FL1: Tribe and Dubs both progress after seaside thriller

March 18, 2018

Galway's Ciaran Duggan and Michael Darragh Macauley of Dublin.
©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Unbeaten Galway and Dublin fought out an enjoyable 0-13 apiece draw at shivering Salthill - and they are set to do it all again in the league final in a fortnight.

Having played with wind advantage, the Tribesmen led by double scores at half time, 0-10 to 0-5, and could have been out of sight had either Barry McHugh or Adrian Varley taken the goal chances that presented themselves during that opening period. James McCarthy also coughed up a three-point opportunity for the visitors.

With 10,050 looking on, the All-Ireland champions came from behind to seemingly nick victory only for substitute Johnny Heaney to equalise for the westerners nine minutes into injury time.

Both sides carried perfect league records into this game and neither was prepared to accept defeat. The hosts led by 0-8 to 0-3 after 24 minutes, with McHugh dependable from frees and Peter Cooke also catching the eye. Ciaran Kilkenny opened the scoring inside ten seconds and he closed the first-half scoring.

Dean Rock (free) and Kilkenny had it back to three points by the 43rd minute; Johnny Cooper and Paddy Small (free) made it a one-point game. But it was nearly all about the subs late on as captain Damien Comer and Heaney scores left it 0-12 to 0-9 with seven minutes of normal time left.

Conor McHugh pointed a 66th-minute free and Eoghan O'Gara was shown a straight red card two minutes later. Still, the Dubs kicked on with injury-time scores from Cormac Costello (2) and Kilkenny, only for Heaney to strike deep into added time to preserve Galway's impressive unbeaten record against the Boys in Blue - which goes back to 2001.

That record will be tested again on Sunday week as Dublin contest their sixth consecutive league decider.

Galway - R O Beolain; D Wynne, S A O Ceallaigh, E Kerin; G O'Donnell (0-2), J Duane, C Sweeney; T Flynn, C Duggan; P Cooke (0-2), P Conroy, S Walsh (0-1); A Varley (0-1), S Armstrong, B McHugh (0-5, 3f, 1'45). Subs: E Brannigan for A Varley, D Comer (0-1) for S Walsh, J Heaney (0-1) for P Cooke, S Kelly for S Armstrong, D Kyne for S A O Ceallaigh (BC).

Dublin - E Comerford; M Fitzsimons, P McMahon, D Byrne; E Lowndes, J Small, J Cooper (0-1); M D Macauley, J McCarthy; C Reddin, C Kilkenny (0-5), P Andrews (0-1); C Basquel, D Rock (0-2f), P Small (0-1f). Subs: B Fenton for E Lowndes, C Costello (0-2f) for D Rock (BC), C McHugh (0-1f) for C Reddin, E O Conghaile for M D Macauley, E O'Gara for P Small, A McGowan for J Small.

Referee - J McQuillan.

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