Galway are the 2011 All-Ireland hurling champions following a 3-14 to 1-10 win over Dublin at Semple Stadium this evening.
The heartache of last year’s final was truly laid to rest following a workmanlike performance as the Dubs never played to their full potential, which will hurt them more than anything.
Galway as expected named an unchanged side after they successfully overcame Limerick in the semi-final. Anthony Cunningham’s charges were determined to make amends for last year’s defeat and with ten of that side still available, motivation was not going to be a problem.
Cunningham admitted before the game that Galway would need goals to beat Dublin and he would have been pleased at half time as they hit three of them as James Regan, Tadgh Haran and David Glennon all found the back of the net.
Dublin made one change as Thomas Connolly was drafted in at wing forward in place of Sean McGrath. The pressure was on the Dubs to not end the year empty handed following their defeat in the All-Ireland minor final last weekend.
Within 20 seconds of the start James Regan had Galway in front as he pointed off his left side and Tadgh Haran followed up with a similar score as Galway seemed to settle quicker than their opponents, but only two minutes had elapsed at this stage.
Dublin’s response was swift a ball in by Daire Plunkett was batted down by Jamie Ryan and Thomas Connolly was on hand to smash the sliotar to the back of the net. Niall McMorrow then earned a free which Kevin O’Loughlin pointed as Galway’s good start was now a distant memory.
A magnificent run by Galway captain Barry Daly ended with the Clarinbridge clubman being brought down by Dublin goalie Ger McManus and the referee awarded a penalty. Haran stood up and fired his shot low into the net to put Galway in front by 1-2 to 1-1 after 11 minutes.
The noise level amongst the crowd went up a decibel after this as both sets of supporters roared on their team. Daly was causing problems for the Dublin defence but he was done for over carrying when he looked as if he would get in on goal again.
Excellent worked by David Glennon saw him lay off a pass to Regan and he tapped over for his second point of the evening. Plunkett went on a mazy run down the left wing and was fouled by Jason Grealish and the prolific O’Loughlin easily dispatched the sliotar over the bar and this was followed by a Haran point from play.
Galway then suffered a blow as centre back Paul Gordon was forced off injured and replaced by Ronan Burke. Haran had an opportunity to add to his tally from a free but his shot drifted wide as the tribesmen continued to create more chances than the Dubs. The Connacht side should have been more ahead when Haran had a free on front of goals but he didn’t rise the shot high enough and it was blocked down. At the other end O’Loughlin made no mistake as he slotted over his third free of the half.
Dublin hit their first point from play when McMorrow scored, but at the other end Niall Burke slotted over to keep Galway in front after 23 minutes. Haran added another point to extend their lead to two points, but that was five points just a minute later as David Burke did very well to find Glennon unmarked and he fired past McManus to make it 2-6 to 1-4 with two minutes of the half remaining.
It got better for Galway as Regan raced through to score their third goal as the Dublin defence got in a muddle. McManus made a mistake just before the half time whistle when he tried to stop a long ball form going wide but he gave away a 65, but much to his relief Haran hit it wide and this was the last action of the half as Galway went in leading 3-6 to 1-4.
Galway picked up where they left off in the first and went on the attack, as Glennon’s pointed. At the other end McMorrow earned another free and once again McLoughlin scored from a placed ball. Galway’s response was swift as they got another score from Niall Burke. Another free from McLaughlin Kept Dublin in touch, but they need few scores to get back into the game.
Centre forward Mark Schutte was replaced by Sean McGrath as the Galway defence was well on top. Daly won another free for the tribesmen and Niall Burke fired over to make it 3-9 to 1-6 after 35 minutes.
Defences were on top at this stage and almost nine minutes elapsed before the next score and it was a free by Niall Burke after substitute Bernard Burke had been fouled by Dean Curran. Dublin were struggling to find scores at this stage and the game looked to be slipping away from them. However, sub Robbie Mahon did score the next point, which was greeted by a subdued round of applause from the Dubs’ support.
McMahon was making a difference and his powerful shot looked destined for the top corner only for Jamie Ryan to produce an excellent score. Daly scored at the other end to make it 3-11 to 1-8 after 49 minutes.
Connolly hit over a free for Dublin as they kept battling away, but they needed a goal. Galway found scores easier to come by, although Glennon’s next point was hard earned by himself as he beat three Dublin backs to slot over.
With five minutes remaining there was eight points between the sides and it was nine points when David Burke converted a long range free with two minutes of normal time left on the clock. Burke doubled his tally from another placed ball and the Galway forwards were already celebrating
Scorers: Galway: T Haran (1-3), D Glennon (1-3), J Regan (1-2), N Burke (0-3), D Burke (0-2), B Daly (0-1). Dublin: T Connolly (1-2), K O’Loughlin (0-5), N McMorrow (0-1), R McMahon (0-1)
Dublin: Ger McManus; Bill O’Carroll, Darren Kelly, Jack Doughan; Dean Curran, Liam Rushe, Martin Quilty; Conor Gough, Danny Sutcliffe; Daire Plunkett, Mark Schutte ( S McGrath 35mins), Thomas Connolly (B Quinn 57mins); Kevin O’Loughlin (R McMahon 48mins), Niall McMorrow, Eamon Dillon.
Galway: Jamie Ryan; Declan Connolly, Niall Donoghue, Ger O’Halloran; Jason Grealish, Paul Gordon (R Burke 18 mins), Rory Foy; Johnny Coen, David Burke; Barry Daly (captain), Niall Burke (N Quinn 65mins), Tadgh Haran (B Burke 41mins); James Regan, Conor Cooney (D Fox 54mins), David Glennon.
Article Source: Hoganstand.com