Dubs test the Tribes
IRELAND'S junior international soccer manager, Gerry Smith, was in O'Toole Park on Sunday afternoon. His daughter, Danielle, was in the Dublin boiler-house.
Like all members of the Managers' Union, Dubs boss, Denis Murphy, knows it so often comes down to taking whatever chances come along on the wind.
"Fair play to Galway. They took their opportunities and they got the result," reflected Denis after the 2-10 to 1-7 defeat.
"They are a good side. You don't get to an All-Ireland final two years ago and an All-Ireland semi-final last season without being a good team.
"They have quality players like Niamh Kilkenny, Niamh McGrath and Ann Marie Hayes. If you give these players room, they will cause problems.
"And, unfortunately, we stood off them too much in the first half.
"We were seven points down inside the first 12 minutes.
It was a six-point game in the end. In reality, it was a lot closer than that.
"We let them dominate the first quarter-of-an-hour. They got too many easy points.
"It took us a while to get to the pace of the game and to match Galway's strength," added Denis.
"If we had restricted them early on, this was a game that was there for the taking.
"And the most frustrating thing of all is that the way the other results went, a win would have put us in a play-off for the semi-final."
Galway, attacking the road end, led at half-time by 1-8 to 0-5, their goal coming from Ailish O'Reilly in the sixth minute. Their second goal, ten minutes into the second period, was covered in chocolate.
Kilkenny lofted in a delivery, and with her back to goal, Hayes managed to flick the sliotar ever so sweetly to the basket. It's already up there among the goals-of-the-season.
Rebecca Hennelly added a free. Dublin's task was a big one. But they showed spirit. Ali Maguire and Aoife Kelly got points.
And ten minutes from time, Sarah Ryan, after doing much of the work herself, nudged in Dublin's goal. If only they could have got another one.
DUBLIN: K Whyte (Lucan Sarsfields); C Power (Naomh Mearnóg), G Quinn (St Brigid's), E O'Meara (Na Fianna); L McSweeney (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER), L O'Hara (Erin's Isle), F Hayes (Ballinteer St John's); D Smith (St Vincent's), L Twomey (Naomh Mearnóg); A Carolan (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER), A Kelly (Raheny, 0-1), A Maguire (St Vincent's, 0-6, 6f); A Bugler (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER), S Ryan (Naomh Mearnóg, 1-0), A Fanning (St Vincent's). Subs used: E Whyte (Good Counsel), C Rigney (Lucan Sarsfields), A Twomey (Lucan Sarsfields), E McCarthy (St Vincent's).