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All-Ireland SHC 2012: Galway’s route to the final

A recap on the Tribemen’s journey to Sunday’s showcase meeting with Kilkenny.

Sunday, June 3: Leinster Championship, quarter-final – Westmeath 4-13 GALWAY 5-18 (Cusack Park)

Credit: INPHO/James Crombie

GALWAY BEGAN THIS year’s championship with a goal-fest in Mullingar. In a game they were expected to win and win well, the visitors came flying out of the traps (without the injured Joe Canning) and went in 1-12 to 0-4 at the break before adding another four goals in the second half. Westmeath refused to throw in the towel however, and took advantage against what looked at times to be a leaky Galway defence. The margin at the final whistle was eight points and they marched on to a semi-final meeting against Offaly leaving a couple of things for Anthony Cunningham to ponder.

Galway: F Flannery; N Donoghue, K Hynes, F Moore (capt); P Gordon, T Óg Regan, J Coen; I Tannian (0-2), D Burke (2-1); A Smith (1-1), N Burke (0-8, six frees, two 65s), C Donnellan (1-1); D Hayes (0-2), C Cooney (0-2), D Glennon. Subs: J Regan (1-2) for Glennon (21 mins), J Glynn for Cooney (49 mins), B Flaherty for Gordon (52 mins), R Cummins for Donnellan (60 mins), P Brehony for N Burke (69 mins).

Westmeath: S McGovern; C Jordan, A Price, P Fennell; P Dowdall (capt), A McGrath, P Greville (0-1), A Clarke, J Clarke (1-0); B Murtagh (1-1), F Boyle, R Greville; N O’Brien (2-7, seven frees), J Shaw (0-1), E Price (0-1). Subs: J Gilligan for Boyle (half-time), D Fennell (0-1) for J Clarke (60 mins), T Gallagher for Jordan (62 mins).

Sunday, June 17: Leinster Championship, semi-final – GALWAY 5-23 Offaly 3-15 (Portlaoise)

Galway’s Conor Cooney celebrates scoring. Credit: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The provincial semi-final saw Galway cruise past Offaly to victory in Portlaoise. Conor Cooney gave them the perfect start with two goals inside the opening six minutes and Davide Burke and Damien Hynes also found the back of the net in a dominant first half which they ended with a nine point lead. Beginning strongly in the second half, Galway again allowed their resilient opponents to claw back the deficit but, in truth, were never in any real danger of throwing away the enormous lead at O’Moore Park.

Galway: J Skehill; N Donohue, K Hynes, F Moore; J Coen, T Óg Regan, J Cooney; I Tannian, A Smith; J Canning (0-11), N Burke (0-01), D Hayes (1-03); C Cooney (2-00), C Donnellan, D Burke (1-01). Subs: P Gordon for N Donohue (31 mins), J Glynn for N Burke (50), J Regan for C Cooney (54), T Haran (0-1) for Tannian (60) (1-00), D Glennon (1-00) for Donnellan (63).

Offaly: J Dempsey; D Franks, D Kenny, D Morkan (0-1); J Rigney, R Hanniffy, D Horan; K Brady, B Carroll; C Egan (0-2), C Mahon (0-2), B Murphy (0-1); S Dooley (2-7), J Bergin (0-2), C Parlon. Subs: C Hernon for Egan (35 mins), D Molloy (1-0) for Franks (35), C McDonald for Kenny (41), S Ryan for Carroll (47), C Hernon for Mahon (55).

Sunday, July 8: Leinster Championship, final – Kilkenny 2-11 GALWAY 2-21 (Croke Park)

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Fergal Moore lifts the Bob O’Keefe Cup. Credit: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

An historic day for the county as they claimed a first Leinster SHC title with a remarkable display against the All-Ireland champions. Star man Joe Canning fired home a goal after three minutes as the contenders opened up a 1-06 to 0-00 lead. The Cats took 20 minutes to register a score through Henry Shefflin but found themselves again pegged back as David Burke responded by beating David Herity. Kilkenny did come into the game a little more in the second half but never got to grips with the occasion and the men from the west lifted the Bob O’Keeffe Cup.

Galway: J Skehill; F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen; D Collins (0-01), T Og Regan, N Donoghue; I Tannian, A Smyrg; N Burke (0-01), D Burke (1-02), D Hayes (0-01); J Canning (1-10), C Cooney, C Donnellan (0-06). Subs: J Glynn for Cooney (53 mins), J Regan for Tannian (57 mins), T Haran for N Burke (61 mins), J Cooney for Donnellan (70 mins).

Kilkenny: D Herity; P Murphy, N Hickey, J Tyrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, R Doyle; C Buckley, P Hogan; H Shefflin (1-08), TJ Reid, E Larkin; C Fennelly, R Power (0-02), R Hogan (1-00). Subs: A Fogarty for C Fennelly (23 mins), M Rice (0-01) for P Hogan (27 mins), M Ruth for Reid (58 mins).

Sunday, August 12: All-Ireland, semi-final – GALWAY 0-22 Cork 0-17

Damien Hayes at the final whistle. Credit: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

In front of 41,537 fans at GAA headquarters, Galway took on the Rebel County and showed exactly why they are one of the top teams in the country right now with a performance which had physical intensity and was brutally clinical. Canning led the way and clocked up a tally of 0-11 on the day but it was their defensive solidity that just as impressive. For the first time in this year’s championship, they stopped their opponents from finding the back of the net while also dominating during key periods in the game. Anthony Cunningham, through to an All-Ireland final the first time of asking, gathered his troops at the final whistle to remind them that the job is only half done and a greater test awaits on September 9.

Galway: J Skehill; F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen; D Collins, T Og Regan, N Donoghue; I Tannian, A Smith (0-1); D Burke (0-2), N Burke (0-2), J Regan (0-2); J Canning (0-11), C Cooney, D Hayes (0-4). Subs: D Glennon for Cooney 54mins; C Donnellan for Regan (62); J Glynn for N Burke (66); J Cooney for D Burke (73).

Cork: A Nash (0-1); S McDonnell, B Murphy, S O’Neill; T Kenny, E Cadogan, S Og O hAilpin; P Cronin (0-1), L McLoughlin; C McCarthy (0-1), J Coughlan (0-1), P O’Sullivan (0-3); C Lehane, L O’Farrell (0-1), P Horgan (0-7). Subs: C Naughton (0-1) for C McCarthy; D Sweetnam (0-1) for Lehane; S Moylan for O’Farrell (51) N McCarthy for Coughlan (55); D Kearney for McLoughlin (68).

Watch The Sunday Game analysis of the semi-final below:

YouTube credit:

Sunday, September 9: All-Ireland, final – Kilkenny ?-?? GALWAY ?-??

About the author:

Ben Blake

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