Kevin O’Brien reports from O’Connor Park, Tullamore
ON THIS FORM, Galway look full value for their billing as the top dogs in the country.
There’s a long way to go before silverware is handed out in September, but Michael Donoghue’s side gave an assured display that backed up their league victory last month.
The manner of their victory wasn’t quite as pronounced as the win over Tipperary but Galway easily accounted for the Dublin challenge this afternoon.
Michael Donoghue’s side confidently booked a Leinster semi-final showdown against Offaly on 18 June.
Dublin finished with 14 men after losing Cian O’Callaghan to a second yellow card in the 40th minute. The Metropolitans trailed by three points at half-time, but three quick fire Galway scores after the break and O’Callaghan’s dismissal – the second yellow for a trip appeared harsh – put an end to their hopes.
Galway turned up the intensity a couple of notches after the break and their forwards forced turnover after turnover.
For the second game in succession, all six of Galway’s starting forwards scored from play.
There were impressive performances everywhere you looked.
Conor Cooney announced his return to the Tribe attack in style with a tally of 1-3, but Conor Whelan (0-5) and Jason Flynn (1-2) were also in electric form for the winners.
Joe Canning looked sharp, pulled the strings from centre-forward and finished with nine points, including five from play. David Burke had a license to break forward from midfield and scored 0-3, while winning a number of scoreable frees.
Galway’s plan of attack was to arrow crossfield ball into either corner. When the right ball goes into this full-forward line with its smart movement and ball-winning ability, there’s only going to be one outcome.
Named at 14, Dublin’s Niall McMorrow played as a fourth half-forward and Paul Killeen followed him out to the middle third. It left a ton of space in the Dublin full-forward line but they couldn’t find the inside forwards with enough quality deliveries.
Killeen left the fray with a serious-looking knee injury in the 25th minute, but otherwise it was all positive from a Galway perspective.
Dublin found themselves in front by 0-5 to 0-4 after the opening quarter, before Galway eventually came to life.
The ball-winning ability of the Tribe’s forward unit was obvious as Conor Cooney, Joseph Cooney and Cathal Mannion all reeled off scores in the midway point of the first half.
On 28 minutes Jason Flynn turned the sliotar home after Joseph Cooney’s initial shot was saved by Conor Dooley. Dublin were in danger of fading out of the game but a late goal from Ben Quinn, set-up by a wonderful Donal Burke pass, left them three behind at the interval.
Eight minutes after half-time, Dublin’s goose was cooked. Five unanswered Galway points sandwiched O’Callaghan’s red card and Ger Cunningham’s young side wilted from that point.
Canning popped over the numerous frees that came his way and broke a long delivery into the path of Cooney who rifled in a three-pointer.
Dublin’s day got worse when a back injury forced David Treacy off, and substitute Niall Burke scored two of Galway’s seven points in the final ten minutes.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-9 (0-4f), Conor Cooney 1-3, Conor Whelan 0-5, Jason Flynn 1-2, David Burke 0-3, Niall Burke 0-2, Joseph Cooney, Cathal Mannion and Thomas Monaghan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin: David Treacy 0-5 (0-4f), Ben Quinn 1-0, Donal Burke 0-3 (0-2f), Eamonn Dillon, John Hetherton (0-1f), Chris Crummey 0-2 each, Shane Barrett, Rian McBride and Fergal Whitely 0-1 each.
1. Colm Callanan
2. Adrian Touhy
3. Daithi Burke
4. Paul Killeen
5. Padraig Mannion
6. Gearoid McInerney
7. Aidan Harte
8. Johnny Coen
9. David Burke
14. Cathal Mannion
11. Joe Canning
12. Joseph Cooney
13. Conor Whelan
15. Conor Cooney
10. Jason Flynn
17. John Hanbury for Killeen (25)
23. Niall Burke for Conor Cooney (56)
19. Sean Loftus for Coen (63)
24. Thomas Monaghan for Cathal Mannion (63)
22. Eanna Burke for David Burke (68)
1. Conor Dooley
2. Cian O’Callaghan
3. Eoghan O’Donnell
4. Oisin Gough
5. Chris Crummey
6. Liam Rushe
7. Shane Barrett
9. Sean Moran
11. Niall McMorrow
10. Eoghan Conroy
8. Ben Quinn
12. David Treacy
13. Donal Burke
14. Ryan O’Dwyer
15. Eamonn Dillon
22. Rian McBride for Conroy (ht)
20. Fergal Whitely for Treacy (50)
19. Jake Malone for McMorrow (59)
25. Dotsy O’Callaghan for Burke (65)
25. John Hetherton for McMorrow (65)
Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath)
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