John Fallon reports from Tuam Stadium
GOALS FROM CON O’Callaghan and Aaron Byrne proved decisive as Dublin set up an Allianz League semi-final meeting with Donegal after holding off a spirited Galway challenge at Tuam Stadium.
Galway will now face Monaghan in a relegation play-off and will take a lot of confidence from this performance.
Yet the issue never really looked in doubt as Dublin were able to manufacture scores when it matter most.
Galway won the toss and opted to play against the strong breeze in the opening half and were in a strong position at the break when they went in level at 0-8 apiece.
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The sides were level six times in the opening half with Galway captain Shane Walsh leading the way with five points, two which came from 45’s and two from frees.
Galway were forced to line out without Damien Comer who picked up a hand injury but they made a good start with points from Peter Cooke and Paul Conroy, while Dublin goalkeeper Michael Shiel and Davy Byrne blocked goal efforts from Matthew Tierney and Sean Kelly.
Dublin settled and worked the ball well into attack and got back on level terms through Brian Fenton and Colm Basquel.
The sides then exchanged points three times before Ciaran Kilkenny and Con O’Callaghan edged Dublin 0-7 to 0-5 in front after half an hour.
Walsh hit back with a couple of points for Galway and when Cormac Costello edged Dublin back in front with his second point, Walsh tied them at the break with another pointed free.
O’Callaghan gave Dublin a great start to the second half when he finished to the net after Bernard Power had saved from Niall Scully and that gave them a cushion for the third quarter.
Walsh continued to keep Galway in touch with an array of points but they still trailed by 1-14 to 0-12 heading into the final quarter.
But then a delivery from Paul Conroy was flicked to the net by Matthew Tierney to cut the gap to two points after 57 minutes.
However, Galway never managed to get any close as Costello took his haul to six points, Dublin wrapped up the win when Byrne finished superbly after being put through by O’Callaghan in the dying moments of a good game.
Scorers for Dublin: Con O’Callaghan 1-3, Cormac Costello 0-6 (0-1f), Aaron Byrne 1-0, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-3, Colm Basquel 0-2, Brian Fenton 0-2 (0-1m).
Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 0-10 (0-5f, 0-3 ‘45s), Matthew Tierney 1-0, Peter Cooke 0-2, Dylan McHugh 0-1, Rob Finnerty 0-1, Paul Conroy 0-1.
16 Michael Shiel
2 Mick Fitzsimons
6 Jonny Cooper
3 Davy Byrne
5 Eoin Murchan
4 Sean McMahon
22 Eric Lowndes
8 Brian Fenton
26 Peadar O Cofaigh Byrne
12 Niall Scully
14 Ciaran Kilkenny
21 Brian Howard
17 Colm Basquel
11 Con O’Callaghan
15 Cormac Costello
19 Sean Bugler for O Cofaigh Byrne (51)
7 Robert McDaid for McMahon (51)
24 Dara Mullin for Scully (65)
20 Aaron Byrne for Basquel (65)
10 Tom Lahiff for Cooper (72)
of the team
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1 Bernard Power
4 Jack Glynn
3 Sean Mulkerrin
2 Sean Kelly
20 Kieran Molloy
6 Dylan McHugh
5 Liam Silke
26 Finnian O Laoi
9 Paul Conroy
10 Paul Kelly
8 Peter Cooke
7 Johnny Heaney
13 Matthew Tierney
14 Shane Walsh
15 Rob Finnerty
12 Eamonn Brannigan for P Kelly (45)
19 Ciaran Potter for Glynn (48)
21 Maitias O Bairead for O Laoi (53)
25 Tomo Culhane for Finnerty (59)
11 Tom Flynn for Cooke (63)
17 Johnny Duane for Molloy (63)
Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)
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