By Rónán Mac Lochlainn
Galway pulled clear in the second-half to comfortably account for Dublin by 15 points in their Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship semi-final at Croke Park this afternoon.
The first-half may well have a been a tight affair but the longer the contest evolved, the more evident it became that Galway had the edge on the Leinster champions.
In a lively opening, it was Dublin that opened the scoring through a Conor Murray point within 20 seconds with Galway levelling matters instantly through a tidy score from Dean Reilly.
That trend continued in the initial ten minutes with Dublin edging a point clear on three occasions only for Galway to hit back immediately.
Liam Dunne tagged on two frees during this period with Donal O’Shea doing likewise for Galway with neither side able to dominate with any degree of consistency.
An excellent Dara Purcell point in the 13 th minute, benefitting from a towering catch from full-forward Luke Swan, inched Dublin ahead one again but O’Shea’s economy from placed balls ensured
Galway never trailed by more than two points during the first-half. Aside from another fine score from Reilly in the 22nd minute, it was Dunne and O’Shea who dominated the scoring and the sides looked destined to enter the break deadlocked after Ciaran Foley drew Dublin level with a fine solo score in the 30 minute.
However, Dublin’s concentration lapsed in injury time with Niall Collins the beneficiary as he turned past Finn Murphy before firing past Jack Lambert from ten yards.
Leading by 1-10 to 0-10 at the break, Galway resumed impressively thanks to early points from wing-forwards Adam Brett and the pacy Diarmuid Kilcommins.
Dunne may well have replied for Dublin through a 36 th minute free but the individual errors began to rack up for the Dubs as the half developed.
A defensive lapse from Lambert allowed Adam Brett to crash home in the 48 th minute and within a minute, the contest was effectively settled as Reilly poked the ball home from close range.
At the opposite end of the field, the Galway defence dealt comfortably with Dublin’s talisman Swan as they conceded just six points in total upon the restart.
Scorers – Galway: D O’Shea 0-12 (12f), D Reilly 1-3, N Collins 1-2, A Brett 1-1, D Kilcommins 0-2, J
O’Donoghue, O Flannery (St Thomas’) 0-1 each. Dublin: L Dunne 0-10 (9f, 1 ‘65’), C Murray, P
Christie, C Foley, D Purcell, D McLoughney, A O’Toole 0-1 each.
Galway: P Rabbitte; M Flynn, S Jennings, O Salmon; E Duggan, S Heary, S Quirke; J O’Donoghue, O
Flannery (St Thomas’); D Kilcommins, S McDonagh, A Brett; D Reilly, D O’Shea, N Collins. Subs: O
Flannery (PMP) for McDonagh (41), K Creaven for Collins (52), C Cunningham for O Flannery (St
Thomas’, 57), I McGlynn for Duggan (58), C Keane for Reilly (61).
Dublin: J Lambert; F Murphy, E Carney, K Byrne; C Hogan, A O’Neill, I O’hEithir; D Leavy, D Power; C
Foley, P Christie, C Murray; L Dunne, L Swan, D Purcell. Subs: S Fenton for Purcell (40), D
McLoughney for Christie (47), A O’Toole for Murray (49), S Foran for Hogan (57).
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)