Electric Ireland All-Ireland MHC quarter-final: Galway edge out Dublin

Electric Ireland MHC Quarter-Final

Galway 3-18 Dublin 2-18

By Billy Coss at FBD Semple Stadium

Galway’s starting inside line of Brian Callanan, Cillian Roche and Harry Holmes contributed a combined tally of 3-10 in weathering a stern challenge from Dublin in this afternoon’s All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship quarter-final in Thurles.

The winners never trailed at any stage, but a late first half lead of 10 points was pared down to just the minimum early in the second after a somewhat fortuitous Cathal O’Flynn goal was followed by another after the break from Darragh Kilduff.

Galway finished strongly to prevail when the sides clashed during the Leinster round-robin and they held their nerve in the face of Dublin’s rally with Holmes, making his first start of an injury-interrupted campaign, pouncing for a 40th minute goal that re-established daylight and was the crucial score of an up tempo, entertaining clash.

Dublin refused to go throw in the towel from there to the finish but with Callanan topping up his personal tally to 1-8, Kenneth Burke’s charges held firm in the face of late pressure.

Galway started with intent and had three successive Callanan frees on the board before the full-forward netted their opening goal on six minutes after sharp approach work by Eoghan Mulleady.

Dublin came close to wiping out that major and Galway were indebted to impressive full-back Dara Burke’s crucial intervention. The Boys in Blue soon settled though with Cathal Barrett, Killian Costello, Fiachra Codd and Tom Higgins picking off four of the next five points.

Wing-forward Ciarán Leen struck three terrific efforts of his own as Galway opened a 1-7 to 0-4 advantage by the 16th minute. With defenders Jonah Donnellan and Rhys O’Connor on the mark alongside Roche’s well-finished goal on 23 minutes, the winners’ lead extended into double digits.

From there to the 36th minute, Dublin stormed back. O’Flynn’s dangerous delivery deceived Galway ‘keeper Seán Kelly for a much-needed goal and with Rory Flannery on target from placed balls, the interval scoreline stood at 2-10 to 1-7.

It was quickly whittled down to 2-12 to 2-11 after Dublin restarted in the ascendancy and were breathing down Galway’s necks following further Flannery frees, Codd’s second from play, and a tonic Kilduff goal.

Holmes, a goal scorer in last year’s All-Ireland final defeat to Clare, soon took centre-stage, finishing a brilliant three-pointer and winning a converted Callanan free. The industrious Seán Moran was on target along with Roche and a Donnellan 65 as Galway moved 3-16 to 2-12 clear on 50 minutes.

Martin Barry’s team refused to wilt though and with Flannery bringing his return to eight points and sub Conaill O’Sullivan picking off two, they closed to within a goal but no closer as the Tribesmen weathered late pressure to advance.

Scorers for Galway: Brian Callanan 1-8 (7fs), Harry Holmes 1-1, Cillian Roche 1-1, Ciarán Leen 0-3, Jonah Donnellan 0-2 (1f, 1 65), Jamie Ryan, Rhys O’Connor and Seán Moran 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Rory Flannery 0-8 (7fs, 1 65), Cathal O’Flynn 1-1, Darragh Kilduff 1-0, Conaill O’Sullivan, Fiachra Codd and Cathal Barrett 0-2 each, Killian Costello, Tom Higgins and Tommy Cullen 0-1 each.

Galway: Seán Kelly; Cathal Maloney (captain), Dara Burke, Gavin Maher; Robert Burke, Jonah Donnellan, Rhys O’Connor; Ronan Murphy, Seán Moran; Jamie Ryan, Eoghan Mulleady, Ciarán Leen; Cillian Roche, Brian Callanan, Harry Holmes.

Subs: Brendan Fox for O’Connor (47), Ronan Cahalan for Ryan (53), Dara Zimmerer for Mulleady (57), Stephen Keane for Roche (60+1).

Dublin: Pádraigh Ryan; Mark Byrne, Shane Dunphy, Rory Duffy; Conor Quinn, Cathal O’Flynn, Tommy Cullen; Fionn Daly, Fiachra Codd; Cathal Barrett, James Norris (captain), Tom Higgins; Darragh Kilduff, Rory Flannery, Killian Costello.

Subs: Evan Ferguson for Codd (43), Conaill O’Sullivan for Daly (46), Eoghan Brennan for Higgins (50), Ben O’Mahony for Barrett (53).

Referee: Conor Daly (Kildare).