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Sunday 26 January 2020

Dubs are pipped by Tribe

Kenny happy with Walsh Cup as focus turns to league

Cian O’Callaghan of Dublin in action against Galway at Parnell Park yesterday. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian O’Callaghan of Dublin in action against Galway at Parnell Park yesterday. Photo: Sportsfile

The suspicion yesterday in Parnell Park was that there was a mutual appreciation for the outcome from both managers.

Mattie Kenny admitted afterwards that inwardly, he was compelling his team to find an equaliser as the clock wound down and Galway kept a constant, if always minimal, lead.

But in its totality, he was more than happy with what his team had taken from the Walsh Cup, regardless of his scepticism of playing matches at such an embryonic point in the hurling season.

Yesterday was Dublin's fourth game in the competition and their third in just a week..

Kenny also had 14 players in Fitzgibbon Cup action elsewhere and with a trip to Nowlan Park first up in the League on January 26, another match next Sunday might have been more a hindrance than a help.

On a heavy pitch yesterday, there was little by way of sleek, sharp hurling.

But Kenny was more than pleased that his players had tried to play how he desired, even if the conditions meant that carried a high degree of risk.

"In fairness to the guys," he explained, "they were to do the right thing all day but that's the third game on that pitch in seven days.

Allowances

"It was a lot heavier today than it was last Sunday or last Thursday night, the underfoot conditions weren't as good today.

"I think both teams when they had chances to get in on goal, they slipped at the wrong time and that was on both sides.

"Look," he shrugged, "you have to make allowances for all of that.

"Both teams served up a reasonably good game of hurling, it was very clean and competitive and I was talking to the Galway management going off there and they're....both sides are pretty happy."

Shane O'Neill meanwhile,in his first competitive match as Galway manager, got a win.

But much more than that, a chance to see a raft of young, unproven players in a competitive environment on a tight pitch against a good team.

This was Galway's first game of the season and given they play Westmeath at home in the first round of the League in two week's time, won't be overly-perturbed by having to go to Wexford just seven days beforehand to defend their Walsh Cup title.

O'Neill cut a calm, understated figure in his first real match as an inter-county manager.

His team was a typical January blend of freshness and maturity.

Early in, one of the debutants, Diarmuid Kilcommins, drew plenty of attention to himself with two points from the right wing.

It was two of Galway's most established heads, Cathal Mannion and Johnny Coen, who came up trumps late on.

"You actually can't beat games," O'Neill observed.

"You could see it there, guys were out on their feet there at the end on both sides, very hard or virtually impossible to replicate that in training."

For Dublin, Eamonn Dillon posed a constant menace and Oisín O'Rorke scored 0-10 (8f) but significantly as the League hones into view, there were first appearance of the campaign for Danny Sutcliffe and Seán Moran as late substitutes

"It was a nice even contest," Kenny observed. "This time of the year, it was just about getting a game into the lads. It was a nice competitive game for both sides."

SCORERS - Galway: T Haran 0-8 (7f), C Mannion 0-3 (1f), J Coen, D Kilcommins, S Bleahane 0-2 each, TJ Brennan, C Walsh 0-1 each. Dublin: O O'Rorke 0-10 (8f), E Dillon, J Hetherton 0-2 each, C Crummey, C Boland, M Howard, D Sutcliffe 0-1 each.

GALWAY: E Murphy; D Cronin, R Burke, J Grealish; J Coen, G McInerney, TJ Brennan; S Linnane, A Harte; D Kilcommins, C Mannion, T Monaghan; S Bleahane, T Haran, D Glennon. Subs: P Killeen for Cronin (h-t), C Walsh for Linnane (45), R O'Meara for Monaghan (51), J Coyne for Bleahane (51), M Horan for Brennan (56), J Holland for Burke (56), Brennan for McInerney (65), Bleahane for Harnan (65), Monaghan for (66)

DUBLIN: S Brennan; C O'Callaghan, J Madden, A Dunphy; C Crummey, A O'Neill, T Connolly; C Boland, L McMullen; J Hetherton, C Derwin, M Schutte; M Howard, E Dillon, O O'Rorke. Subs: E O'Donnell for Derwin (48), S Moran for Madden (56), D Sutcliffe for Schutte (60), M Sweeney for Howard (66)

REF: P Murphy (Carlow)

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