MICHEÁL Donoghue couldn’t have asked for much more last Sunday as Galway commenced their 2017 hurling season with a comfortable Walsh Cup victory over Dublin Institute of Technology. Twelve different scorers, 22 seeing action and 1-26 from open play was a solid innings before they face NUI Galway this evening (Thursday) at Duggan Park ( 7.30pm).
Between injuries, club and college commitments and panel changes, only five of the side that started last year’s All-Ireland semi-final loss to Tipperary took to the field as the Galway manager looked at his options, and many on display gave a positive impression.
Teenager Thomas Monaghan opened the scoring after 13 seconds when he benefitted from Joseph Cooney’s run and the Craughwell attacker would contribute four points.
Cooney, along with Colm Callanan, Aidan Harte, Johnny Coen and Jason Flynn, were the survivors from that Tipperary loss last August with Galway having to plan without the St. Thomas’ and Ahascragh/Fohenagh hurlers and others, including Joe Canning and Adrian Tuohy, through injury. But when they did hit purple patches, they ensured the students didn’t threaten their supremacy.
Eoin O’Hehir levelled for DIT within two minutes as Derek Brennan’s men were also without key players, most notably Kilkenny’s Liam Blanchfield, and struggled to match their opponents though they only trailed 0-10 to 0-6 on 23 minutes.
DIT’s goalkeeper Sean Brennan was tremendous with three crucial saves even if he was guilty for some poor puck outs. But allowing Cooney’s speculative delivery creep into the net with seven minutes remaining blotted a decent showing.
That being said, this game was done and dusted as the Tribesmen reached the 30 mark in white flags, but they also amassed 14 wides.
Scores for Davy Glennon (2), Padraig Brehony and Monaghan made it 0-5 to 0-1 before Aaron Nugent pointed for DIT. Derek McNicholas and three Cian O’Donoghue frees kept the students in touch before Flynn and Brian Molloy also contributed for Galway.
Subsequently, the hosts pulled away with Glennon, Flynn, Monaghan and defender Jack Grealish making it 0-18 to 0-8 at the break.
Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune