Dublin v Galway preview & live score commentary

Updated: April 15, 2012

We have live GAA score commentary as Dublin meet Galway in the division one hurling relegation match.


What a difference a year makes. League champions of 2011, Dublin were on the up and up towards the end of last year’s Allianz NHL and a final-day showdown with Kilkenny beckoned. They had already beaten the Cats in the Walsh Cup and many predicted an outside win, which duly happened – their first league triumph since 1939.

That was followed by a narrow defeat in the Leinster championship final and an All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary. Manager Anthony Daly re-signed for another term to the delight of the new breed of Dublin hurling supporters. The future looked bright for the sky blue and navy.

Fast forward 12 months and they find themselves in a relegation dog-fight with Galway for Division 1A status. (Sunday, Tullamore. Throw in 4pm.)

2012 has not been a good year for Dublin. Their opening league game against Galway saw the Dubs hammered out the door down in Salthill. That was followed by a one point defeat to Cork and then came the game of the season, so far, against Kilkenny with 11 goals scored between the sides, alas they lost that also. Their only point of the season came at home to Tipp while Waterford put an end to any hopes of avoiding this weekend’s play-off against Galway.

Injuries have played a central part to Dublin’s meek performances and Daly welcomes back Peter Kelly and Paul Ryan while Tomas Brady, Conal Keaney and Stephen Hiney are near full-fitness. Kelly hasn’t played since the defeat to Galway and Ryan returns after pulling a hamstring against Kilkenny while Ross O’Carroll makes his first start of the league in the full-forward line.

New Galway manager Anthony Cunningham has put his faith in the younger players throughout this league campaign. Last year’s successful All-Ireland U-21 side has been incorporated into the senior side with many house-hold names missing out, a brave but welcome move at the time.

The find of the season for the Tribesmen is easily Niall Burke. The Oranmore – Maree clubman has shown matureness and skill beyond his tender years and has filled Joe Canning’s free-taking shoes with consummate ease. He marked his debut against Dublin with a 10-point haul, half of those from play and the physically imposing forward also finished as top scorer against Cork and Tipp. The NUIG student is certainly one for the future and he is still eligible for the U-21 grade.

Cunningham has made no less than six changes to the side which was unceremoniously trounced by Kilkenny last week. Out go goalkeeper Jamie Ryan, defenders Declan Connolly, Johnny Coen, midfielder Brian Flaherty, and forwards Joe Cooney and Iarlaith Tannion. Fergal Flannery, Kevin Hayes, Niall Donohue, Andy Smith, James Regan and Davy Gannon take their places respectively.

The tinkering has been a hall-mark throughout the league as Cunningham builds for the future. However, his foundation is in danger of crumbling if they end up in Division 1B for next season playing the likes of, with all respect to, Antrim and Laois. Galway can’t feasibly build a championship team to rival Kilkenny and Tipp if they are not in the top tier. Likewise Dublin, who have gone backwards since last year, need to play the best teams in the country year after year to stay in contention for Leinster and All-Ireland success.

1. Fergal Flannery
2. Kevin Hynes
3. David Collins
4. Ger O’Halloran
5. Niall Donohue
6. Fergal Moore
7. Tony Og Regan
8. David Burke
9. Andy Smyth
10. Conor Cooney
11. Niall Burke
12. Barry Daly
13. Damien Hayes
14. James Regan
15. Davy Glennon
DUBLIN (SH v Galway)
1. Gary Maguire
2. Niall Corcoran
3. Peter Kelly
4. Ruairí Trainor
5. Paul Schutte
6. Joseph Boland
7. Shane Durkin
8. Johnny McCaffrey (Captain)
9. Michael Carton
10. Conor McCormack
11. Ryan O Dwyer
12. Danny Sutcliffe
13. Ross O Carroll
14. Liam Rushe
15. Paul Ryan

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