Ten players were on target for Galway as they beat Offaly 5-23 to 3-15 at O'Moore Park

Updated: Sunday, 17 Jun 2012 17:44 | Comments

Conor Cooney scores Galway's second goal
Conor Cooney scores Galway's second goal


Ten players were on target for Galway as they beat Offaly 5-23 to 3-15 at O'Moore Park to book a Leinster SHC final place.

Galway held a 2-00 to 1-00 lead after just six minutes, with Conor Cooney (2-00) netting a brace while Shane Dooley (2-07) responded with Offaly’s goal.

Galway dug deep to take a 4-11 to 1-10 interval lead and led by 14 points inside 10 minutes of the restart.

Offaly battled hard with Derek Molloy and Dooley grabbing goals, but Davy Glennon claimed Galway’s fifth late on.

The Offaly team was the same as that named midweek, but Galway started Niall Donohue instead of David Collins in defence.

While this game started at lightning pace, both sides struggled initially in front of the posts with Joe Canning hitting two early wides.

Brendan Murphy also missed an early effort for Offaly, but the semi-final sprung to life pretty quickly with a veritable goal-fest produced over the next three minutes.

Offaly captain David Kenny was penalised for a mistake under a high ball, with Cooney cutting inside to drill home to the back of James Dempsey's net.

Kenny was again left chasing from the resulting puck-out 40 seconds later as Cooney registered his second goal in quick succession thanks to a low bouncing shot.

2-00 to 0-00 behind, Ollie Baker's charges upped their game with Dooley delivering the perfect response in the sixth minute.

Galway goalkeeper James Skehill failed to clear his lines and Dooley seized the opportunity to slot an inch-perfect angled shot to the net after the defensive mix-up.

Cyril Donnellan and Conor Mahon traded points before Galway completed their first hat-trick of goals. Dempsey initially blocked Donnellan's goal-bound shot, but David Burke followed up to force the loose ball home in the 10th minute.

Galway led by 3-01 to 1-01 at this stage, but Offaly raised their hopes by landing five unanswered points. Dooley, Mahon, Derek Morkan and Joe Bergin were all on target to cut the deficit to the minimum in the 17th minute.

However, this was as close as the midlanders would get to Anthony Cunningham's men as Galway took control once more. Iarla Tannian and Andy Smith looked razor sharp in the midfield sector at this stage, with some good ball fed into the forward lines.

The Galway attack used their possession well with scores from Niall Burke, Donnellan and Tannian giving the Tribesmen a 3-05 to 1-06 lead after 21 minutes.

Dooley pegged a point back for Offaly a minute later, but this was a momentary lapse from Galway as they registered four points without reply.

Just one point from Galway's tally of 3-09 at this stage came from a placed ball - Canning claimed it in the 28th minute. But while Galway showed firm command in taking a 3-09 to 1-07 lead, it was Offaly's turn to shine over the next three minutes.

Baker's side took scores from play and a free from Dooley with Colin Egan also on target. However, the momentum swung back in Galway's favour before the break.

Canning claimed two points while a terrific goal from the very effective Healy, who took a pinpoint pass from Niall Burke, helped his side lead by a clear 10 points at the interval.

Hayes opened the Tribesmen's second half account in the 37th minute before four further points followed to ensure a 4-16 to 1-10 lead, with Canning converting three '65s and a further score from a placed ball.

Scores proved harder to come by over the next 10 minutes as defences got on top. Offaly netminder Dempsey deserved huge credit for pulling off super saves in the 38th, 56th and 57th minutes.

The Faithfuls stayed competitive thanks to the efforts of Dooley and Egan, with Galway holding a 4-17 to 1-12 lead entering the final quarter. Dempsey's saves from Canning and substitute Jonathan Glynn gave his side renewed heart.

Substitute Derek Molloy then cut the deficit to 12 points with a 58th minute goal. Dooley was the provider, setting up the Shamrocks clubman for a shot that gave Skehill no chance.

Points followed from Dooley and Bergin and although Canning hit back for Galway with eight minute remaining, Offaly continued to press hard.

Dooley then lashed a free to the back of the Galway net to reduce the arrears to 4-20 to 3-14. But Galway finished strongly, scoring 1-03 without reply as Davy Glennon's 70th-minute goal ensured a 15-point lead.

Brendan Murphy notched a late point but it was mere consolation for the midlanders as Galway advanced to the July 8 decider against either Kilkenny or Dublin.

Scorers - Galway: J Canning 0-11 (0-05f, 0-04 '65'), D Hayes 1-03, C Cooney 2-00, D Burke 1-01, D Glennon 1-00, I Tannian 0-02, N Burke, J Regan, T Haran 0-01 each
Offaly: S Dooley 2-07 (1-04f, 0-01 '65'), D Molloy 1-00, C Mahon, J Bergin, C Egan 0-02 each, B Murphy 0-01

Galway: J Skehill; N Donohue, K Hynes, F Moore; J Coen, T Óg Regan, J Cooney; I Tannian, A Smith; J Canning, N Burke, D Hayes; C Cooney, C Donnellan, D Burke.

Subs used: P Gordon for N Donohue (31 mins), J Glynn for N Burke (50), J Regan for C Cooney (54), T Haran for Tanniaa (60), D Glennon for Donnellan (63).

Offaly: J Dempsey; D Franks, D Kenny, D Morkan; J Rigney, R Hanniffy, D Horan; K Brady, B Carroll; C Egan, C Mahon. B Murphy; S Dooley, J Bergin, C Parlon.

Subs used: C Hernon for Egan (32-35 mins, blood sub), D Molloy for Franks (half-time), C McDonald for Kenny (41), S Ryan for Carroll (47), C Hernon for Mahon (55).

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