Dublin defeat Galway to claim fifth Division 1 title in six seasons



Dublin claimed a fifth Division 1 title in six seasons under Jim Gavin having played for majority of the second half with 14 men.

Niall Scully’s exit for a second yellow card in the 50th minute never truly upset the All-Ireland champions who were one point up at that stage. Galway did level matters twice with a couple of exquisite points but Dublin never appeared numerically disadvantaged.

Indeed, Ruairi Lavelle had to be brilliant to stop a Dean Rock goal chance in the 59th minute. Rock at least sent the subsequent 45 over to give Dublin a lead they never gave up in front of the 36,754 crowd in Croke Park.

Ciarán Kilkenny of Dublin during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Final match between Dublin and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile.

Ciarán Kilkenny and Philly McMahon followed up that free with points either side of one from Damien Comer. Eric Lowndes and Rock (free) finished off the job as Galway couldn’t find the posts in the final 10 mintues.

Dublin, with a fresh breeze in their favour, went two points up early on but then Comer began to make his presence felt, winning three frees inside the opening 20 minutes as well as adding a point himself.

McMahon and Jonny Cooper were close but not close enough to picking up black cards when impeding the marauding full-forward.

Dublin had two goal opportunities via Paul Mannion, his first after just 10 seconds being blocked by goalkeeper Lavelle and his second in the 23rd minute pushed over the bar by the same man.

But other than those moments the Galway rearguard was reasonably solid and Peter Cooke was impressing at a covering midfield with the licence to go forward when there were enough maroon bodies behind him.

Two Dean Rock frees put Dublin into an 0-8 to 0-6 lead in the 28th minute but they failed to score for the remaining nine minutes when Paul Conroy and Johnny Heaney converted chances to level it at the break, Heaney’s effort a beautiful effort having gathered the ball from his boot-laces.

Scorers for Dublin: D. Rock (0-7, 4 frees, 1 45); P. Mannion (0-3); C. Kilkenny (0-2); J. Small, N. Scully, C. Basquel, B. Howard, P. McMahon, E. Lowndes (0-1 each).

Scorers for Galway: B. McHugh (0-6, 5 frees); D. Comer (0-3); J. Heaney, S. Walsh (1 free) (0-2 each); P Conroy (0-1).

DUBLIN: S. Cluxton (c); D. Byrne, P. McMahon, M. Fitzsimons; J. McCarthy, J. Cooper, J. Small; B. Fenton, M.D. Macauley; B. Howard, P. Mannion, N. Scully; K. McManamon, C. Kilkenny, D. Rock.

Subs for Dublin: E. Lowndes for J. McCarthy (inj 35); C. Basquel for K. McManamon (h-t); E. Murchan for J. Small (blood, 40); C. O’Callaghan for M.D. Macauley (54); S. Carthy for P. Mannion (68); J. Small for P. McMahon (70+3).

Sent off: N. Scully (50, second yellow).

GALWAY: R. Lavelle; S.A. Ó Ceallaigh, J. Heaney, D. Kyne; C. Sweeney, E. Kerin, G. Bradshaw; P. Conroy. C. Duggan, P. Cooke; E. Brannigan, B. McHugh, S. Kelly; S. Walsh, D. Comer (c).

Subs for Galway: G. O’Donnell for J. Heaney (62); T. Flynn for P. Cooke (67); P. Sweeney for P. Conroy (68); A. Varley for S. Walsh, J. Duane for G. Bradshaw (both 70).

Referee: A. Nolan (Wicklow).

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