Cathal Mannion hit four points from midfield as Galway maintained their unbeaten start to Division 1B campaign with a convincing win over Mattie Kenny’s Dublin at Pearse Stadium.
A first-half goal from Danny Sutcliffe meant Dublin stayed in touch after a bright start from the home side, but Joe Canning added eight pointed frees and a bright return to action for Conor Whelan and Gearoid McInerney meant they easily claimed victory.
After winning the toss and electing to play with the wind in the first-half, Galway immediately started to build a lead and with Davy Glennon busy in the two-man full-forward line alongside Sean Bleahene, the chances started to flow.
Glennon was fouled twice by Cian O’Callaghan as Joe Canning hit frees in the second and fourth minutes, while an exchange of passes between Sean Loftus and Canning allowed Bleahene to hit his first in the fifth minute.
A good read in defence from Aidan Harte drew another free, which Canning dispatched from his own 65 metre line for a 0-04 to 0-00 advantage for the home side.
Dublin lined up with a similar set-up to Galway with Eamonn Dillon and Oisin O’Rorke in the inside line, but they didn’t register a point until the 12th minute when Dillon was fouled and John Hetherton converted. It proved to be Heatherton’s only shot from a placed ball as he joined Fergal Whitley on the sideline by the 26th minute as Mattie Kenny lost patience with his misfiring attack.
That Galway dominance came largely from their half-back line with Kevin Hussey, Padraic Mannion and the returning Gearoid McInerney totally dominant, while the trio and their teammates gained the upperhand on Dublin’s puck-outs, which guaranteed a plentiful supply of ball into the Galway attack.
Despite their poor start Dublin’s challenge was kicked into life in the 15th minute when Danny Sutcliffe flicked O’Rorke’s pass to the net to put a point between the sides.
But Galway were well on top and five points without reply between the 17th and 25th minutes – including back-to-back scores after turnovers from Dublin puck-outs – gave them a 0-10 to 1-01 lead.
Dublin subs David Treacy and Liam Rushe made an impact and Riain McBride added two good scores, but a Cathal Mannion score, a Canning free and a super Jason Flynn point from the sideline gave Galway a 0-13 to 1-04 half-time lead.
A third Dublin forwards was introduced at the interval and Donal Burke only waited 15 seconds for his opening point to trim Galway’s lead to five points, but Glennon hit back for the home side straight away.
The loss of O’Callaghan due to a hamstring injury meant Dublin’s bench had to be called on for a fourth time by the 38th minute and Galway stretched their lead out to eight points thanks to two Canning frees.
A 65 from David Treacy was followed by a McBride point after they built well from the back when Eoghan O’Donnell got out in from of Jason Flynn, but Galway were still in control and Cathal Mannion landed his second score with his brother Padraic delivering the final pass.
A long range Sean Moran free made it 0-17 to 1-08 with 13 minutes remaining, only for Cathal Mannion to land his third point for Galway.
Dillon pointed for Dublin, but there was always a response from the home side and Canning’s eighth free and Cathal Mannion’s fourth score from midfield saw Galway canter to victory, although the previously yellow carded Alan Nolan was fortunate to avoid red at the death following a high tackle on Tom Monaghan.
Galway: Fergal Flannery; Jack Grealish, Ronan Burke, Aidan Harte (0-01); Kevin Hussey, Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInterney; Cathal Mannion (0-04), Sean Loftus (0-01); Niall Burke (0-01), Joe Canning (0-08, 0-08f), Conor Whelan (0-01); Sean Bleahene (0-02), Jason Flynn (0-01), Davy Glennon (0-01).
Subs used: Thomas Monaghan for Glennon (55), Paul Killeen for Hussey (67), Kevin Cooney for Flynn (69), Sean Kilduff for Loftus (73), Jarlath Mannion for Bleahene (73).
Dublin: Alan Nolan; Eoghan O’Donnell, Paddy Smyth, Cian O’Callaghan; Chris Crummey, Seán Moran (0-01, 0-01f), Shane Barrett; Darragh O’Connell, Rian McBride (0-03, 0-01sl); Jake Malone, John Hetherton (0-01, 0-01f), Fergal Whitely; Danny Sutcliffe (1-00), Eamonn Dillon (0-02), Oisín O’Rorke.
Subs used: David Treacy (0-03, 0-01 65, 0-02f) for Whitely (21), Liam Rushe for Hetherton (26), Donal Burke (0-01) for O’Connell (35), Daire Gray for O’Callaghan (38), Seán Treacy for O’Rorke (48).
Referee: James Owens (Wexford).