Leinster SHC: Galway too strong for Offaly
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Galway 0-33 Offaly 1-11
Galway will play in their sixth Leinster SHC Final since 2010 following a comfortable victory over Offaly.
Micheal Donoghue’s side will face Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford in the provincial decider at Croke Park after Conor Whelan scored seven points in a stunning personal display.
Galway had a fantastic spread of scorers on the day and they recovered from the concession of an early Oisin Kelly goal to win easily.
Galway had the wind in their favour in the opening half, but they made a dreadful start when Kelly held off the tackle of John Hanbury to bury his shot low past Colm Callanan into the net.
That gave Offaly a surprise advantage in the fourth minute, but they weren’t long in front with Padraic Mannion, Cathal Mannion, Conor Whelan, and Conor Cooney impressing for Galway.
The Tribesmen were in scintillating form from play and they hit nine points before Joe Canning slotted their first free in the 23rd minute to give them a 0-10 to 1-3 advantage.
Galway defeated Offaly 2-19 to 2-9 when the sides met at this stage last year and Offaly struggled as the match went on.
Tullamore sharpshooter Shane Dooley was keeping them in it, he slotted six points in the first-half, but when Canning scored his fifth point, another brilliant long-range free Galway held a 0-16 to 1-6 lead at the break.
A couple of early Whelan points put Galway clear. Offaly still only had two scorers, with Dooley adding a point but their opponents sailed through the gears. James Dempsey pulled off a fantastic save to deny substitute Shane Maloney in the 50th minute.
But Galway were utterly dominant and when Maloney scored his third point it gave them a 0-24 to 1-07 lead in the 51st minute.
Whelan and Niall Burke extended their lead further in the latter stages and Offaly had no answer as they finished with just four different scorers on the day – Galway had nine.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-7 (6fs), Conor Whelan 0-7, Niall Burke 0-5, Shane Maloney 0-4, Aidan Harte 0-3, Padraic Mannion 0-2, Cathal Mannion 0-2, Johnny Coen 0-2, Conor Cooney 0-1
Scorers for Offaly: Shane Dooley 0-9 (6fs, 165), Oisin Kelly 1-0, Emmet Nolan 0-1, Liam Langton 0-1.
GALWAY: Colm Callanan; Adrian Tuohy, Daithi Burke, John Hansbury; Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney, Aidan Harte; Johnny Coen, David Burke; Jason Flynn, Joe Canning, Niall Burke; Conor Whelan, Cathal Mannion, Conor Cooney.
Subs: Shane Maloney for C Mannion (24), Matt Donohue for P Mannion (55), Sean Loftus for Tuohy (58) Eanna Burke for Canning (61), Padraig Brehony for David Burke (62).
OFFALY: James Dempsey; Ben Conneely, Dermot Shortt, Enda Grogan; Sean Ryan, Sean Gardiner, David King; Paddy Murphy, Shane Kinsella; Padraig Guinan, Joe Bergin, Emmett Nolan; Sean Cleary, Shane Dooley, Oisin Kelly.
Subs: Liam Langton for Cleary (42), Pat Camon for Ryan (52), Stephen Quirke for Guinan (54), Daniel Doughan for Murphy (61), James Mulrooney for Kinsella (63).
REFEREE: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).