Dublin overcome Galway to claim Leinster U-20 hurling title

Influential Gannon helps inspire a first victory over Tribesmen in underage championship hurling

Dublin celebrate their victory over Galway in the 2020  Leinster Under 20 hurling final at  Bord na Mona O’Connor Park, Tullamore. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Dublin celebrate their victory over Galway in the 2020 Leinster Under 20 hurling final at Bord na Mona O’Connor Park, Tullamore. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Dublin 1-20 Galway 1-18

Dublin hurlers received a timely boost ahead of their Leinster SHC clash with Antrim at the weekend as the county’s U-20 side were good value for their victory over Galway in the delayed 2020 provincial decider.

It is the perfect boost for Dublin hurling as they defeated Galway in underage championship hurling for the first time and have now set up an All-Ireland date with Cork in a couple of weeks, having previously lost all four previous finals in the U-21 grade.

Dublin possessed a more potent attack to claim their seventh U-21/U-20 Leinster title and while, inevitably, a large part of the contest was a shootout between first cousins Liam Murphy of Dublin and Galway’s Donal O’Shea, son of Tipperary coach Eamon, the four points each from play supplied by Lee Gannon and Dara Purcell was crucial to their success.

The sides were level three times in the opening half but Dublin went in leading by 1-11 to 1-9 at the break.

Galway did a lot of the early running and led by 0-3 to 0-1 after nine minutes but then Purcell pointed for Dublin before midfielder Mark Sweeney soloed through and drilled the ball low into the net for an excellent goal.

Mark Kennedy, who scored 0-4 from play in the opening quarter, responded for Galway and he also replied when Micheal Murphy pointed for Dublin and Liam Murphy hit two frees leave it 1-4 to 0-6 at the first water break.

Another free from Murphy and one from the left wing by Gannon pushed Dublin 1-6 to 0-6 in front but then a cross from the right from O’Shea was collected by John Cooney and he batted to the net after executing a sidestep which was reminiscent of his father Joe, the former All Star, to tie the sides after 20 minutes.

The sides continued to trade points but Dublin, having played with the breeze, edged two in front at half-time after another free from Murphy and one from distance from goalkeeper Eddie Gibbons.

Second half

Galway started the second half with three quick points before Dara McBride equalised, and then Dublin’s Micheal Murphy and Ian McGlynn exchanged points.

Galway led by 1-15 to 1-13 at the second water break after two more pointed frees from O’Shea but the superb Lee Gannon landed two in a row and then after another O’Shea free, Dara Purcell struck for two more points.

Kennedy’s sixth point for Galway narrowed the gap to one but two more frees from Murphy kept Dublin in control and he maintained their two-point advantage after Fionn McDonagh responded for Galway.

Galway almost snatched it in the final play but Sean McDonagh’s low shot went across goal and wide and Dublin held on for their seventh Leinster title in the grade and they are back in an All-Ireland final at this level for the first time since 2011.

Gannon, who suffered the heartbreak of losing the All-Ireland U-20 football final to Galway last December, said they won’t be burdened by history as they go in search of a first All-Ireland in the grade.

“There is a first time for everything. That’s the plan. We will enjoy this one, reassess and start planning for Cork.

“It was an unbelievable win. We knew what was at stake. Leinster finals don’t come around too often. We are like a band of brothers. We don’t care what went before and from now on Dublin hurling will start pushing on from this.”

DUBLIN: E Gibbons (0-01, 0-1f); T Kinnane, A Dunphy, A Murphy; E O’Donnell, K Burke, I Ó Heither; M Sweeney (1-0), D Power; D McBride (0-2), M Murphy (0-2), L Gannon (0-4); D Purcell (0-4), K Desmond, L Murphy (0-7, 0-7f). Subs: M Conroy for Kinnane (33), D Leavy for O Heither (45), L McDwyer for O’Donnell (50), C Foley for Desmond (52), B Ryan for Power (60+4).

GALWAY: D Fahy; E Lawless, TJ Brennan, J O’Donoghue; D Kilcommins, C Flaherty, D Shaughnessy (0-1); A Brett, I McGlynn (0-1); C Walsh, M Kennedy (0-06), S Neary; J Cooney (1-0), J Fleming (0-1), D O’Shea (0-8, 0-6f, 0-1’65). Subs: F McDonagh (0-1) for Brett (40), S McDonagh for Cooney (48), O Salmon for O’Donoghue (58).

Referee: D Hughes (Kilkenny).

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