Joe Canning proves a cut above yet again as Galway triumph

Canning comes off the bench to land late sideline cut and end Dublin comeback

Galway’s Joe Canning hits the winning point in the Bord na Mona Walsh Cup semi-final at  Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Galway’s Joe Canning hits the winning point in the Bord na Mona Walsh Cup semi-final at Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

 

Dublin 1-17 Galway 0-21

Even while wearing number 22, and listed as Joseph Cooney in the match programme, Joe Canning cut an unmistakable figure at Parnell Park.

With the scores tied in stoppage time, and a Walsh Cup final place at stake, the recently introduced substitute trotted over to the right wing to take a sideline cut.

With no official announcements for substitutes at the Dublin venue, those in the crowd working off the match programme presumed it was Cooney.

But as soon as the Portumna wizard crouched down and cut the ball in that familiar style, sending it curling over on a left to right arc, the game breaker’s identity became crystal clear. Classic Canning.

Cathal Mannion, one of five 2018 All-Ireland final starters in Galway’s line-up, had the bigger impact overall with 10 points though Canning’s impact naturally stole the show.

“It is his forte,” said Galway manager Micheál Donoghue of Canning’s excellent from sideline cuts. “Obviously it was a massive execution of it and no better man to have standing over it.”

Canning’s intervention was important because Galway would have kicked themselves if they’d lost having led by 0-18 to 0-10 with 20 minutes to go.

In what was Dublin’s first game against top-level opposition since Mattie Kenny, a former Galway selector, took over, the hosts almost claimed a morale-boosting win.

But after coming so close with a brilliant fightback that climaxed with Oisín O’Rorke’s 72nd-minute equalising point, it all turned sour.

John Hetherton, their free-taker and highly effective forward, was sent off for a heavy challenge on Canning, making Canning’s clear head only minutes later all the more impressive.

Galway will play Wexford in the final next weekend at a Wexford venue, though Donoghue argued it should be a neutral ground halfway between the two counties.

The Tribesmen looked set to progress easily when they led 0-15 to 0-8 at half-time with seven different scorers.

That margin was out to eight in the third quarter as Mannion, Seán Blehane and Brian Concannon chipped in with points.

But Dublin were terrific in the final 20 minutes, grabbing a 66th-minute Seán Moran goal from a penalty and then tying it up briefly.

DUBLIN: A Nolan; P Smith, E O’Donnell, L Gannon; C Crummey (0-2), S Moran (1-0, pen), S Barrett; R McBride, T Connolly; J Hetherton (0-8, eight frees), F Whitely (0-1), F McGibb; E Dillon (0-2), L Rushe, D Burke (0-2).

Subs: S Treacy for Smith (h/t), D Gray for O’Donnell (47 mins), C Conway for McBride (48), O O’Rorke (0-2, two frees) for McGibb (51), D Keogh for Barrett (62), D O’Connell for Whitely (64), C Burke for D Burke (70).

GALWAY: J Skehill; J Grealish, J Fitzpatrick, S Linnane; K Hussey, P Mannion (0-1), A Harte (0-1); S Kilduff, C Mannion (0-10, five frees); P Brehony, C Whelan (0-1), S Blehane (0-2); T Monaghan, B Concannon (0-3, one free), D Glennon (0-2).

Subs: S Loftus for Kilduff, S Maloney for Brehony (both 56 mins), R O’Meara for Glennon (62), J Canning (0-1, s/l) for Blehane (67).

Referee: P O’Dwyer (Carlow).

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