Galway 1-20 Dublin 1-14
By Paul Keane
Jason Flynn's 1-9 haul eased All-Ireland title holders Galway to an anticipated victory at Parnell Park, setting up an Allianz hurling league promotion shoot-out with Limerick next weekend.
The league champions went through the motions for long spells on their travels and led from the opening score in the third minute all the way until full-time.
The result means that Galway can return to Division 1A if they beat in-form Limerick in Round 5 next weekend in Salthill.
But all is not lost for Dublin who slipped to a third loss in four games and must now defeat Laois next weekend to be sure of avoiding a relegation play-off.
Boss Pat Gilroy felt it was the best they'd battled so far in the league and they cut a seven-point deficit at one stage in the first-half down to just two mid way through the second-half.
There was still just three points between the teams with 66 minutes on the clock though four late Galway points in a row from Flynn, Brian Concannon, Cathal Mannion and Niall Burke eased the visitors home.
Galway rarely moved out of third gear for the most part and will expect the intensity and quality to rise significantly when they take on a Limerick side with a similar perfect record so far.
Galway were without Joe Canning, David Burke and Joseph Cooney due to injuries and expect the trio to miss out again next weekend.
Flynn was one of three late additions to the Galway side with Aidan Harte, Cooney and Davey Glennon making way and the powerful forward made his mark straight away.
Flynn hit four early points that helped Galway open up a 0-9 to 0-2 lead and Dublin looked to be in real trouble.
But 1-1 from the Dubs in first-half stoppage time, the goal a fine solo effort from Danny Sutcliffe, pulled them right back into it and they trailed by just 0-13 to 1-5 at the break.
Dublin's momentum continued on through the second-half when they matched Galway virtually score for score.
Paul Winters continued to punish errant Galway defending with free conversions and Tomas Connolly and Ronan Hayes got on the score sheet too.
The margin was down to just two after 53 minutes but a Flynn goal, when he latched onto a long ball down field from Mannion, halted Dublin's fightback.
Liam Rushe came on and won a penalty for Dublin which was expertly saved by Galway goalkeeper James Skehill.
Rushe was later taken off with a recurrence of a rib injury though there was plenty for Dublin to be optimistic about generally with a spirited display that kept Galway on their toes throughout.
J Flynn 1-9 (0-6f), C Mannion 0-4, S Loftus, P Mannion and N Burke 0-2 each, B Concannon 0-1.
P Winters 0-9 (0-8f, 0-01 65), D Sutcliffe 1-1, F MacGib, T Connolly, R Hayes and C Boland 0-1 each.
J Skehill; A Tuohy, J Hanbury, J Grealish; S Cooney, G McInerney, P Mannion; J Coen, S Loftus; C Cooney, C Mannion, N Burke; C Whelan, J Flynn, B Concannon.
Subs: D Glennon for Concannon (12-15), E Burke for Loftus (45), Glennon for Cooney (59).
A Nolan; P Smyth, B O'Carroll, E O'Donnell; D Kelly, C Crummey, S Barrett; T Connolly, F MacGib; P Crummey, C Keaney, D Sutcliffe; P Winters, R O'Dwyer, R Hayes.
Subs: L Rushe for O'Dwyer (42), F O Riain Broin for P Crummey (47), C Boland for Keaney (60), J Madden for Kelly (63), P Ryan for Rushe (68).
John Keenan (Wicklow).
Meanwhile, in other news from Division 1B, Limerick had an easy 3-21 to 13 point win over Antrim.