Rushe leads hurlers to victory over Galway

November 8, 2018

19 Jun 2011 |


Dublin’s ascent towards hurling’s summit continued with this confident six point victory over Galway in Saturday evening’s Leinster SHC semi-final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore.

In the build up to the game the message from the Dublin camp was simple – “We need to take a big scalp” and that’s précised what they did in resounding fashion as they outhurled the Tribesmen for the majority of this duel.

The loss of Tomás Brady (subbed in the 11th minute), when he injured his ‘good’ knee, did not knock Dublin off their stride – it was an early double whammy as while the Na Fianna man lay in agony on the turf Galway full-forward Joe Canning was angling a ferocious drive to the Dublin net in the seventh minute.

However, Dublin responded in impressive fashion by striking five unanswered points – four Paul Ryan frees and a great long-range effort from Conal Keaney.

In Brady’s absence Liam Rushe went to centre-back with Peter Kelly handed the man-marking duties on Canning – both Dubs excellent with Rushe in particular putting in a colossal shift in a towering man of the match display. Simon Lambert came off the bench and his work-rate and his ability to secure breaking ball around midfield also played a significant role in this success.

Joe Gantley broke the Dublin run of scores when he punished a poor handpass but the Dubs concluded the half very much on top with the excellent freetaking of Ryan to the fore while David O’Callaghan also tallied two points following great work from the likes of Rushe, Keaney and Johnny McCaffrey.

The Dublin defence found themselves under growing pressure as the half wore on but some star defending from Peter Kelly and Oisín Gough in the full-back line were vital in protecting Dublin’s lead while behind them Gary Maguire was alert to make two fine saves.

With 14 minutes to go Galway was thrown a lifeline when Gantley swept the sliotar to the net from close range after goalkeeper James Skehill hand landed a long-range free into the danger zone to make it 0-18 to 2-6. A minute later the game took another turn for the worse for Dublin when centre-forward Ryan O’Dwyer was red-carded.

But Galway could only manage one more point as the Dubs hurled like men possession and thoroughly earn their provincial final berth against Kilkenny in Croke Park in two weeks’ time (July 3, 4pm).

Before then the Dublin under-21 hurlers face Offaly in the Leinster U21HC semi-final this coming Thursday night in Parnell Park (7.30) while the minor hurlers face Westmeath next Saturday in Parnell Park in the Leinster MHC semi-finals (7pm).

SCORERS – Dublin: P Ryan 0-13 (0-11f), C Keaney 0-3, D O’Callaghan 0-2, A McCrabbe 0-1. Galway: J Gantley, J Canning (0-2f) 1-3 each, A Kerins 0-1
DUBLIN – G Maguire; N Corcoran, T Brady, O Gough; J McCaffrey, P Kelly, S Durkin; L Rushe, C Keaney; C McCormack, A McCrabbe, R O’Dwyer; D O’Callaghan, P Carton, P Ryan. Subs: S Lambert for Brady (inj 11), D Plunkett for Carton (59), D Treacy for McCormack (63), M O’Brien for McCrabbe (66), D O’Dwyer for Treacy (inj 69).
GALWAY – J Skehill; D Joyce, D Collins, F Moore; S Kavanagh, T Regan, A Cullinane; D Burke, B Daly; J Gantley, C Donnellan, E Ryan; D Hayes, J Canning, A Callanan. Subs: A Kerins for Ryan (ht), D Barry for Daly (inj 48), K Hynes for Burke (56), A Harte for Hayes (62), J Coen for Callanan (65).
REF – M Wadding (Waterford).