Dublin hurlers beat Galway

Galway's Aidan Harte is challenged by Danny Sutcliffe of Dublin
Galway's Aidan Harte is challenged by Danny Sutcliffe of Dublin


IN the end Dublin's victory was inconsequential!

Kilkenny's win over Clare meant that Dublin's place in Division One and qualification for the Allianz League quarter final was assured regardless of what happened at Parnell Park.

Of course, the Dublin and Galway players didn't know this as they battled for supremacy on a glorious afternoon.

Dublin maintained their excellent form at Parnell Park; the two points they secured helped them leap past Galway into third place in the table and set up a quarter-final clash against Limerick next Sunday.

Galway, meanwhile, face Waterford who secured their place back in Division 1a when they beat Wexford.

It is difficult to evaluate how seriously the visitors took this assignment. They were in win-win situation - regardless of the result and what happened elsewhere they were guaranteed of a place in the last eight of the competition.

Dublin looked incredibly tense in the early exchanges and elementary mistakes were punished by Galway who hit two first-half goals through Cathal Mannion and Joe Canning.

As it transpired, Galway were at their best in the first half. Dublin totally dominated the second half with their defence restricting the visitors to a single point from play.

Joe Cooney was their only scorer - hitting their other four points from frees - after the break.

But frankly the Dublin forwards made heavy weather of converting their outfield superiority into scores.

They failed to seriously trouble Galway goalkeeper Aidan Ryan; Paul Killeen completely closed down Liam Rushe and the game remained in the balance  until the closing minutes.

Finally, Mark Schuttle cut loose; his Man of the Match performance yielded five points and as tempers became very frayed a monster point from substitute Paul Ryan three minutes from the end finally buried the Galway challenge.

Dublin's frayed nerves suffered an early jolt when Galway corner forward Cathal Mannion found the net in the third minute. He proved a constant thorn in the Dublin rearguard adding another couple of points from play in the first half.

Dublin's nerviness was all too evident, particularly in the first quarter when they were guilt of simple mistakes which Galway punished.

Territorially they dominated; Derek Treacy posed a threat up front but it wasn't until Danny Sutcliffe moved to centre forward that they started to motor.

A Sutcliffe point - he hit three in the first half - finally levelled the tie in the 20th minute. But Galway were on top at midfield with Andy Smith and Aidan Harte hitting three points between them.

Not surprisingly, Johnny McCaffrey replaced Simon Lambert seven minutes from the break and Ross O'Carroll didn't appear for the second half - his place was taken by Niall McMorrow.

Dublin finally looked to be getting some traction late in the second quarter when back-to-back points from the Schutte brothers gave them a two-point advantage.

Galway struck back with a Joe Canning goal. He had been largely anonymous up until that point in the company of Conal Kearney but the forward made his mark as he fired to the net having received a pass from Jonathan Glynn.

Dublin stayed in touch, trailing by two at the break but when they finally cast aside their inhibitions in the second half they were the dominant force, even if it wasn't truly reflected on the scoreboard.

Dublin: A Nolan; C O'Callaghan, P Kelly, P Schutte (0-1); C Crummey; C Keaney,  S Durkin, S Lambert, R O'Carroll; D Sutcliffe (0-4), E Dillon, M Schutte (0-5); D O'Callaghan (0-2) L Rushe (0-1), D Treacy (0-10, 8f; 1 45)). Subs: J McCaffrey(0-1) for Lambert 28m, C McMorrow for O'Carroll ht; R O'Dwyer (0-1) for Dillon ht; P Ryan (0-1, 1f) for O'Callaghan 62m

Galway: A Ryan; J Coen, P Killeen, F Moore; D Collins, G Lally, G McInerney; A Smith (0-2); A Harte (0-1); J Cooney, J Canning (1-7, 6f), J Glynn; B Molloy (0-1), N Burke (0-1), C Mannion (1-2).  Subs: J Flynn for Burke 30m; I Tannion for Harte 44m; J Hanbury for Moore 46m; D Higgins for Molloy 47m; C Flynn for J Flynn 67m

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)