Galway manager Jeffrey Lynskey hailed a wonder goal from John Cooney which sent them on their way to victory in the Leinster U20 hurling final and in the process gain revenge for losing the 2020 decider to the same opposition just five weeks ago.
Cooney, son of former All-Star Joe, soloed through to rifle into the top left corner early in the second half and push Galway into a lead they never lost.
📽Undoubtedly the highlight of the night and possibly the year.— Leinster GAA (@gaaleinster) July 27, 2021
🎯John Cooney with an amazing strike for @Galway_GAA in tonight’s Leinster GAA U20 Hurling Final.#LeinsterGAA | #U20Hurling pic.twitter.com/xt77UpRcrQ
“It was an outrageous goal in fairness and the subs who came on also made an impact as well. The six backs enjoy defending, they are good with ball in hand and they did their job.
“We will have a look at the Munster final and prepare for the final on Saturday week. We still have plenty to work on,” said Lynskey, whose side will now play Cork or Limerick in the All-Ireland final.
Galway had seven survivors from that side which lost in Tullamore last month, Dublin had four, and they never looked back after Cooney’s goal.
Yet 11 second-half wides and a string of good saves from Dublin goalkeeper Ben Hynes ensured the issue was in doubt to the finish.
The sides went in level at the break thanks to a superb point from the right wing by Dara Purcell for Dublin when he landed his second of the match to leave it 1-7 to 0-10.
The only goal of the half fell to Galway after eight minutes when Oisin Flannery pounced to flick the ball to the net after goalkeeper Ben Hynes failed to hold Christy Brennan's effort from distance.
That pushed Galway 1-2 to 0-4 in front after Dublin, backed by the slight breeze, had started well with Ciaran Foley hitting a couple of points and Purcell and Kevin Lahiff also finding the range.
Sean McDonagh and a second free from Donal O’Shea extended Galway’s lead to 1-4 to 0-4 at the end of the opening quarter.
But three frees in a row from Foley tied the sides for the second time in the match before Patrick Dunleavy edged them in front with a fine shot from the right after 24 minutes.
Flannery followed up his goal with a point to level and two more from O’Shea, one of them from play, saw Galway lead by two. But Dublin finished the half well and both Lahiff and Purcell got their second points of the contest to tie the game at the half.
Donal Leavy edged Dublin in front just after the restart but then Cooney struck his magnificent goal.
Galway never relinquished the lead after that even though they didn’t make the game safe until the closing moments with a couple of late points from McDonagh, who picked up a second yellow card in the dying moments, and a seventh of the evening from O’Shea securing a second ever Leinster title in the U20/21 grade for the Tribesmen.
P Rabbitte; E Lawless, E Geraghty, C Brennan; S Quirke, S Neary (0-1), E Duggan; I McGlynn, J O’Donoghue (0-1); D Kilcommins, S McDonagh (0-3, 0-1 sl), J Cooney (1-0); N Collins (0-1), D O’Shea (0-7, 0-4f), O Flannery (1-2).
A Connaire for O’Donoghue (45), G Thomas for Kilcommins (46), C Flaherty for Duggan (51), L Collins for N Collins (56), C Cunningham for McGlynn (59).
B Hynes; D Crowe, B Sheehy, I Ó Heither; P Doyle, C Ó Cathasaigh, P Dunleavy (0-2); D Power, D Leavy (0-1); D McBride, K Lahiff (0-2), P Linehan; C Foley (0-8, 0-6f, 0-1’65), S Fenton, D Purcell (0-2).
C Boyle for McBride (41), L Dunne for Lahiff (50), J Flanagan for Linehan (55).
Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly).