Dublin 2-25 Galway 2-13
Dazzling Dublin bridged a 52 year gap in spectacular fashion at Croke Park, winning a first Leinster Senior Hurling title since 1961 with a stunning display against holders Galway.
Paul Ryan claimed a 2-7 haul as Anthony Daly’s side produced arguably their finest performance since the Clare man’s arrival in the capital five years ago.
Now the Metropolitans are gearing up for a crack at the All-Ireland title, and their form would suggest that they can give it a real rattle.
Galway made a game of it with two second half goals, but they never looked like getting the better of a fired-up Dublin side.
It took Dublin 15 minutes to find their feet following a tentative opening which saw them trade scores with the men from the west, the scores level on four occasions.
Joe Canning and Iarla Tannion swapped points with Paul Ryan and David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan, and the sides were deadlocked at 0-4 each after 12 minutes.
Ryan made a curious decision to go for goal from a 20 metre free, but that was the only call Anthony Daly’s men got wrong.
They slipped into overdrive and played some silky hurling, displaying passion, commitment, teamwork and a high level of self-belief.
With Conal Keaney and Danny Sutcliffe working tirelessly and David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan tormenting the Galway defence, they were soon in total control.
Moving the ball cleverly to create scoring chances, they started to pull away, with
O’Callaghan, Ryan O’Dwyer and midfielder John McCaffrey all landing quality scores.
Full back Peter Kelly made a couple of inspirational fetches, and Joey Boland also landed a long range score as they moved 0-9 to 0-4 clear by the 19th minute.
And in the 24th minute they got in for a goal. O’Callaghan made the darting run, laying off to Ryan, who drilled his shot past goalkeeper James Skehill.
Canning pulled back a couple of points from frees, but was denied by a Hawk-Eye call late in the half, after an umpire had flagged a point.
Dublin led by 1-12 to 0-7 at the interval, and Canning tried to spark a Tribal comeback with a magnificent point soon after the resetart.
But Ryan responded with a stunning 1-2 salvo. First he steered over a massive free from 100 metres, then he skipped past full back Kevin Hynes to smash home a sensational goal.
Dublin goalkeeper Gary Maguire made a brilliant save from David Burke as Galway rallied with points through Aidan Harte and Conor Cooney.
And they got in for two goals in quick succession, in the 50th and 54th minutes.
Canning collected a Damien Hayes delivery to drill a close range shot past Maguire, and Burke smashed a shotl to the top corner of the net at the Hill 16 end.
But Conal Keaney provided leadership to guide Dublin out of a sticky spell, digging deep to win vital possession and firing over a long range point.
Both goalkeepers produced heroic saves in a frenetic finish, Maguire saving from Canning and SKehill denying Mark Schutte.
And it was the Dubs who had the power and sthrength in the limbs to finish the job off with late scores from Conor McCormack, Simon Lambert and Ryan, who finished with a 2-7 tally.
Dublin: G Maguire, N Corcoran, P Kelly, P Schutte, S Hiney, L Rushe, M Carton (0-1), J McCaffrey (0-2), J Boland (0-2), C Keaney (0-2), R O'Dwyer (0-3), D Sutcliffe (0-1), D O'Callaghan (0-4), D Treacy, P Ryan (2-7, 0-4f).
Subs: A Smith for Regan, C McCormack (0-2)for Treacy, O Gough for Schutte, S Durkin for McCaffrey, M Schutte for O’Callaghan, S Lambert (0-1) for O’Dwyer
Galway: J Skehill, F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen, D Collins, S Kavanagh, J Cooney, I Tannian (0-1), J Regan (0-1), D Burke (1-0), C Cooney (0-2), C Donnellan, D Glennon, J Canning (1-7, 0-4f), N Burke.
Subs: A Smith for Regan, D Hayes for Donnellan, A Harte (0-1) for Tannion, J Glynn (0-1) for Glennon, A Callanan for J Cooney
Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary)