Second-half goals from Sean Bugler and Con O'Callaghan wrapped up victory for All-Ireland champions Dublin against a battling Galway side at Pearse Stadium.

Galway, having opted to play with the strong wind, led by 0-09 to 0-07 at the break, with Paul Conroy leading the way for the Tribesmen with six points, four of them from frees.

Dublin held possession for long periods into the breeze and worked the ball into a full-forward line which notched all but a point of their opening half total.

Paul Conroy delivered all three of Galway’s points in the opening quarter, his first from a free and then two excellent points from distance from play.

Dean Rock responded to both of Conroy’s opening points with a free and one from play before Ciaran Kilkenny tied the sides for the third time after 16 minutes following some good passing.

Galway opened up a two-point lead for the first time after 19 minutes thanks to efforts from Adrian Varley and Rob Finnerty.

And while Paddy Small pulled back the deficit with an excellent score from the right, Galway led by a goal with further points from Finnerty and Conroy.

Dublin didn’t panic. Paddy Small got another fine point and Con O’Callaghan and Rock struck to level the match.

But Galway went in leading by 0-09 to 0-07 at the interval when Conroy hit two more frees.

The introduction of captain Shane Walsh and the experienced Gary Sice at half-time helped them extend the lead to 0-12 to 0-08 after 46 minutes.

But then Paddy Small and Rock landed points before sub Sean Bugler blasted to the net after being set up by Cormac Costello and Bugler quickly added a point to lead by 1-11 to 0-12 going into the final quarter.

The impressive Paddy Small, who finished with 0-04, got his second point from a mark to extend the lead to a goal before Jason Leonard cut the gap to two with seven minutes remaining.

Galway never gave up but didn’t look like getting the goal they needed and it was the All-Ireland champions who rattled the net in the closing stages when O’Callaghan finished a rebound to the net after an initial fisted effort came back off an upright.


Galway: Bernard Power; Sean Mulkerrin, Sean Kelly, James Foley; Liam Silke (0-01), Gary O’Donnell (0-01), Johnny Heaney; Cein D’Arcy, Tom Flynn; Paul Kelly, Paul Conroy (0-08, 0-06f), Jason Leonard (0-01); Robert Finnerty (0-02, 0-01f), Adrian Varley (0-01, 0-01m), Ian Burke.

Subs used: Matthias Barrett for Flynn (31 mins), Shane Walsh (0-01) for Burke (ht), Gary Sice for Finnerty (ht), Cillian McDaid for O’Donnell (53), Gareth Bradshaw for P Kelly (59).

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Cian Murphy, David Byrne, Michael Fitzsimons; Eoin Murchan, John Small, Robert McDaid; Brian Fenton, James McCarthy; Brian Howard, Eric Lowndes, Ciarán Kilkenny (0-02); Paddy Small (0-04, 0-02m), Con O'Callaghan (1-02, 0-01m), Dean Rock (0-06, 0-04f).

Subs used: Seán Bugler (1-01) for Downes (ht), Cormac Costello for McCarthy (46), Tom Lahiff for Howard (63), Kevin McManamon for P Small (68), Philly McMahon for Murphy (70).

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).