Galway 4-21 Dublin 0-19
Last year’s Allianz Hurling League champions Dublin were sent packing to Division 1B in the relegation play-off replay at Portlaoise today.
Galway produced a barnstorming second-half performance to ensure their own survival.
The Dubs were probably the more threatening team in the opening half but they still trailed at the interval by 1-11 to 0-13 and paid for their failure to capitalise on their opportunities in that period as their opponents increased visibly in confidence after the resumption.
In the end, Anthony Daly’s men were overly reliant on Paul Ryan from placed balls, while Galway had genuine scoring threats in Niall Burke, Davy Glennon, David Burke and the brilliant Joe Canning.
Canning provided some of the game’s finest moments, converting three frees from 70m or more, one from all of 90m in the first half.
The highlight though was his 51st-minute goal, a rasper to the top left-hand corner of the Dublin net from 22m that gave the diving Gary Maguire no chance.
In all, Canning finished with 2-7 and is clearly in the rudest health he has been for a couple of seasons.
The scoring rate was generally on a tit-for-tat basis in the first half, with Dublin holding the lead for most of it.
They opened the scoring with points from Ryan and midfielder Martin Quilty. Quilty was to go on to have an excellent 35 minutes, at the end of which he had three points but he faded markedly in the latter period.
Ryan continued to punish any discrepancies by the Galway defence but crucially, Dublin failed to get the goal some of their play deserved, and the heroics of Fergal Flannery had much to do with that.
The Galway goalkeeper made four brilliant saves throughout the 70 minutes and played a significant role in the result.
David Burke and Niall Burke kept Galway on Dublin’s shoulders with good points from play before Canning sent a low shot from a 20m free to the Dublin net in the 24th minute and suddenly Galway were in front.
They kept that lead to the interval and gradually stretched it after the resumption, getting on top in the middle third and reducing the likes of Liam Rushe, Ross O’Carroll and Danny Sutcliffe to bystander roles.
The two Burkes and Canning were outstanding, with Canning’s brilliant second goal – for which he must thank Damien Hayes for not giving up on an apparent lost cause and then placing him with a very clever pass – putting six points between the sides.
Glennon followed up with a goal four minutes later after a Gary Maguire mistake and Galway grabbed their fourth major five minutes from time to seal it.
It arrived as Jonathan Glynn used his brawn well to gather possession before sending David Burke away and the midfielder – now operating at half-forward – rammed home the rebound after Maguire had made a brilliant save from his initial shot.
Galway: J Canning 2-7 (1-5fs); D Burke 1-3; D Glennon 1-2; N Burke 0-4; C Donnellan 0-2; I Tannian, D Hayes, J Coen 0-1 each
Dublin: P Ryan 0-11 (8fs, 1 65); M Quilty 0-3; C McCormack 0-2; J McCaffrey, D Treacy, J Boland 0-1 each
Galway: F Flannery; N Donoghue, K Hynes, F Moore; J Coen, D Collins, T Óg Regan; D Burke, I Tannian; A Smith, N Burke, C Donnellan; D Hayes, J Canning, D Glennon. Subs: J Glynn for Smith (23); J Regan for Donnellan (61); B Flaherty for Donoghue (67); C Cooney for N Burke (70)
Dublin: G Maguire; N Corcoran, P Kelly, P Schutte; M Carton, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCAffrey, M Quilty; D Sutcliffe, L Rushe, R O’Carroll; D Treacy, P Ryan, C McCormack. Subs: S Lambert for Treacy (45); E Dillon for Quilty (57); R Treanor for Schutte (60); D Plunkett for Ryan (64); N McMorrow for O’Carroll (62)
Referee: J Sexton (Cork).