Determined Galway make short work of Dublin
Sobering afternoon for Anthony Daly’s men as Tribesmen avenge Leinster final defeat
Galway 0-28 Dublin 1-12
And Galway didn’t score for the last ten minutes of the game . . . Colm Callanan, their goalkeeper, didn’t have the opportunity to make a decent save.
Thomas Flynn, one of several young maroon forwards in glorious form on a debut afternoon, would have finished the day with a goal to his name after crisply finishing a ball from Niall Healy, only to discover that play had been called back for a late foul on his team-mate.
Galway’s half forward line contributed a combined 0-8 from play. Dublin had Conal Keaney sent off (on a second yellow for a flick on Iarla Tannian) David Treacy substituted and Danny Sutcliffe waging a lonely battle on the wing.
No, this was a sobering day for the Leinster champions who left Salthill in the knowledge they aren’t the first team to suffer a league rout at the hands of the most unpredictable force in hurling scene and they won’t be the last.
“I kind of suspected it,” admitted Dublin manager Anthony Daly as the players boarded the bus for home.
“I sneaked into Ballinasloe last Sunday and they were very sharp, especially in the second half against a star-studded Munster team. From start to finish, once they got ahead they drove on everywhere. Galway are Galway. They are much better than they looked last year. They look like they had a half back line that was unbeatable really. Tannin looked unbeatable and David Collins, even Aidan Harte. They have obviously recovered from last year and are back.”
The remoulding of Tannian as a centre back was a spectacular success here.
The big Ardrahan man murdered all about him in the air, moved on a slide rule across the line and looked an unstoppable force going forward. His long, perfectly weighted handpass to Pádraig Brehony set up Davy Glennon for a 10th minute point which must have sent Dublin alarm bells ringing.
The scoreboard only read 0-6 to 0-3 but it was hot-knife-through butter stuff and Galway began to pick off scores each more impressive than the last. Jonathan Glynn ran not just Liam Rushe but the entire Dublin defence ragged and Cathal Mannion demonstrated cool finishing and an ominous turn of speed.
The Galway cognoscenti licked their lips in the stand: if Mannion was this quick on a soft Salthill pitch, what did that promise for July? Brehony had a terrific debut, strong and agile at midfield and in addition to striking frees, Conor Cooney turned plenty of tough ball Galway’s way. Young Ronan Burke had an assured afternoon at full back but the Galway half-back line was in such rapacious mood that their colleagues may have felt cheated out of a bit of sport.
“We had a lot of new players – Cathal Mannion, Jason Flynn and Pádraig Brehony....they are very young and it was their debut. But it was a day when everything we struck went over the bar and Dublin were a bit off-colour,” said Anthony Cunningham.
“ We would have concentrated on today’s match over the winter and there was a lot of hurt there. There are new guys coming in yeah, it is positive. ”
Dublin had precious little to be positive about. Cian O’Callaghan had a busy shift at corner back, David O’Callaghan was the one forward whose radar was on and Sean McGrath clipped a well-taken goal seconds after his introduction.
But as a team, they could summon nothing like the will or collective competitiveness which made them an irresistible force last summer.
“Too many of our big guns did not perform and they know that themselves, “Daly said.
“They need to bounce back quickly because the likes of Clare will destroy you as well. Win your ball. You must win primary possession, especially in conditions like that.
“If you are not winning dirty ball, you won’t be setting up and platform for scores. Once we were down to 14 men, it was futile enough at that stage. What were we behind, 13 or 14 points. Thank God it is only a week. Two training sessions and go out next week and see if we can improve.”
Allied to Keaney’s dismissal, both captain Johnny McCaffrey and freetaker Paul Ryan were replaced by half time.
It was one of those days when nothing went right for one team and everything did for the other. And the league specialises in those.
GALWAY: C Callanan; F Moore, R Burke, J Coen; D Collins (0-1), I Tannian, A Harte (0-1); David Burke, P Brehony (0-2); C Mannion (0-4), J Glynn (0-3), D Glennon (0-1); N Healy (0-6, one free), C Cooney (0-6, 5 frees), J Flynn (0-4). Subs : R Cummins for Glennon (50 mins), P Landers for Mannion (59 mins), Daithi Burke for Tannian (59 mins), K Hynes for David Burke (64 mins), D Dolan for Glynn (65 mins).
DUBLIN : G Maguire, C O’Callaghan, P Kelly, S Timlin; D Hiney, L Rushe, M Carton; R O’Dwyer (0-1), J McCaffrey, C Keaney, D Treacy, D Sutcliffe; P Ryan (0-2 frees), D O’Callaghan (0-3), M Schutte (0-1). Subs : A McCrabbe (0-4 , frees) for Ryan (31 mins), C Cronin for McCaffrey (31 mins), E Dillon for Treacy (half-time), C McCormack for Hiney (50 mins), S McGrath (1-1, free) for O’Dwyer (60).
Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary)