All-Ireland Champions travel to Pearse Stadium for Galway GAA Double-header

Galway’s Jason Flynn and Dublin’s Paddy Flynn in action from the Allianz National Hurling League game at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy

Galway’s Jason Flynn and Dublin’s Paddy Flynn in action from the Allianz National Hurling League game at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy

Galway hurling fans got an unexpected boost before a ball had even been thrown in last weekend. It was announced that their final National League group game against Limerick will now take place this coming Saturday afternoon in Pearse Stadium (throw-in is at 1.15pm ). The footballers will also play in the Salthill grounds on the same day (throw-in is at 3.15pm ).

Remedial work is ongoing on the playing surface in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, which meant that their fixture against Tipperary last weekend was switched to Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. That proved no deterrent to John Kiely’s side, though, who ran out 0-26 to 3-19 winners on the back of a strong second half showing.

Galway, meanwhile, had eight points to spare over Dublin last Sunday afternoon. They won on a scoreline of 1-23 to 1-15 as Henry Shefflin’s side cemented their place in Division 1A next year and turned this weekend’s high-profile fixture into a quarter-final in all but name.

The victory came at a significant cost, however, as Galway finished the contest with only twelve men on the field. Straight reds in the second half for both Daithí Burke and Conor Whelan followed an earlier second yellow for Jack Grealish. Dublin also felt the ire of referee Johnny Murphy’s whistle, with Ronan Hayes dismissed also.

Despite being numerically disadvantaged, Galway strung together nine consecutive points with Conor Cooney to the fore, giving Galway some breathing room after Dublin had started the second half strongly.

Fintan Burke had been black carded before half time in a stop-start contest. Whelan blasted to the next early on after a fine assist from Conor Cooney. Donal Burke then converted a penalty for Dublin after Burke’s misdemeanour which left them trailing by two at the break.

Joseph Cooney was a late addition to the starting fifteen, replacing Evan Niland, and he grew into the contest and finished with three points to his name. The return to action of both Brian Concannon and Cathal Mannion after injury was also a welcome bonus for Shefflin, who could have done without both Whelan and Daithí Burke being absent this weekend.

Limerick are still at risk of missing out on a semi-final berth which should bring some added spice to Saturday’s contest. Wins for both Galway and Tipperary would mean that scoring difference comes into play, with Galway in pole position to top the group in that scenario.

GALWAY: D Fahy; J Grealish, F Burke, P Mannion; A Tuohey, C Fahy (0-1 ), Daithí Burke; David Burke (0-1 ), S Linnane; G Lee (0-2 ), T Monaghan (0-4 ), J Cooney (0-3 ); Conor Cooney (0-11, 10fs ), C Whelan (1-0 ), J Flynn. Subs: B Concannon for Flynn (43 ), C Mannion (0-1 ) for Lee (55 ), R Glennon for David Burke (60 ), E Niland for J Cooney (64 ), D O’Shea for Linnane (67 ).

DUBLIN: E Gibbons; J Madden, P Smyth, D Gray; C Burke, C Crummey, C Donohoe (0-1 ); B Hayes, D Power; S Currie, R Hayes (0-1 ), D Burke (1-9, 1-0 pen, 6fs, 2 '65s ); D Sutcliffe, C O’Sullivan (0-3 ), D Ó Dúlaing (0-1 ). Subs: M Grogan for Gray (23 ), F Whitely for Sutcliffe (49 ), D Purcell for Ó Dúlaing (56 ), P Crummey for Currie (62 ), S Gallagher for Power (67 ).

REFEREE: J Murphy (Limerick ).

 

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