Galway are out of this year’s hurling championship after being beaten by Dublin at Parnell Park – 3-19 to 0-24.
This was a must-win game for the Dubs and Mattie Kenny’s powerful charges duly delivered against his native county, with Eamonn Dillon, Sean Moran and Chris Crummey all finding the net.
The 2017 All-Ireland champions and Leinster SHC holders were top of the group table going into tonight’s fifth and final round of games and the dreaded sequence of results that would eliminate them from the championship was defeat here coupled with a draw between Wexford and Kilkenny at Wexford Park.
Alas, the draw between the Cats and the Model County meant that all four teams have five points but Kilkenny (+18) and Wexford (+15) had the best two score differences so they are in Sunday fortnight’s provincial decider. Dublin’s score difference is eight better than Galway’s (+11 and +3), so the Dubs – who posted 1-7 in the last ten minutes tonight - miss out on a Leinster final but will enter the All-Ireland series against one of the Joe McDonagh Cup finalists (Laois or Westmeath) at the preliminary quarter-final stage.
Not even the appearance of Joe Canning from off the bench could save Galway’s season on what transpired to be a nightmare night for Micheál Donoghue and his players.
In an absorbing contest where both goalkeepers scored and the sides were level 17 times, inspirational captain Crummey netted Dublin’s third major two minutes from the end of normal time and a Fergal Whitely point seconds later stretched their lead out to four, 'keeper Alan Nolan having drilled over the most dramatic of equalisers from open play seven minutes from time.
Dublin's Chris Crummy celebrates at the final whistle
Galway led by the narrowest of margins at the end of a brilliant first half, 0-12 to 1-8, Dillon’s 28th-minute major propelling the hosts into a three-point lead only for the visitors to reel of the last four scores of the opening period via Cathal Mannion (two frees), Colm Callanan (free) and David Burke.
Danny Sutcliffe and Mannion traded the first two points, Cian Boland cancelling out points from Brian Concannon and Jason Flynn before Liam Rushe and Oisin O'Rorke pushed the Dubs two clear only for Mannion (2) to reply. The first half remained nip and tuck, both sides suffering massive injury blows as Eoghan O’Donnell and Conor Whelan were both forced out of the action.
Moran dispatched a Dublin penalty after a foul on Crummey at the start of the second half but Galway drew level through Mannion (free) and Flynn and the holders introduced Canning eleven minutes into the second half. Within seconds, he pointed from close to the sideline!
An O’Rorke brace steered Dublin back ahead but Canning replied, only for O’Rorke to post another free for the Dubs. Galway gradually got into a winning position, with Joseph Cooney and Padraic Mannion slotting massive points, but it was Dublin who were the strongest side on the home straight as they claimed their biggest win in six years.
Dublin - A Nolan (0-1); P Smyth, E O'Donnell, S Barrett; S Moran (1-0pen), C Hendricken, C Crummey (1-0); S Treacy, T Connolly; C Keaney (0-3), C Boland (0-2), D Sutcliffe (0-2); L Rushe (0-1), O O'Rorke (0-9, 5f, 1'65), E Dillon (1-1). Subs: J Madden for E O'Donnell, F Whitely for C Boland, D Gray for C Hendricken, D O'Connell for S Treacy, R Hayes for L Rushe.
Galway - C Callanan (0-1f); D Morrissey, Daithi Burke, A Harte; P Mannion (0-1), J Cooney (0-1), G McInerney; J Coen (0-1), David Burke (0-3); J Glynn, C Mannion (0-9, 7f), A Tuohy; B Concannon (0-1), J Flynn (0-3), C Whelan (0-1). Subs: D Glennon (0-1) for C Whelan, J Canning (0-2) for A Tuohy, N Burke for B Concannon, T Monaghan for N Burke, S Linnane for J Coen.
Referee - C McAllister.Tweet