GALWAY 0-26 DUBLIN 2-19
Despite two second-half goals from Paul Winters the Dubs just shy against Galway in Saturday evening's Leinster SHC concluding group game at Pearse Stadium, Salthill.
It might have been a dead-rubber encounter but both sides will have got plenty from it - Galway as they prepare for the defence of their Leinster and All-Ireland titles and the Dubs as they can reflect on both an encouraging if regretful campaign.
Jason Flynn was Galway’s hero with 11 points, including nine frees, while David Burke hit two late scores to steer the All-Ireland champions to a fourth straight win - and now they face Kilkenny in the Leinster final.
The Tribesmen led 0-16 to 0-9 at the interval but Dublin were transformed on the restart.
A converted sideline cut from Rian McBride cut and a Cian Boland score got Dublin going before half-time sub Paul Winters was alert to punish a mistake by keeper James Skehill from close range.
Dublin still trailed by three point though, but by the 48th minute they were ahead. Jake Malone’s long delivery allowed Winters to run at the Galway defence before driving a clinical shot to the net.
Dubs keeper Alan Nolan landed two long-range frees to edge Pat Gilroy's side in front.
The game swung one way and then the other in a frenetic finish with Flynn putting Galway ahead again before a David Treacy free and a long-range Rian McBride point had Dublin in front, but two late points from David Burke and Flynn’s frees rescued Galway.
SCORERS – Galway: J Flynn 0-11 (0-9f); J Cooney, C Whelan, P Mannion 0-3 each; C Cooney, David Burke 0-2 each; S Loftus, C Mannion 0-1 each. Dublin: P Winters 2-1; D Treacy (0-3f), R McBride (0-1 sl) 0-4 each; P Ryan 0-3 (0-3f); A Nolan 0-2 (0-2f); D Sutcliffe, J Malone, S Moran, J Madden, C Boland 0-1 each.
GALWAY: J Skehill; P Killeen, Daithi Burke, A Harte; P Mannion, G McInerney, J Hanbury; S Loftus, David Burke; J Cooney, N Burke, C Mannion; C Whelan, C Cooney, J Flynn. Subs: E Burke for Loftus (43), S Cooney for Killeen (50), D Glennon for C Cooney (68), P Brehony for J Cooney (73).
DUBLIN: A Nolan; P Smyth, C O’Callaghan, E O’Donnell; S Barrett, S Moran, C Crummey; R McBride, T Connolly; J Malone, F Mac Gib, C Boland; D Treacy, D Sutcliffe, P Ryan. Subs: E Dillon for Connolly (ht), P Winters for Ryan (ht), C McBride for Boland (47), J Madden for McGibb (65), J McCaffrey for McBride (73).
REF: D Kirwan (Cork).