Tribes derail Dubs
EPIC journey to minor decider ends in defeat as Galway give harsh lesson.
Galway claimed their ninth All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship crown as they produced a clinical display in accounting for Dublin by nine points at Croke Park yesterday afternoon.
Remarkably, manager Mattie Murphy has been at the helm for seven of these titles with much of the hard work for Galway done in the first half as they opened up in the second quarter to build a healthy |six-point lead by the interval.
The Dubs, contesting their first final since they succumbed to the Tribesmen back in 1983, looked nervy from the start.
Referee Johnny Ryan made several seemingly inconsistent decisions which went in favour |of Galway with Dublin remarkably awarded just a solitary free inside the opening 30 minutes.
With Galway beginning to dominate through Padraic Brehony, Dean Higgins, Seán Sweeney and Jonathan Glynn, they took the lead for the first time at the end of the first quarter through a Shane Maloney free to make it 0-4 to 0-3.
He followed that up with a 20th-minute score to leave two points between the sides for the first time.
Paul Winters responded from Dublin's one free of the half in the 21st minute but it did little to halt Galway's momentum, with most of the 50/50 challenges being won by the Connacht men.
Points from play followed from Jason Flynn and Maloney and the former registered his second point in three minutes as the game gradually appeared to be slipping away from the Dubs.
Points followed before the interval from another Maloney free and Higgins in injury time ensured Galway enjoyed a |0-10 to 0-4 interval lead.
Dublin's travails down the middle were reflected in the substitution of centre-back Jamie Desmond.
Donal Gormley the replacement for the second-half and Gormley's Ballinteer St John's clubmate Aodhán Clabby gave Dublin renewed hope with a glorious score from near the sideline a minute into the second-half.
However, that score proved a false dawn for Dublin with referee Ryan making another bizarre call against the Dubs, handing Maloney another opportunity to increase his own personal tally through a free.
Matthew McCaffrey replied for Dublin in the 36th minute but there was an ease with which Galway could reply in kind and Maloney restored |his side's six-point lead with another classy effort.
Dublin's four dual players, Ciarán Kilkenny, Cormac Costello, Eric Lowndes and Emmet Ó Conghaile were beginning to show understandable signs of weariness and their contribution was not at the level generally expected of them given their exceptional performances to date.
Kilkenny managed to rally Dublin briefly with an excellent 39th-minute point but the trend of Galway going down the other end to negate any Blues score continued and they added three points in succession to open up a nine-point lead by the 43rd minute.
Winters tagged on a couple of scores from placed balls but they proved immaterial as Galway kept the Dubs at arm's length through their dominant full-back line of Cormac Diviney, Paul Killeen and Pádraic Mannion.
Costello, who had struggled with a calf injury during last Sunday's MFC semi-final win over Galway and seemed inconvenienced throughout, finally got his name on the scoresheet with a 52nd-minute point.
Maloney availed of a gap in the Dubs defence to crash home a sublime finish past Cormac Ryan for the game's opening goal in the 60th minute while Kilkenny's injury-time goal from a close-in free acted as scant consolation.