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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020

Late point grabs draw for Galway against 14-man Dublin in feisty clash at Pearse Stadium

Johnny Heaney kicked the equalising point for the Tribesmen.

Galway 0-13
Dublin 0-13

Declan Rooney reports from Pearse Stadium

CIARAN KILKENNY KICKED five points from play as 14-man Dublin staged a late comeback but Johnny Heaney’s late equaliser in the ninth minute of added-time clinched a draw for the home side at Pearse Stadium.

A scuffle breaks out on the sideline between Galway and Dublin players The sides will meet again in this year's league final. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Leading by five points at half time Galway only scored three times in the second half, and despite Eoghan O’Gara’s straight red card following an off-the-ball incident with Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh, Dublin roared back to take the lead late on.

The game, which was littered with nasty incidents, ended horribly with several Dublin players holding on to their markers as Galway sought an equaliser, which duly arrived and the shares were divided.

One of four late changes to the Dublin team was Evan Comerford, who came in for Stephen Cluxton – the first time in nearly two years that the Parnells man didn’t start a league or championship game for Dublin – and Galway put huge pressure on his kick-out especially into the wind in the first half.

Evan Comerford A rare start today for Dublin goalkeeper Evan Comerford. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

On of the biggest factors at Pearse Stadium today was wind advantage, and after Gary O’Donnell won the toss he elected to play with the gale at his back for the first half.

Only eight seconds had elapsed when Ciaran Kilkenny kicked Dublin’s first point, and they doubled their lead in the seventh minute when Dean Rock tapped over a free.

Facing the wind Dublin were hugely patient as they retained possession for long stretches and waited for the slightest break in the Galway defensive cover. For their own part Galway were outstanding on the hind foot with huge shifts from the likes of Tom Flynn and Cathal Sweeney, and for the most part they repelled Dublin before the interval.

Dublin too packed their defence tightly, but with the wind behind them Galway were able to shoot from long range and Barry McHugh slotted a couple of frees from distance to help his side into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after 13 minutes.

Sean Andy O'Ceallaigh and David Wynne tackle James McCarthy Dublin's James McCarthy breaks past a couple of Galway challenges. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Peter Cooke and Shane Walsh also scored from the 40 metres range after Paddy Andrews had replied for Dublin, but an unclaimed goal chance from James McCarthy helped Galway maintain their good run and they led 0-8 to 0-3 by the 24th minute.

The defensive showing from Galway continued to keep Dublin at bay – although you got the feeling that they were happy to show patience into the wind – while McHugh could have gone for goal instead of taking his point as Galway led by five points at the interval.

Roles were very much reversed in the second period as Dublin took their turn playing with the advantage of the elements, and a free from Rock and a Kilkenny point had cut the lead to three by the 43rd minute.

The loss of Rock to a black card after 46 minutes was a blow to Dublin, but after Jonny Cooper kicked a good point on the overlap, Paddy Small kicked his first free for the sky blues.

A one point lead was never going to suffice, and Galway captain Damien Comer kicked an inspirational score before Johnny Heaney added another to give Galway a 0-12 to 0-9 lead.

But despite Eoghan O’Gara’s late red card, Dublin kicked four in a row to claim the lead only for Heaney to level it late on.

A scuffle breaks out on the pitch between Galway and Dublin players A scuffle breaks out on the pitch between Galway and Dublin players. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Scorers for Galway: Barry McHugh 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1’45), Peter Cooke, Johnny Heaney 0-2 each, Shane Walsh, Adrian Varley, Gary O’Donnell, Damien Comer 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Ciaran Kilkenny 0-5, Dean Rock, Cormac Costello 0-2 (0-2f) each, Paddy Andrews, Johnny Cooper, Paddy Small (0-1f), Conor McHugh (0-1f) 0-1 each.


1. Ronán Ó Beoláin (Micheál Breathnach’s)

4. David Wynne (Moycullen)
3. Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh (Leitir Mór)
2. Eoghan Kerin (Annaghdown)

5. Gary O’Donnell (Tuam Stars)
6. Johnny Duane (St James)
7. Cathal Sweeney (Killannin)

10. Thomas Flynn (Athenry)
9. Ciarán Duggan (Annaghdown)

11. Peter Cooke (Moycullen)
8. Paul Conroy (St James)
13. Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin/Clonberne)

12. Adrian Varley (Cortoon Shamrocks)
14. Seán Armstrong (Salthill/Knocknacarra)
15. Barry McHugh (Mountbellew/Moylough)


18. Eamonn Brannigan (St Michael’s) for Varley (41)
20. Damien Comer (Annaghdown) for Walsh (46)
23. Johnny Heaney (Killannin) for Cooke (50)
24. Seán Kelly (Moycullen) for Armstrong (57)


16. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

2. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
20. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. David Byrne (St Olaf’s)

4. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrines)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
5. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)

6. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
9. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

25. Ciaran Reddin (St Maur’s)
11. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)
13. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)

15. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
26. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams)


8. Brian Fenton (Raheney) for Lowndes (half-time)
18. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille) for Rock (black card) (46)
10. Conor McHugh for Reddin (50)
22. Emmet Ó Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields) for Macauley (59)
23. Eoghan O’Gara (Templeogue Synge St) for P Small (64)
19. Andrew McGowan (Kilmacud Crokes) for J Small (68)

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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