There was massive disappointment for the Galway senior ladies football squad when they were well beaten by a powerful and hard-running Dublin outfit by 4-08 to 1-10 in Hyde Park on Saturday.
The current TG4 All-Ireland champions Dublin had too much in attack and the Galway rearguard were really stretched in the first half when Dublin’s star players, such as Sinéad Aherne, really showed their class. The Dublin captain finished with an impressive 2-4 and the Galway defence was unable to hold firm against the Dublin onslaught with powerful runners creating too many overlaps to stop.
Mick Bohan’s Dublin are starting to resemble their male counterparts in pace and strength and conditioning, and they will take a lot of stopping in the final where they will face a rejuvenated Cork, a county that beat them in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
First half killed Galway
Galway manager Stephen Glennon and his management team will be bitterly disappointed with the squad's performance, especially in the first half when the hard running of the Dublin players left some Galway players in real trouble.
As Glennon pointed out, the first half killed his team’s chance of an All-Ireland final appearance.
“Dublin started like a train and we left it behind us in the first half," he said. "We got turned over far too often and things open up when that happens. We did not win enough battles in the first half to keep us in it.
"It is very frustrating that one bad half really undid us and we won the second half 1-07 to 1-03. However, we have some super players in Galway football and hopefully they will be really well supported over the winter months to be in top shape for 2019.
"Dublin’s physicality is better than ours at the moment, and that is something that we need to address. However, we are not that far off it and there is some super young talent in the county and they need to be developed and elevated to a higher level.”
Galway had beaten Dublin earlier in the league, but they can have no complaints on this occasion as the better side won the contest.
Galway were behind after just four minutes after a well-taken Dublin goal, and they played second fiddle for the entire first half. The Dubs domination ensured they led by 11 at half-time (3-05 to 0-3 ).
Just three from play
Team captain Tracey Leonard’s free-taking kept the score board ticking over in the second half for the Galway girls, but they struggled to hit scores from play and only managed three points over the entire game which is not good enough to win big championship games at this level.
Galway did play hard for 10 minutes near the end to try to make a contest out of the game and were rewarded with a fine individual goal by Olivia Divilly, but the game was well over as a contest at that juncture.
Dublin engaged in some systematic fouling near the end of the game to stop Galway scoring a another major, but their superiority was never really in question.
It was a disappointing end to the season for Galway. They will know there is still a lot of improvements to be made and perhaps a few new young players needed if they are going to be able to defeat an accomplished and competitive Dublin outfit next season.
Scorers for Galway: Tracey Leonard (0-7, 6f ), Sarah Conneally (0-1 ), Leanne Coen (0-1 ), Olivia Divilly (1-1, 1f ).
Galway: Lisa Murphy , Fabienne Cooney, Sarah Lynch, Sinéad Burke , Emer Flaherty, Nicola Ward, Charlotte Cooney , Catriona Cormican, Aine McDonagh, Sarah Conneally , Olivia Divilly (1-1, 1f ), Tracey Leonard (Cpt ) (0-7, 6f ), Louise Ward, Sarah Conneally (0-1 ), Róisín Leonard, Leanne Coen (0-1 ) Subs used: Lisa Gannon for C Cooney, Mairéad Seoighe for S Conneally, Emma Reaney for R Leonard, Noelle Connolly for S Lynch.