HOLDERS Galway bowed out of the Walsh Cup at the semi final stage in Parnell Park on Sunday when a slicker Dublin side deservedly booked their place in the decider. With both sides having come through winters of discontent, it was Dublin who displayed the greater urgency to forge the victory and set up the opportunity to gain early season silverware.
The victory platform was laid in the opening half when the Dubs, despite playing into the breeze, build up a decent early lead and in reality they were unlucky to be only level with Galway at half time. That came about because of a fortuitous Galway goal on 31 minutes and two good saves from Galway keeper James Skehill in the final seven minutes of the opening period.
And while Galway did miss some decent scoring chances of their own (wides tally in double figures), in truth they were always playing second fiddle to a Dublin side that set the tone from early on. This was Galway’s first meeting with a Division 1 team in the Walsh Cup and they came up short at a venue that has become a difficult hunting ground for Galway teams in recent times.
Often using the short puck-out, crowding the middle third and opening space in attack, the Dubs were up for it from the start and duly raced into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead after nine minutes with Niall McMorrow popping over two good efforts.
With a groin injury ruling out Joe Canning, Eanna Burke got Galway off the mark on 10 minutes. However, with David Treacy in good shooting form, Dublin led by 0-8 to 0-3 on 16 minutes and by 0-10 to 0-6 on 25 minutes as Galway struggled to close down the Dublin support play. Niall Burke, who had a good opening half, shot the third of his first half points to leave Galway within three points before four minutes from the break, Galway got a lifeline.
David Burke, who had a fine game, ran through the Dublin defence and his shot was miscontrolled by Dublin keeper Conor Dooley who brought the ball over his own goal line and thus Galway were level at 1-8 to 0-11. Either side of that green flag, Skehill did well to deny firstly Eamon Dillon and then Chris Bennett when they had goal chances.
David Treacy and Shane Moloney swapped points to leave Galway level,1-9 to 0-12, at the break, though the Westerners had to face the breeze in the second period – and the task became more difficult with the loss of Daithi Burke with a hand injury at half time. Quick fire points on the resumption from David Burke and sub Jason Flynn had Galway into the lead for the first time in the game at 1-11 to 0-12.
Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune