Galway realise eastern promise

CAPTAIN Shane Kavanagh claimed the Walsh Cup for the first time on Galway’s behalf and then declared the Tribesmen want to stay in Leinster permanently.

An impressive display from midfielder Ger Farragher that included 0-9 helped the Connacht men to their first piece of silverware since moving into the eastern province last year.

Judging by the reaction of the players and supporters who turned Parnell Park maroon for the afternoon – Portumna were in All-Ireland club action straight after – they could win many more.

“Let’s hope that when the three year experiment is up we can keep playing in Leinster,” Kinvara man Kavanagh told the crowd as he raised the cup.

If the crown proves the prelude to a good run in the National League, which begins next weekend, the pre season competition will have been an even greater success.

In truth, there was never any doubt about the result here after Galway moved ahead in the 14th minute following a fine Joe Gantley goal.

They led from that strike virtually until the final whistle though Shane Durkin’s 71st minute solo goal for Dublin put some gloss on the scoreline from the hosts’ perspective.

Dublin fielded a completely different team in a challenge against Tipperary on Saturday night so boss Anthony Daly won’t be overly concerned about failing to clinch a first win since 2003.

He was also given food for thought by the performance of Alan McCrabbe who turned over 0-11 from the corner-forward position.

McCrabbe’s credentials are well known as an All Star midfielder, and he reverted back to the position at times yesterday, but Daly may yet prefer to keep him up front full-time.

McCrabbe hit Dublin’s first four points of the game to leave them sitting pretty at 0-4 to 0-2 ahead.

But the game turned with that Gantley goal when the Beagh man swivelled and drove an unstoppable shot to the Dublin net from 12 yards. It made up for him having one goal chalked out for a technical foul and another strike that was saved by Gary Maguire.

Galway spread the scoring round between Farragher, Niall Cahalan and Aidan Harte to lead 1-9 to 0-10 at half-time. Between Farragher and Cahalan they were strong at midfield and it proved the platform to launch attack after attack in the second-half. Points from Callanan and Farragher immediately after the restart stretched the gap to three and hinted at what lay ahead.

Kevin Flynn responded with a good score from an acute angle on the right for Dublin but three more Galway scores put them ominously clear.

Dublin points from McCrabbe and Simon Lambert ensured that the 2009 Leinster finalists were never out of it.

Realistically, they were battling against a Galway tide throughout the second period and John McIntyre’s side soon put the result beyond doubt.

Kevin Hayes scored a brilliant point from the wing and celebrated in front of the crowd. Ideally, he’d have been playing for Portumna against Dunloy afterwards but a suspension at that level freed him to play for Galway.

Points from Gantley, Harte and Iarla Tannion left Galway nine clear before that Durkin goal for Dublin.

It wasn’t going to alter the outcome but it was worth waiting for as he strode clear, shortened the hurl and pucked to the top corner.

GALWAY: C Callanan; D Joyce, S Kavanagh, P Holland; D Barry, T Og Regan, K Hynes; G Farragher (0-9; 5f, 1 s/l), N Cahalan (0-1); A Callanan (0-3), C Donnellan, D Burke (0-2); A Harte (0-2), J Gantley (1-3), N Hayes (0-1).

Subs: E Ryan for Donnellan 29 (blood), Donnellan for Hynes 65, K Kilkenny for Farragher 68, I Tannion (0-1) for Callanan 68, T Mannion for Barry 70.

DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, S O’Sullivan, R Trainor; S Hiney, R Fallon, M O’Brien; J McCaffrey, S Lambert (0-2); D Curtin, S Ryan (0-1), J Kelly; P Carton, K Flynn (0-1), A McCrabbe (0-11; 7f, 1 s/l).

Subs: M Carton for O’Sullivan h/t, S Durkin (1-0) for Curtin 43, R Walsh for Carton 64.

Referee: J Owens (Wexford).

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