to the end, but Westmeath were overly-reliant on the Doyles for scores.

The Metropolitans led by a goal with 56 minutes elapsed (2-12 to 1-12), and despite four minutes of added time being played, both sides could only score one further point apiece.

Ronan Hayes registered his second from play for Dublin in the 62nd minute and Killian Doyle’s seventh successful free came a minute later as Dublin secured a semi-final clash against Wexford on June 20.

scorers – Dublin: D Burke 2-3 (0-1f); C Dowling 0-4 (1f, 1‘65’); R Hayes, F Whitely 0-2 each; E Conroy, C Currie 0-1 each. Westmeath: K Doyle 1-7 (0-7fs), C Doyle 0-6 (1f, 1s/l).

Dublin – D Perry; D Ryan, P Smyth, S Howard; E Conroy, C Burke, D Gray; F Whitely, L Gannon; C Dowling, E Dunne, R Hayes; C O’Sullivan, D Burke, P Crummey. Subs: C Ryan for Gannon (23), C Currie for Dunne (h-t), C Costello for O’Sullivan (47), J McVeigh for Howard (58), A Mellett for Dowling (60 + 3).

Westmeath: B McHugh; N McKenna, K Regan, S Lancaster; J Rabbitte, C Kane, D Reilly; P Maxwell, C McCrossan; E Keyes, K Doyle, N Mitchell; J Goonery, C Doyle, F Heeney. Subs: P Doody for Heeney (inj, 7), J McCarthy for Doody (42), E Ahearn for Keyes (42), 

REF – J Heffernan (Wexford).

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