Following the three Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship quarter-finals this weekend, the semi-final fixtures are now known. Wexford will host Kilkenny at Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday evening, 10th June, while Galway and Offaly will meet at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, on Sunday, 18th June.
Offaly Gain Revenge Against Westmeath
Offaly 4-15, Westmeath 1-20
A pulsating local derby at TEG Cusack Park looked set to end all-square until Shane Dooley came up trumps for the Faithful County.
A Killian Doyle goal in injury-time brought Westmeath back on level terms but, in the next attack, Dooley completed his hat-trick to send Offaly through and he increased his personal tally to 3-8 with an ‘insurance’ point.
It was a heart-breaking result for Westmeath – who defeated Offaly by 14 points at the same venue last year – considering they led by five points at the interval and looked set to at least earn a replay late on.
But whereas Offaly only registered 1-4 in the opening 35 minutes, including an early goal from a penalty by Dooley, they rose to the challenge after the resumption and struck a further 3-11.
Despite conceding the penalty goal, Westmeath had the better of the exchanges early on, with Allan Devine accurate from frees. And a purple-patch before the interval, during which they hit a series of well-taken points without reply, gave them the edge. Tommy Doyle was dominating once again at full back and their half back line cleaned up.
Substitute Paddy Murphy had a big influence on proceedings for Offaly after his introduction but Westmeath held out until the 63rd minute when Emmet Nolan burst through for a brilliant goal.
A point by Dermot Shortt and a scrambled goal by Dooley helped Offaly into a five point advantage. But Westmeath were finished and two Devine scores, followed by Killian Doyle’s strike to the bottom corner of the net, brought them level in injury-time.
But Shane Dooley had the final say with a calmly finished strike and so Offaly gained some revenge for last year’s result.
Offaly Scorers: S Dooley 3-8 (1-0 pen, 5f), E Nolan 1-1, O Kelly 0-2, P Guinan, J Bergin, L Langton and D Shortt 0-1 each.
Westmeath Scorers: A Devine 0-10 (8f, 1’65’), K Doyle 1-2, J Boyle 0-3, N O’Brien 0-2 (1 sideline), R Greville, A Clarke and D Egerton 0-1 each.
OFFALY: James Dempsey; Ben Conneely, Dermot Shortt, Enda Grogan; Sean Gardiner, Aidan Treacy, David King; Padraic Guinan, Sean Ryan; Emmett Nolan, Shane Dooley, Oisin Kelly; Sean Cleary, Shane Kinsella, Paddy Geraghty.
Subs: Joe Bergin for Geraghty (HT), Paddy Murphy for Treacy (HT), Liam Langton for Kinsella (47), Stephen Quirke for Cleary (51), Cillian Kiely for Guinan (58).
WESTMEATH: Paddy Maloney; Shane Power, Tommy Doyle, Tommy Gallagher; Aaaron Craig, Paul Greville, C Shaw; Aonghus Clarke, Gary Greville; Cormac Boyle, Killian Doyle, Joey Boyle; Robbie Greville, Niall O’Brien, Allen Devine.
Subs: Darragh Egerton for Gallagher (15), Jack Galvin for O’Brien (36 – temp), Galvin for Power (62), Brendan Murtagh for O’Brien (66)
REFEREE: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny).
Wexford Set Up Showdown With Kilkenny
Wexford 3-25, Laois 1-17
It’s going to be an exciting evening in the sunny south-east on 10th June as Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford host Brian Cody’s Kilkenny in the Leinster SHC semi-final.
Wexford proved too strong for Laois at O’Moore Park on Sunday, pulling clear in the second half to progress with 14 points to spare.
With three wins from three games in the round-robin section, Laois started confidently and hit the opening three points.
Soon, though, Harry Kehoe scored Wexford’s first goal and they held the upper-hand from then on. At half time, they led by 1-11 to 0-9, but really stamped their authority on proceedings in the second half.
After five quick points, David Redmond registered their second goal, and Jack Guiney later added a third. Paddy Purcell did pull one back for Laois, but Eamonn Kelly’s side finished with 13 men following the dismissal of Charles Dwyer and Willie Dunphy.
Wexford Scorers: Conor McDonald 0-9 (4f, 1 ‘65’), Paul Morris 0-5, Harry Kehoe 1-2, Aidan Nolan 1-1, Jack Guiney 1-0, Lee Chin 0-3 (1f), Jack O’Connor 0-2, Shaun Murphy, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, David Redmond 0-1 each.
