GAA | Drama in Leinster as Dublin eliminate Galway

David Smith
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Wow.

What drama in Leinster.

Galway are out of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship on scoring difference.

The Tribesmen entered yesterday’s final round of Leinster fixtures in pole position to top the round-robin group, but have now finished fourth following their defeat to Dublin and the draw between Wexford and Kilkenny.

Dublin started the day in fourth place, but will now qualify in third, with Wexford and Kilkenny set to lock horns once more in the provincial final.

All four counties finish on five points, with Kilkenny topping the table on score difference, while Carlow finished bottom of the pile without a point.

A late glut of scores saw Mattie Kenny’s men come from behind to beat Galway by 3-19 to 0-24 in thrilling fashion at Parnell Park.

The Dubs scored 1-5 in the last four minutes to overturn a two point deficit, with captain Chris Crummey netting the crucial goal in the 68th minute.

Eamon Dillon and Sean Moran scored Dublin’s other goals in a game which saw the sides level a staggering 17 times.

Galway lost influential forward Conor Whelan to injury in the first half, with Dublin forced to withdraw the injured Eoghan O’Donnell after just 15 minutes.

Cathal Mannion plundered six points in an end-to-end first half, and the counties were level on eight points apiece when Dublin grabbed their first goal in the 29th minute.

Dillon raced through and finished calmly to give the hosts a three-point lead.

The 2017 All-Ireland champions responded instantly, rattling off four points to lead by 0-12 to 1-08 at the interval.

Moran found the net from the penalty spot early in the second half to score Dublin’s second goal.

Micheál Donoghue turned to substitute Joe Canning – returning from a lengthy injury absence – in the 47th minute, and the talismanic forward produced two points after his introduction.

Galway led by that margin until Dublin’s late rally which saw them score 1-2 in the dying minutes, dumping Galway out of the Championship in the process.

Dublin will now face one of the Joe McDonagh finalists for a place in the last six of the All-Ireland, but it’s back to the drawing board for Galway.

The other crucial match in Leinster proved to be equally entertaining.

Lee Chin’s late free saved Wexford from elimination, earning Davy Fitzgerald’s men a 0-21 to 1-18 draw against Kilkenny.

Chin’s stunning effort in stoppage time cancelled out TJ Reid’s late free for the Cats, sending both teams to the Leinster final.

After 22 minutes, the sides were tied on seven points apiece, with Brian Cody’s men drawing level with the hosts for the fifth time.

Wexford led by 0-13 to 0-11 at half-time, with Diarmuid O’Keeffe shining in the forward line.

Adrian Mullen scored the only goal of the game in the 44th minute.

Colin Fennelly pounced on a poor puck-out and found Mullen, who found the back of the Wexford net to swing the game in Kilkenny’s favour.

The teams were level another seven times before the end, but the Cats looked destined to dump Wexford out as the clock ran down.

Matthew O’Hanlon was sent off for the home side late on after picking up a second yellow, allowing Reid to split the posts with the resulting free to nudge Kilkenny a point clear in stoppage time.

However, Chin’s last-gasp free means they will have to do battle once again in the Leinster final.

His ice-cool score saved Wexford and condemned Galway in the same heartbeat.

Will we see similar drama in Munster?