Saturday 16 December 2017

the game at a glance

Man of the match

Cyril Donnellan (Galway)

He didn't get among the goal rush but he was still a hugely influential figure, especially in the first 20 minutes when the game was alive as contest. His aerial prowess, powerful running and accurate finishing combined to create problems which Offaly couldn't solve.

Turning point

Conor Cooney's double strike within the space of a minute early on. That left Galway six points clear and spread serious outbreaks of panic among the Offaly defence.

Talking point

How good are Galway? They have scored 10-42 in two championship games, which is impressive, even if the quality of the opposition was suspect. However, they have conceded 7-27, a giveaway rate which suggests the defensive bolts need further tightening.

Magic moment

Galway's fourth goal just before half-time was a thing of beauty. A crisp move released David Burke, who flicked an accurate pass to Damien Hayes. He took the ball at full flight and whipped it to the net.

Ref watch

An easy game for Cathal McAllister but here's a thing. He booked Galway's Kevin Hynes (correctly) for hauling down Joe Bergin in the 49th minute but, other than giving a free, took no action when Joe Canning was dumped to the ground as he burst through earlier. Where's the consistency?

What they said

Anthony Cunningham (Galway manager):

"We got a good spread of scores, which was encouraging, but we have improvements to make too. We have to be sharper in our play the next day."

Ollie Baker (Offaly manager): "Suicide defending for the first 15 minutes cost us dearly. When you do that you're fighting an uphill battle. We got ourselves back into the game but they got another goal just before half-time. They punished nearly every mistake we made."

Match statistics

Wides: Galway 8 (4 first half); Offaly 9 (6)

Frees: Galway 11 (4); Offaly 9 (4)

Yellow cards: Galway 2

(N Donoghue 30, K Hynes 49); Offaly 0

Red cards: Galway 0; Offaly 0

Attendance: 16,178

What next?

Galway play Dublin or Kilkenny in the Leinster final on July 8; Offaly will play Clare, Cork, or Tipperary in Phase 2 of the All-Ireland qualifiers on July 7.

Irish Independent

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