Galway players celebrate with the cup after the Leinster GAA U20 Hurling Championship Final match between Dublin and Galway at MW Hire O'Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois.
Galway players celebrate with the cup after the Leinster GAA U20 Hurling Championship Final match between Dublin and Galway at MW Hire O'Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois.

Galway defeat Dublin in BGE Leinster U-20 Hurling Final

Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U-20 Hurling Final


By John Fallon at MW Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise

Galway captured the Leinster U-20 hurling title with an impressive display just five weeks after losing the 2020 decider to the same opposition.

It’s Galway’s second Leinster title in the U-20/21 grade and goals in either half proved the difference as Jeffrey Lynskey’s charges, with seven starters from the side which lost the provincial final last month, could afford 14 wides and still survive.

Dublin goalkeeper Ben Hynes also produced several good saves in the second-half to keep the holders in contention but Galway finished strongly to secure their first crown in the grade since 2018.

The sides went in level at the break thanks to a superb point from the right wing by Dara Purcell for Dublin when he landed his second of the match to leave it 1-7 to 0-10 at the interval.

The only goal of the half fell to Galway after eight minutes when Oisin Flannery pounced to flick the ball to the net after goalkeeper Hynes failed to hold an effort from distance from Christy Brennan.

That pushed Galway 1-2 to 0-4 in front after Dublin, backed by the slight breeze, had started well with Ciaran Foley hitting a couple of points and Purcell and Kevin Lahiff also finding the range.

Sean McDonagh and a second free from Donal O’Shea extended Galway’s lead to 1-4 to 0-4 at the end of the opening quarter.

But three frees in a row from Foley tied the sides for the second time in the match before Patrick Dunleavy edged them in front with a fine shot from the right after 24 minutes.

Flannery followed up his goal with a point to level and two more from O’Shea, one of them from play, saw Galway lead by two but Dublin finished the half well and both Lahiff and Purcell got their second points of the contest to tie the game at the break.

Donal Leavy edged Dublin in front just after the restart but then John Cooney, son of former All Star Joe, soloed through for Galway to dispatch a superb shot to the top left corner of the net.

Galway never relinquished the lead after that even though they didn’t make the game save until the closing moments, with ten second-half wides and a string of good saves from Dublin goalkeeper Hynes ensuring it went down to the wire.

But a couple of late points from Sean McDonagh, who picked up a second yellow card in the dying moments, and a seventh of the evening from O’Shea secured the title.

Scorers for Galway: Donal O’Shea 0-7 (4f), Oisin Flannery 1-2, Sean McDonagh 0-3 (1 sideline), John Cooney 1-0, Jason O’Donoghue 0-1, Niall Collins 0-1, Sean Neary 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: Ciaran Foley 0-8 (6f, 1 ’65), Dara Purcell 0-2, Kevin Lahiff 0-2, Patrick Dunleavy 0-2, Donal Leavy 0-1.

GALWAY: Paddy Rabbitte; Eoin Lawless, Eoghan Geraghty, Christy Brennan; Shane Quirke, Sean Neary, Evan Duggan; Ian McGlynn, Jason O’Donoghue; Diarmuid Kilcommins, Sean McDonagh, John Cooney; Niall Collins, Donal O’Shea, Oisin Flannery Subs used: Alex Connaire for Jason O’Donoghue (45), Greg Thomas for Diarmuid Kilcommins (46), Conor Flaherty for Evan Duggan (51), Liam Collins for Niall Collins (56), Colm Cunningham for Ian McGlynn (59)

DUBLIN: Ben Hynes; Davy Crowe, Brian Sheehy, Iain Ó Heither; Paddy Doyle, Cian Ó Cathasaigh, Patrick Dunleavy; Darragh Power, Donal Leavy; Darach McBride, Kevin Lahiff, Pádhraic Linehan; Ciaran Foley, Seamus Fenton, Dara Purcell. Subs used: Cian Boyle for Darach McBride (41), Liam Dunne for Kevin Lahiff (50), Joe Flanagan for Pádhraic Linehan (55).

Referee: Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly).