Galway couldn’t have wished for a better start in this Leinster Semi-final Clash against Offaly in O’Moore Park Portlaoise.
Galway corner forward Connor Cooney had the tribe’s men 2 goals to the good after five minutes and it looked like it was going to be a bad day at the office for Ollie Baker’s side.
Offaly registered their first score of the game a minute later with Shane Dooley capitalising on a mistake from Galway goalkeeper James Skehill and finding the back of the net. Galway hit back almost immediately with a point from Cyril Donnellan and a minute later Galway wing forward David Burke bundled the ball into the Offaly net for the third time to leave the score 3-1 to 1-2 and we hadn’t reached the 10th minute.
Offaly then found another gear and started to respond to Galway’s dominance finding scores through Shane Dooley, Connor Mahan and Derek Burka. Iarla Tannian and Joe Canning who is playing his first game since getting injured with L.I.T in the Fitzgibbon Cup got on the score sheet for Galway.
Galway then showed a moment of magic when Iarla Tannian picked up the ball at centre field and found David Bourke with a superb pass, Burke then tore through the Offaly defence and gave a sublime pass to Damien Hayes who gave James Dempsey no chance in the Offaly goal. Joe Canning added a further point to leave the score 4-11 to 1-10 at half time.
Galway started the second where they left the first half when Damien Hayes and Joe Canning adding points but Canning could have had a goal after a scrappy goal mouth scramble where Offaly looked very shaky.
Offaly introduced Chris McDonald into the side replacing Offaly captain and full back David Kenny but it was to no avail as Galway continued to dominate with canning again adding 2 more points from dead ball situations.
Shane Dooley then added a point for Offaly to register their first score for 17 minutes to take his personal tally to 1-7. Dooley had another chance of goal from a 21 yard free but it was easily saved by the Galway defence.
Both sides exchanged points until Galway had 2 clear goal chances. Cyril Donnellan found himself in space inside the Offaly 21 but his shot was saved well by the Offaly full back Chris McDonald. Moments later Galway Substitute Jonathan Glynn tore through the Offaly Defence and only for a spectacular save from James Dempsey in the Offaly goal Galway would have had their 5th goal.
Offaly then had their turn to hit the net when Offaly substitute Derek Molloy scored an unbelievable goal from almost 30 yards out managing to lob James Skehill in the Galway goal. That seemed to life the Offaly spirits and Shane Dooley and Joe Bergin hit 2 points to reduce the gap to 10 points with 10 minutes to go.
The Offaly defence then let themselves down again by letting Galway in for 2 easy points and allowing Joe canning to hit his 7th placed ball of the second half.
Once again Shane Dooley shows why he is a force to be reckoned with by burying a 21 yard fee to give Offaly their 3rd goal to reduce the gap to 10 points again. It was short lived as Davey Glennon added a 5th goal for Galway in the last minute of play to leave the score 5-23 to 3-15 at full time.
Galway were dominant in this game from the start of the game, but one has to look that they still managed to concede 3-15 which one would think would win any championship match. Galway no progress to the Leinster final but still showed that they can be caught wanting when they lose concentration. Their defence will have to tighten up and Galway Goalkeeper James Skehill needs more match practice as he looked rusty at times.
Offaly showed a never say die attitude which stood to them when going forward but their defence needs to tighten up if they wish to progress from the qualifiers. They were not expecting they onslaught from Galway at the start and conceding 2 goals in the first 5 minutes set the tone for the day and it didn’t allow them to get into the game at all.
Galway: James Skehill, Niall Donohue, Kevin Hynes, Fergal Moore, Joseph Cooney, Tony Óg Regan, Johnny Coen, Iarla Tannian, Andy Smith, David Burke, Niall Burke, Cyril Donnellan, Damien Hayes, Joe Canning, Conor Cooney.
Offaly : James Dempsey, Derek Morka, David Kenny, David Franks, Diarmuid Horan, Rory Hanniffy, James Rigney, Conor Mahon, Kevin Brady, Joe Bergin, Colin Egan, Brendan Murphy, Shane Dooley, Cathal Parlon, Brian Carroll.
Live commentary of match below
3:30pm Its Galway into the Leinster final against Dublin/Kilkenny on the 8th of July
3;29pm James Skehill gets a point for Offaly.
3:27pm Davy Glennon gets the fifth GOAL of the day for Galway.