Laois Scorers: Ross King 0-7 (5f), Paddy Purcell 1-1, Aaron Dunphy 0-2, Ciaran Collier, Cha Dwyer, Sean Downey, John Lennon, Willie Dunphy, Stephen Maher, Cian Taylor 0-1 each.
WEXFORD: Oliver O’Leary; Simon Donohoe, Liam Ryan, James Breen; Éanna Martin, Matthew O’Hanlon, Diarmuid O’Keeffe; Jack O’Connor, Aidan Nolan; Paul Morris, Lee Chin, Conor McDonald; Shaun Murphy, Harry Kehoe, David Redmond.
Subs: Jack Guiney for Redmond (half time), Barry Carton for O’Connor (37 mins), Eoin Moore for Breen (54 mins), David Dunne for Nolan (52 mins), Liam Óg McGovern for Morris (65 mins).
LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Lee Cleere, Leigh Bergin, Dwane Palmer; Ciarán Collier, Cha Dwyer, Matthew Whelan; Ross King, Patrick Purcell; Sean Downey, John Lennon, Jack Kelly; Willie Dunphy, Neil Foyle, Stephen Maher.
Subs: Cian Taylor for Kelly (half time), Aaron Dunphy for Cleere (43 mins), Mark Kavanagh for Lennon (49 mins).
REFEREE: Cathal McAllister (Cork).
Easy For Galway At O’Connor Park
Galway 2-28, Dublin 1-17
Allianz League champions Galway encountered few problems against Dublin in front of over 14,000 spectators at O’Connor Park on Sunday afternoon.
Dublin stayed in touch for the first half, but had no answer to Galway’s all-round ability and the game was over as a contest long before the end.
Galway hit the ground running with four points, but Dublin did hit back with four of their own and briefly led by 0-5 to 0-4.
But with Joe Canning on top form, Galway restored their lead and hit their first goal from Jason Flynn. Neverthless, Dublin were given a boost before the break when Ben Quinn fired to the net, ensuring they only trailed by 1-10 to 1-7 at the half way stage.
But Galway eased further ahead after the resumption, with points from Conor Whelan, Joe Canning, Conor Cooney and David Burke.
There was further disaster for Dublin when Cian O’Callaghan was sent off and although Ger Cunningham’s side did their best to narrow the gap, Galway were always comfortable.
Another goal was fired home by Conor Cooney in the 51st minute and they added further scores with ease before the final whistle. The Westerners will now be strong favourites to advance to another Leinster final when they meet Offaly on 18th June.
Galway Scorers: Joe Canning 0-9 (5f), Conor Cooney 1-3, Jason Flynn 1-2, Conor Whelan 0-5, David Burke 0-3, Joseph Cooney, Niall Burke, Thomas Monaghan, Eanna Burke, and Cathal Mannion 0-1 each.
Dublin Scorers: David Treacy 0-5 (4f), Donal Burke 0-3 (2f), Ben Quinn 1-0, Eamon Dillon, Chris Crummey, and John Hetherton (f) 0-2 each, Shane Barrett, Fergal Whitely, Rian McBride 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Colm Callanan; Adrian Tuohy, Daithi Burke, Paul Killeen; Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney, Aidan Harte; Joe Canning, Johnny Coen; Cathal Mannion, David Burke, Joseph Cooney; Conor Whelan, Conor Cooney, Jason Flynn.
Subs: John Hanbury for Paul Killeen (25), Niall Burke for Conor Cooney (55), Thomas Monaghan for Cathal Mannion (63), Sean Loftus for Johnny Coen (63 mins), Eanna Burke for David Burke (68)
DUBLIN: Conor Dooley; Cian O’Callaghan, Eoghan O’Donnell, Oisin Gough; Chris Crummey, Liam Rushe, Shane Barrett; Sean Moran, Niall McMorrow; Eoghan Conroy, Ben Quinn, David Treacy; Eamon Dillon Ryan O’Dwyer, Eamon Dillon.
Subs: Rian McBride for Eoghan Conroy (36), Fergal Whitely for David Treacy (47), Jake Malone for Niall McMorrow (58), John Hetherton for Ryan O’Dwyer (65), David O’Callaghan for Donal Burke (65)
REFEREE: Barry Kelly (Westmeath).