Tribe turn up heat to overcome below-par Dublin side
Galway 3-22 Dublin 0-16 (All-Ireland MHC semi-final)
Dublin's All-Ireland ambitions came to a crushing end in Croke Park last Saturday afternoon as they succumbed to a superior Galway outfit by 15 points in their Electric Ireland All-Ireland MHC semi-final.
The horrific weather conditions that greeted the start of the game were a suitably depressing backdrop to the events that unfolded for the Dubs with Galway dominating after the break after a relatively even opening half.
That Dublin's dreams were extinguished was painful enough but their disappointment can only be compounded by the manner in which they performed in the second-half, as they made far too many basic errors with very few players coming close to their potential, albeit in trying circumstances.
"We are disappointed because we didn't perform and whether you win or lose, when you are looking after people of this age, what you are really want is for them to get out there and do themselves justice," said Dublin manager Mike Connolly
"I would say we have a lot of lads in the dressing room who don't feel that way.
"To be honest, that's not withstanding that Galway are good and they showed it there on Saturday," he added.
Connolly would have been relatively pleased with how the Dubs started as they looked more than a match for their opponents.
Conor Murray, Pearce Christie and Dara Purcell all chipped in with points from play in the opening quarter while Liam Dunne's economy from placed balls was another positive as they settled well into the encounter.
However, as the contest evolved, Dublin struggled to make a concerted impact around the middle third as Galway's Jason O'Donoghue began to exert a massive influence on the game.
Donal O'Shea's free-taking was as impeccable as Dunne's, with the Galway full-forward landing all twelve of his deadball opportunities as Galway entered the break with a 1-10 to 0-10 interval lead thanks to a Niall Collins goal in injury time.
Early points in the second-half from Diarmuid Kilcommins and Adam Brett re-enforced the impression that the game was slipping away from Dublin.
Dublin became increasingly ragged as the half developed, making uncharacteristic errors, and from one such mistake by goalkeeper Jack Lambert, Brett fired home Galway's second goal in the 48th minute.
A third goal duly arrived a minute later through the impressive Dean Reilly with Dublin unable to respond despite points from substitutes Aaron O'Toole and Daragh McLoughney in the closing stages.
"This is a work in progress and Dublin have been there a lot in recent years and things are getting better.
"What people don't perhaps understand is reaching the top bar in hurling is a lot harder so we're going to have to stay at it," said Connolly.
Scorers - Galway: D O'Shea 0-12 (12f), D Reilly 1-3, N Collins 1-2, A Brett 1-1, D Kilcommins 0-2, J O'Donoghue, O Flannery (St Thomas) 0-1 each. Dublin: L Dunne 0-10 (9f, 1 '65'), C Murray, P Christie, C Foley, D Purcell, D McLoughney, A O'Toole 0-1 each.
Galway: P Rabbitte; M Flynn, S Jennings, O Salmon; E Duggan, S Heary, S Quirke; J O'Donoghue, O Flannery (St Thomas); D Kilcommins, S McDonagh, A Brett; D Reilly, D O'Shea, N Collins. Subs: O Flannery (PMP) for McDonagh (41), K Creaven for Collins (52), C Cunningham for O Flannery (St Thomas, 57), I McGlynn for Duggan (58), C Keane for Reilly (61).
Dublin: J Lambert; F Murphy, E Carney, K Byrne; C Hogan, A O'Neill, I O'hEithir; D Leavy, D Power; C Foley, P Christie, C Murray; L Dunne, L Swan, D Purcell. Subs: S Fenton for Purcell (40), D McLoughney for Christie (47), A O'Toole for Murray (49), S Foran for Hogan (57).
Referee: P Murphy (Carlow).