18 years on from his Dublin debut, ageless Conal Keaney wins the war again 1 month ago

18 years on from his Dublin debut, ageless Conal Keaney wins the war again

36 years old, still going strong.

Conal Keaney defied father time with a colossal performance in Parnell Park that kept Dublin alive in this Leinster championship and sent Galway packing.

Combative, fiery but extremely cool and clever, the Ballyboden St Enda's supremo hit 0-3 from open play as he inspired his county to the win of their year some 18 years on from his debut with the county's hurlers.

When you consider that this man made his debut for the Dublin hurlers 18 years ago this year, and has retired twice since in the mean-time, what happened tonight is a fitting reward for his insatiable will and desire.

That's longevity, that's class, this man is a stalwart.

Keaney was the main man but Chris Crummey was the hero. A late, great goal from the marauding wing back and inspirational captain sealed the deal for Dublin.

With the tight pitch and the small stands rocking in Donnycarney, it would have been easy for Mattie Kenny's men to get carried away. They were business like though and that's why they'll be celebrating long into the night in the capital.

After the near misses of last year, after the loss of Pat Gilroy, after the injury to Eoghan O'Donnell early on, there were so many factors pointing against Dublin but there were so many factors driving them on too and they just wouldn't take no for an answer here.

Chris Crummey stepped up when it mattered.

The Lucan Sarsfields club man soared high to catch a number of trademark, momentum shifting balls but it was his sheer drive and will going forward that made the difference. He was fouled for a first half penalty that Sean Moran would bury prior to his decisive strike late on.

Galway couldn't cope with his fitness and desire.

But he was far from alone. The majority of Dubs played well and their wider spread of scorers was the winning of this game.

Eamonn Dillon chipped in with 1-1 while Oisin O'Rourke was lethal and both Danny Sutcliffe and Cian Boland stood tall.

As for Galway, this was a pure disaster. The team everyone expected to go through after last week's win over Kilkenny, they were out-muscled by a more physical Dublin team.

The loss of Conor Whelan through injury after 26 minutes was certainly a huge one but this looked like it was going to be Dublin's night anyway.