Experimental Dublin beat Galway to reach Walsh Cup final
Ger Cunningham’s side will play Wexford next week after win at Parnell Park
Dublin’s Fionntan McGibb is challenged by Greg Lally and David Burke of Galway. Photograph: Inpho
Dublin manager Ger Cunningham has challenged his rookie players to perform on the big stage next weekend and nail down a spot for the Allianz hurling league.
Cunningham watched an experimental Dubs side secure a timely win over Galway to advance to the a Walsh Cup final alongside Wexford next Saturday evening.
That tie, a dress-rehearsal for their Leinster championship opener, will be at Croke Park and with few personnel changes anticipated will be a big opportunity for Dublin players to impress ahead of the league.
Cunningham estimated he’s missing 15 players for the pre-season tournament and has promised to stick with the same 21-man panel that has ground out four wins so far.
David Treacy advanced his own claims for a regular place with 12 points at Parnell Park having started on the bench for their last three games in the 2015 Championship. Niall McMorrow, David O’Callaghan and Eamonn Dillon contributed 1-10 between them.
“We’re happy to progress and it’s a great opportunity now for some of the younger guys to play a game in Croke Park next weekend, what an opportunity for them,” said Cunningham. “As management, it’s great that we’re going to see them in a Croke Park atmosphere. Obviously it’s a final and when you’re in a final, you want to win it.
“But it’s early days. We’ve tried hard, we’ve been around and gone to all the matches to see if there’s anyone out there that deserves a chance. Young Sean Reilly has come in, wouldn’t have been heard much of in Dublin this last couple of years, but I think every game he’s played he’s scored. So he’s done well and that’s what you need, that’s what you’re looking for.”
Dublin and Galway met five times last year including November’s Super 11s tie in Boston which was marred by a high profile melee. Save for a 61st minute skirmish, which resulting in three bookings, there was little rancour this time.
Dublin led for the most part though David Burke’s 32nd minute Galway goal, when his innocuous effort was fumbled over the line by Dublin ‘keeper Conor Dooley, drew them level at the break, 1-9 to 0-12.
A burst of 1-2 without reply from Dublin early in the second-half, including a fine ground stroke to the net from 13 metres out by Dillon, put the hosts at their ease again and they held on for a comfortable win.
Micheal Donoghue admitted that Galway have some ground to make up following his own late appointment as manager but promised to do so. He said Joe Canning’s absence was precautionary after a knock.
Dublin: C Dooley; J Boland, O Gough, S Durkin; B Quinn, C Crummey, J McCaffrey; N McMorrow (0-4), F O Riain Broinn; D Plunkett (0-1), F McGibb, D Treacy (0-12, 0-6f, 0-2 65, 0-1 s/l); S Treacy (0-1), D O’Callaghan (0-3), C Bennett (0-1). Subs: E Dillon (1-3) for Crummey (21), P Ryan (0-1, 0-1f) for Bennett (34), S O’Reilly (0-2) for S Treacy (63), R Hardy for Durkin (69).
Galway: J Skehill; J Coen, R Burke, P Hoban; Daithi Burke, G Lally, P Claffey; David Burke (1-3), P Brehony; A Smith (0-2, 0-1f), G McInerney (0-1), N Burke (0-3); E Burke (0-2), S Moloney (0-5, 0-4f), D Glennon (0-2). Subs: A Harte for Brehony (30), J Flynn (0-1) for Brehony (h/t), I Tannian for Lally (48), S Morrissey for Daithi Burke (52).
Referee: P O’Dwyer (Carlow).