Dublin regain their Division 1 crown

A loyal Dublin GAA supporter’s vehicle. Credit: Flickr

Dublin claimed their 13th Allianz Football League title after defeating Galway by four points at Croke Park. Despite playing the last third of the game with only 14 men, it still proved to be a comfortable success at the death.

Last year’s Division 2 champions, Galway, came to Croke Park with their supporters full of hope but in truth, they never looked capable of rattling a strong Dublin outfit. Experience appeared to be the key here with Dublin showing a lot of composure when Niall Scully was sent off after receiving two yellow cards.

The boys in blue started quickly with Paul Mannion charging through the Galway defence after only 15 seconds before Galway goalkeeper, Ruairi Lavelle, making an excellent save to deny the Kilmacud Crokes forward a certain goal. Both sides traded points early on with Ciaran Kilkenny putting the Dubs one point up after the opening quarter.

The teams headed in level at the break courtesy of a fine score by Galway’s Paul Conroy. Dublin started to let the hand break off early in the second half with scores from Mannion, Dean Rock and Colm Basquel putting the All-Ireland Champions three points up after 45 minutes. Shane Walsh replied with a point for the men from the west before Scully received his second yellow, giving the Galway real hope of a famous win over Dublin.

However, it simply wasn’t to be as, despite getting level with Dublin, they could never edge ahead. Rock and Kilkenny fired Dublin into a two-point lead with nine minutes left before Paul Conroy landed an outstanding score for Galway. That was to be it, though, for Galway as Philly McMahon, Eric Lowndes and a Dean Rock free completed Dublin’s four-point triumph.

It was a deserving win for the boys in blue but Galway manager, Kevin Walsh, can take plenty of positives from the tribesmen performance heading in to the summer months.

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