DUBLIN'S season is over. Defeat for Mattie Kenny’s men out west, coupled with Wexford’s win in Nowlan Park, has conspired to end the Dubs’ involvement in the championship.
For a side who entered this game knowing their championship status was on the line, there was a surprising lack of fight or lift in this tame Dublin display.
The visitors to Salthill trailed from the 32nd minute onward and bar Donal Burke, there was no Dublin forward who caused Galway any bit of bother.
Playing into the elements in the second period, Dublin struck all of four points in the 25 minutes after half-time, by which juncture they were seven adrift. Their race was run from a long way out.
As for Galway, this was arguably their poorest performance of the campaign to date and yet it was still more than sufficient to maintain their unbeaten run in this year’s championship and set up a Leinster final date with Kilkenny on Saturday, June 4 (Croke Park, 7pm).
With the elements behind them upon the change of ends, Galway, who were ahead by the minimum at the break, slowly eased off into the distance.
Conor Whelan, who was well marshalled by Eoghan O’Donnell early on, broke free from the clutches of the Dublin full-back during a tour-de-force second half performance where he struck five from play.
Conor Cooney’s first from play was fittingly Galway’s last of the game, Cooney more than deserving of this one white flag from open play after a sleeves-rolled-up shift. His card also included 12 frees and a second half penalty saved by Dublin’s Seán Brennan.
Galway led 0-12 to 0-11 at the end of a first half that was without a hint of fluency. Referee Johnny Murphy’s awarding of 24 first half frees (14 to Galway, the remainder to Dublin) meant the opening 35-plus minutes were stop-start in the extreme.
Murphy’s penchant for using the whistle also meant the first half was dominated by the respective freetakers. On the Galway side, Cooney nailed eight and was off target with two more, while at the other end, Donal Burke converted four and missed just one. The Na Fianna sharpshooter, who was followed around Salthill by Darren Morrissey, contributed three from play to leave his half-time tally at 0-7.
Galway, despite facing the Atlantic breeze and managing only four scores from play in the opening half, still managed to end the first period with their noses in front, a position they would have been most thankful for given their opening half performance, much like the fare itself, was flat.
It was a first half that was level on eight occasions, but after Galway hit three-in-a-row between the 32nd and 35th minute to move 0-12 to 0-9 in front, the teams would never again stand level.
Galway march on, Dublin exit stage left.
: C Cooney (0-13, 0-12 frees); C Whelan (0-5); C Mannion (0-3); F Burke (0-1 sc), J Cooney (0-2); C Fahy, B Concannon (0-1 each).
Scorers for Dublin: D Burke (0-14, 0-9 frees); R McBride (0-2); C Burke, C Crummey, D Sutcliffe, E Dillon, P Crummey (0-1 each).
Galway: É Murphy; P Mannion, Daithí Burke, P Mannion; F Burke, G McInerney, D Morrissey; David Burke, T Monaghan; C Fahy, C Cooney, J Cooney; B Concannon, C Whelan, C Mannion.
Subs: J Flynn for Fahy (57); J Coen for Monaghan (60); R Glennon for David Burke (63, inj); T Killeen for P Mannion (66, inj); E Niland for Concannon (69).
Dublin: S Brennan; J Bellew, E O’Donnell, C O’Callaghan; D Gray, P Smyth; A Dunphy; J Madden, C Crummey; D Burke, R McBride, C Burke; F Whitely, E Dillon, D Sutcliffe.
Subs: R Hayes for Madden (14); J Madden for Dunphy (41, inj); P Crummey for Sutcliffe, C Currie for Whitely (both 57); D Ryan for Gray (62).
Referee: J Murphy (Limerick).