Galway put in a clinical display to see off Dublin 2-28 to 1-17 in the Leinster SHC at O Connor Park, Tullamore.
Buoyed by their impressive 16-point victory over All Ireland champions Tipperary in the Allianz Hurling League Final, the Dubs had fancied their chances of replicating Cork’s shock Championship win over All Ireland champs Tipp, but they encountered a Tribesmen side in no mood to oblige.
“One hundred per cent, they were 10 weeks getting ready for us, focusing on one team,” said Harte.
“You could see from last week that three weeks probably wasn’t enough for Tipp to get ready for Cork although there was only four points in it.
“There was a bit of fluency in our game and heads up hurling which was good. The sending off did kill it really, but we still had to see the game out. Thankfully we did.
“Coming into today we knew we only had two or three weeks together with the club games at home, Dublin were 10 weeks getting ready for us. We were under no illusions about what today was going to bring, luckily we came out on top, but we need to keep the ball rolling.
“We were spoilt at stages in the League with the Waterford game, the two Limerick games, and the Tipp game. It was great – week on week, we love playing matches.”
Galway led 1-10 to 1-07 at the end of the first half and any chance of Dublin emulating Cork went with the early second half dismissal of Dubs defender Cian O’Callaghan for a second yellow.
Next up for Galway are Offaly on 18 June at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise. Offaly finished strongly to defeat Westmeath and advance to the Leinster semi-finals.
“Definitely, they will be flying high,” Harte says. “They showed last night that they can go 74/75 minutes, they got 1-1 between the 73 and 75th minute, I was following it online. They gave us a sticky game in Portlaoise last year on a bad day, who is to say it will be any different in three weeks time.”
The only down side for Harte and Galway was a knee injury suffered by Paul Killeen.
“It was very sad to see Paul Killeen there going off because I suppose other people wouldn’t see it, but we are aware of the effort Paul Killeen has put in since last November,” said Harte of the promising LIT student.
“Hopefully it isn’t as bad as first feared, we had John Hanbury to come on, other guys that come to mind like Tom Monaghan and Eanna Burke tried really hard when they came on. Apart from their scores their blockdowns and hooks were very important.”
Dublin manager Ger Cunningham, meanwhile, was critical of the decision to brandish O’Callaghan with a second yellow for a trip on Galway’s Conor Cooney.
“I thought the red card was extremely harsh. I actually couldn’t believe it when someone turned around and said it was a second yellow card. That was probably the turning point of the game,” he said.
“Okay, we were struggling before that. We conceded a couple of scores straight away after half-time to go five or six points behind. I’d have to see it back again, but anyone I was talking to said it was an extremely dubious second yellow card. I’m not even sure what he got the first one for.
“All in all, it’s hard enough to beat Galway with 15, but to lose a man and have only 14 men for most of the second half is very disappointing.”
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Offaly proved too strong for Westmeath in the second half as they powered to a 4-15 to 1-20 victory at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar