Leinster SHC Semi-Final: Galway 0-33, Offaly 1-11
Galway breezed into the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship final when scoring 33 points against Offaly at O’Moore Park this afternoon.
The Westerners will take on Wexford in the provincial decider on 2nd July – a fixture that is expected to draw a huge crowd to Croke Park.
On this evidence, Galway’s sharp-shooters will give Davy Fitzgerald plenty to ponder ahead over the next couple of weeks, with nine players contributing to their impressive tally.
Conor Whelan and Joe Canning floated over seven points each, while Niall Burke hit 0-5 and substitute Shane Maloney 0-4. The Mannion brothers, Padraic and Cathal, chipped in with two points each while Aidan Harte also raised three white flags from wing back. Conor Cooney also scored a point in what gradually became a one-sided contest.
Offaly opened the scoring with a third minute goal from Oisin Kelly and, boosted by that score, held their own for the opening quarter. With Shane Dooley floating over frees, and their sweeper system initially thwarting the Galway attackers, the sides were deadlocked at 1-3 to 0-6 after 16 minutes.
But by half time, Galway had stretched their lead to 0-16 to 1-6 and they outscored the Faithful County by ten points to one in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.
Offaly, to their credit, battled gamely but just couldn’t cope with the strength and accuracy of Micheal Donoghue’s side, whose only regret was the failure to score a goal.
James Dempsey denied Shane Maloney with a great save in the 49th minute but, other than that, Galway didn’t create many clear-cut goal chances.
Offaly missed a few easy opportunities in the first half which would have brought them closer at the break but they were fighting a rearguard action throughout the second half and must now settle for a place in the qualifier draw.
Galway Scorers: Conor Whelan, Joe Canning (5f) 0-7 each; Niall Burke 0-5; Shane Maloney 0-4; Aidan Harte 0-3; Padraic Mannion, Cathal Mannion, Johnny Coen 0-2 each; Conor Cooney 0-1.
Offaly Scorers: Shane Dooley (6f, 1 ‘65’) 0-9; Oisin Kelly 1-0; Emmett Nolan, Liam Langton 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Colm Callanan; Adrian Tuohy, Daithi Burke, John Hansbury; Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney, Aidan Harte; Johnny Coen, David Burke; Jason Flynn, Joe Canning, Niall Burke; Conor Whelan, Cathal Mannion, Conor Cooney.
Subs: Shane Maloney for C Mannion (inj), Sean Loftus for Tuohy; Matt Donoghue for P Mannion; Eanna Burke for Canning; Padraig Brehony for David Burke.
OFFALY: James Dempsey; Ben Conneely, Dermot Shortt, Enda Grogan; Sean Ryan, Sean Gardiner, David King; Paddy Murphy, Shane Kinsella; Padraic Guinan, Joe Bergin, Emmett Nolan; Sean Cleary, Shane Dooley, Oisin Kelly.
Subs: Pat Camon for Ryan; Stephen Quirke for Guinan; Peter Geraghty for Murphy; James Mulrooney for Kinsella.
Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).