Dublin qualified for the semi-finals of the Allianz League with a hard-earned 2-16 to 1-15 win over Galway in an entertaining contest at Tuam Stadium.

Goals from Con O'Callaghan and Aaron Byrne proved decisive for the All-Ireland champions, with Galway now facing a relegation play-off.

The sides were level six times in the opening with Shane Walsh’s fifth point of the half drawing them level at 0-08 apiece just before the interval.

Galway won the toss and opted to play against the strong breeze in the opening half and were in a strong position at the break when they went in level.

The sides were level six times in the opening half with Galway captain Walsh leading the way with five points, two which came from 45s and two from frees.

Galway were forced to line out without Damien Comer who picked up a hand injury but they made a good start with points from Peter Cooke and Paul Conroy, while Dublin goalkeeper Michael Shiel and Davy Byrne blocked goal efforts from Matthew Tierney and Sean Kelly.

The All-Ireland champions settled and worked the ball well into attack and got back on level terms through Brian Fenton and Colm Basquel.

The sides then exchanged points three times before Ciaran Kilkenny and Con O'Callaghan edged Dublin 0-07 to 0-05 in front after half an hour.

Walsh hit back with a couple of points for the hosts and when Cormac Costello edged Dublin back in front with his second point, Walsh tied them at the break with another pointed free.

O’Callaghan gave the Leinster men a great start to the second half when he finished to the net after Bernard Power had saved from Niall Scully and that gave them a cushion for the third quarter.

Walsh continued to keep Galway in touch with an array of points but they still trailed by 1-14 to 0-12 heading into the final quarter.


FULL RESULTS AND STANDINGS


But then a delivery from Paul Conroy was flicked to the net by Matthew Tierney to cut the gap to two points after 57 minutes.

However, the Tribesmen never managed to get any closer as Costello took his haul to six points.

Dublin wrapped up the win when Byrne finished superbly after being put through by O’Callaghan in the dying moments of a good game to set up a semi-final meeting with Donegal, while Galway will face Monaghan in a relegation play-off.

Galway: Bernard Power; Jack Glynn, Sean Mulkerrin, Sean Kelly; Kieran Molloy, Dylan McHugh (0-01), Liam Silke; Finnian O Laoi, Paul Conroy (0-01); Paul Kelly, Peter Cooke (0-02), Johnny Heaney; Matthew Tierney (1-00), Shane Walsh (0-10, 0-05f, 0-03 45), Rob Finnerty (0-01).

Subs: Eamonn Brannigan for P Kelly (45), Ciaran Potter for Glynn (48), Maitias O Bairead for O Laoi (53), Tomo Culhane for Finnerty (59), Tom Flynn for Cooke (63), Johnny Duane for Molloy (63).

Dublin: Michael Shiel; Mick Fitzsimons, Jonny Cooper, Davy Byrne; Eoin Murchan, Sean McMahon, Eric Lowndes; Brian Fenton (0-02, 0-01), Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne; Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny (0-03), Brian Howard; Colm Basquel (0-02), Con O'Callaghan (1-03), Cormac Costello (0-06, 0-01f).

Subs: Sean Bugler for O Cofaigh Byrne (51, Robert McDaid for McMahon (51), Dara Mullin for Scully (64), Aaron Byrne (1-00) for Basquel (65), Tom Lahiff for Cooper (72).

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)