3:26pm Nice point from play by Joe Canning for Galway.
3:23pm David Burke hits a point from half way for Galway.
3:22pm James Regan hits his first point since coming on, Andy Smith hits Galway’s eight wide.
3:21pm Shane Dooley hits a GOAL from a free.
3:20pm Joe Canning gets hits seventh point in the second half from placed balls.
3:19pm Tadgh Haran gets a score for Galway, nice point from the sub.
3:18pm Joe Bergin hits a point for Offaly.
3:17pm Joe Canning hits another wide.
3:15pm Derek Molloy hits a stunning GOAL for Offaly.
3:14pm Jonathan Glynn should of scored a goal for Galway, Joe Canning hits over the 65′
3:13pm Great save in the Offaly goal by James Dempsey.
3:12pm Joe Canning hits over another free, James Regan comes on the Galway team.
3:10pm Nice point from Colin Egan for Offaly.
3:08pm So far its been a very poor second half.
3:05pm Complete opposite to the first half, its all placed balls been scored.
3:04pm Shane Dooley hits over a 65′. Thats 1-06 on the day.
3:02pm Another free for Joe Canning from half way.
3:01pm Its another 65′ for Galway, that could be three in row. No mistakes from Joe Canning.
2:57pm Joe Canning hits over two 65′s in a minute.
2:56pm David Kenny is down injured so there may be a slight delay.
2:55pm Joe Canning nearly got a goal, its out for a 65′
2:55pm Damien Hayes gets the first point of the second half.
2:53pm The second half is underway in Portlaoise
2:37pm Stunning first half of hurling by Galway. They score 4-09 from play.
2:36pm Shane Dooley hits an easy 65′ for Offaly wide, they go in ten points down at half time.
2:35pm Stunning point from half way by Joe Canning.
2:34pm Two minutes injury time to be played, Damien Hayes gets Galway’s fourth GOAL.
2:32pm Joe Canning hits over his second free of the day.
2:31pm Colin Egan gets Offaly back to within five points.
2:30pm Paul Gordan comes on for Niall Donaghue after only thirty minutes.
2:29pm Shane Dooley hits his first point of the game.
2:29pm Cathal Parland hits a wide for Offaly.
2:29pm Shane Dooley hits over another free for Offaly.
2:28pm Damian Hayes gets his second point in a few minutes for Galway.
2:27pm Joe Canning hits his first point of the day, its Galway’s first score form a placed ball.
2:27pm Damien Hayes gets his first score of the day for the Tribesmen.
2:26pm Brian Carroll hits a wide for Offaly.
2:24pm Really good score from half way by Iarla Tannion.
2:22pm Dooley makes up for his mistake this time, point for Offaly.
2:21pm Shane Dooley hits a wide. he should of done better.
2:19pm Another good score from Cyril Donnellan, thats his third of the day.
2:18pm Iarla Tannion gets a score for Galway.
2:17pm Poor wide from Galway’s Andy Smith.
2:17pm Great score by Cyril Donnellan from half way for Galway.
2:16pm This time its a wide for Offaly.
2:16pm Niall Burke hits over a point for Galway, they needed that.
2:16pm Offaly playing some great hurling, Shane Dooley hits over another score.
2:15pm Derck Morka hits Offaly back to within two.
2:15pm Joe Canning hits his third wide of the match, this time from play.
2:14pm Conor Mahon hits a nice score from play for Offaly.
2:12pm Shane Dooley hits over a 65′. Nice point from the Tullamore man.
2:10pm Shane Dooley scores his first point of the afternoon.
2:09pm David Burke gets a third GOAL for Galway. What a start to the match.
2:08pm Cyril Donnellan gets a point for Galway and Conor Mahon gets one for Offaly.
2:06pm Its three goals in two minutes, terrible play by the Galway keeper and Shane Dooley gets a GOAL for Offaly.
2:05pm Amazingly Conor Cooney gets another GOAL for Galway. That is two in one minute.
2:05pm Conor Cooney gets a GOAL for Galway.
2:04pm This time its Offaly’s turn to hit a wide.
2:03pm Another free goes wide from Joe Canning, once again it was a very hard score against the breeze.
2:02pm Joe Bergin is gone into the full forward line. They must be looking for goals.
2:00pm First free of the day goes wide, to be fair it was over 100 metres out.