Niall Collins of Galway in action against Finn Murphy of Dublin during the Electric Ireland GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship Semi-Final at Croke Park. 
Niall Collins of Galway in action against Finn Murphy of Dublin during the Electric Ireland GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship Semi-Final at Croke Park. 

Galway through to Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling Final

Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling semi-final


By John Harrington in Croke Park

Galway cruised to a highly impressive 15-point victory over Dublin in today’s Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling semi-final in Croke Park.

Man of the Match Donal O’Shea – a son of former Tipperary manager Eamonn O’Shea – struck 12 points from placed balls and he was well-supported in the Galway attack where Niall Collins, Dean Reilly, and Adam Brett caught the eye.

Galway really cut loose in the second-half, but for most of the first there was very little between what looked like two evenly matched teams.

A downpour just before throw-in made for tricky playing conditions, especially when players had to turn quickly.

This made life particularly difficult for defenders, who you could see felt extra-vulnerable when an opposition forward won ball.

Perhaps with the danger of fatally slipping uppermost in their mind, defenders were to quick to foul rather than trust their footwork on the greasy sod.

Because of this, much of the first-half became a free-taking contest between O’Shea of Galway and Liam Dunne of Dublin, and both quickly proved they’re ace-marksmen.

In open play, Galway looked like they carried the greater scoring threat, particularly in their full-forward line where Collins looked sharp from the off.

His second point of the match after 10 minutes levelled the game at 0-4 apiece, and even by then the game had developed a tit for tat, end to end sort of flow.

The teams were still level at ten points each as the first-half entered injury-time, but then Galway struck a decisive psychological blow just before the break when Collins struck for the first goal of the match.

That seemed to embolden the Tribesmen who came out for the second-half with a real spring in their step and quickly set about dismantling the Dublin defence.

The match was ultimately settled in their favour by a seven minute scoring blitz midway through the second-half that saw them hit an unanswered 2-4 and move into a 3-18 to 0-12 lead.

The two goals were scored in quick succession by Reilly and Brett, and there was no way back for Dublin thereafter.

Galway could afford to empty their bench in the closing minutes of the match and in the end won pulling up.

On the evidence of this performance, they’ll take some stopping in the All-Ireland Final.

Scorers for Galway: Donal O’Shea 0-12 (11f 1’65), Niall Collins 1-3, Dean Reilly 1-2, Adam Brett 1-1, Diarmuid Kilcommins 0-2, Jason O’Donoghue 0-1, Oisin Flannery 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: Liam Dunne 0-10 (9f 1’65), Conor Murray 0-1, Pearce Christie 0-1, Ciaran Foley 0-1, Dara Purcell 0-1, Joe Murray 0-1, Aaron O’Toole 0-1.

GALWAY: Patrick Rabbitte; Michael Flynn, Shane Jennings, Oisin Salmon; Shane Quiurke, Sean Neary, Evan Duggan; Jason O’Donoghue, Oisin Flannery; Diarmuid Kilcommins, Sean McDonagh, Adam Brett; Niall Collins, Donal O’Shea, Dean Reilly. Subs: Oisin Flannery for Sean McDonagh (40), Keelan Creaven for Niall Collins (52), Colm Cunningham for Oisni Flannery (57), Ian McGlynn for Evan Duggan (58), Conall Keane for Dean Reilly (60)

DUBLIN: Jack Lambert; Kevin Byrne, Ciaran Hogan, Finn Murphy; Eoin Carney, Alex O’Neill, Iain Ó hEithir; Donal Leavy, Darragh Power; Conor Murray, Pearce Christie, Ciaran Foley; Liam Dunne, Luke Swan, Dara Purcell. Subs: Seamus Fenton for Dara Purcell (40), Darragh McLoughney for Pearce Christie (47), Aaron O’Toole for Conor Murray (49), Sean Foran for Ciaran Hogan (56).

Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)