MAN-OF-THE-MATCH and captain Brian Molloy produced a magnificent display to inspire Galway to an extra-time victory in a brilliant contest against Dublin in Saturday nights Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U-21 hurling semi-final in Semple Stadium.
The success provided a boost for Galway hurling in the wake of last Sunday’s All-Ireland Senior Semi-Final loss to Tipperary.
They now advance to a final meeting with Waterford on 10 September – a clash that will be a repeat of the 2013 minor final meeting between the counties, which saw Waterford triumph.
Galway got the job done in a game where they grew in confidence as it progressed. Leinster champions Dublin were forced to rue a litany of missed chances in normal time as they racked up 18 wides.defeat.
Dublin had made a flying start to be in front by 0-5 to 0-2 after 10 minutes and held a four-point advantage – 0-10 to 0-6 – approaching half-time.
AJ Murphy and Rian McBride were impressing in the Dublin forward line while Galway, playing against the wind, stayed in touch with midfielder Dan Nevin’s three first-half points crucial.
Galway were denied a goal before the break when senior player Conor Whelan’s fierce drive was tipped on to the crossbar by Dublin goalkeeper Jonathan Treacy.
At the other end Galway were grateful to their goalkeeper Cathal Tuohy for denying Murphy’s effort to hit the net for Dublin. A Molloy point before the interval ensured Galway were still in the hunt at the break as they trailed 0-10 to 0-7.
An early Chris Bennett free opened the second-half scoring for Dublin before Tony Ward’s Galway charges exploded into life as they hit six points without reply courtesy of Molloy (2), Thomas Monaghan (2), Whelan and Darragh Dolan.
Dublin faced a 0-13 to 0-11 deficit entering the final quarter but recovered with points from Cian Boland, Fionn O’Riain Broin and James Madden nudging them into a one-point lead by the 55th minute.
The game ebbed and flowed in the finale with Whelan and Molloy restoring Galway’s advantage before a Sean Treacy free tied the teams.
It looked like Monaghan had hit the match winner for Galway in the 61st minute but two minutes later a last-gasp desperate Dublin attack culminated in Cian MacGabhann pointing to ensure the game ended 0-16 apiece and extra-time was required.
There was still no separating the teams as they stood at 0-18 apiece at the midway mark of extra-time.
Molloy and Treacy traded points before Galway finally made a forceful burst with Molloy scoring in the 75th and 80th minutes. The Tribesmen rearguard defended superbly to repel Dublin’s advances and seal a place in the final.
Scorers for Galway: Brian Molloy 0-10 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Thomas Monaghan, Dan Nevin (0-1 sideline) 0-3 each, Conor Whelan, Eanna Burke 0-2 each, Darragh Dolan 0-1.
Scorers for Dublin: Chris Bennett (0-3f), Rian McBride, Cian Boland 0-3 each, AJ Murphy, Sean Treacy (0-2f) 0-2 each, Eoghan McHugh, Cian MacGbhann, Eoghan Conroy, Shane Barrett, James Madden, Fionn O Riain Broin 0-1 each.
|August 20, 2016||6:00 pm||Championship Semi-Final|
|Ardán Uí Chuinneáin, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland|