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Jack Canning hits 1-4 as Galway snatch late score to book All-Ireland minor hurling final place

Enda Fahy’s winner in the third minute of stoppage-time helped the Tribesmen past Kilkenny in Croke Park.

Galway 1-12

Kilkenny 2-8

Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park

GALWAY MINOR HURLERS are back in their second All-Ireland final in three years after a narrow one-point win over Kilkenny in Croke Park.

Jack Canning with Michael Carey Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

The Tribesmen were four points behind in the early stages of the second-half, but a Jack Canning penalty in the 39th minute brought them back into the contest.

That set-up a nervy final quarter, with the sides deadlocked until substitute Enda Fahy hit the winning point in the third minute of stoppage time.

Adrian Mullen, who scored 3-38 in Kilkenny’s successful provincial campaign, was well-marshalled by Tribe skipper Darragh Morrissey. Cats talisman Mullen had only a couple of half-chances at goal and Morrissey duly picked up the man-of-the-match award for his efforts.

Portumna talent Canning – the powerful nephew of Joe and Ollie – top-scored for the victors with 1-4, while Sean Bleahane proved an able accomplice and finished with three from play.

Kilkenny scored just 1-2 in the second-half and had Galway been more accurate in front of goal – they hit five wides – they’d have been more comfortable winners.

Jordon Molloy with Jack Canning Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

The Cats did create some goal chances in the second period and Caimin Killeen made a crucial stop on the line from Mullen to deny him a goal.

Jim Ryan handed Kilkenny the perfect start with a well-taken goal inside the opening three minutes. Galway responded well through three big scores by Canning but Kilkenny maintained their cushion throughout the half.

Eoin O’Shea, Eoin Cody and a brace of frees from Mullen left them 1-6 to 0-6 on front at the interval.

After a bright Galway start to the second period, Cody dispatched a goal for the Cats to leave them four in front once again. Galway’s response was clinical. Substitute Donal Mannion made a probing run and was hauled down by Michael Carey in front of goal.

Conor Caulfield with Sean Ryan Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Canning dispatched the penalty into the bottom corner and moments later Bleahane brought Galway on level terms for the first time since the start of the game.

The final quarter was cagey and riddled with mistakes but a brace of Mullen scores were cancelled out by Bleahane and sub Donal Mannion.

Kilkenny centre-forward Conor Heary was dismissed late on for a second yellow after a huge hit on Morrissey.

That left it to Fahy to fire over the game winner from a tight angle in the 63rd minute and end Kilkenny’s All-Ireland hopes.

Scorers for Galway: Jack Canning 1-4 (1-0 pen), Sean Bleahane 0-3, Conor Walsh 0-2 (0-2f), Conor Molloy, Donal Mannion and Enda Fahy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Eoin Cody 1-1, Adrian Mullen 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 65), Jim Ryan 1-0, James Brennan, Niall Brassil and Eoin O’Shea 0-1 each.

Kilkenny

1. Dean Mason  (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

2. Tommy Ronan (Graigue-Ballycallan)
3. Michael Carey (Young Irelands)
4. Darragh Walsh (Piltown)

5. James Brennan (Erins Own)
6. Conor Flynn (Graigue-Ballycallan)
7. Jordan Molloy (O’Loughlin Gaels)

8. John Dowd (Erins Own)
9. Niall Brassil (James Stephens)

10. Eoin O’Shea (O’Loughlin Gaels)
11. Conor Heary (O’Loughlin Gaels)
12. Jim Ryan (Rower-Inistiogue)

15. Sean Ryan (Graigue-Ballycallan)
14. Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks – captain)
13. Eoin Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

Subs

23. Niall Brennan (Lisdowney) for Brassil (blood sub, 6 – 10)
21. Daithi Barron (Thomastown) for Sean Ryan (48)
24. Jack Kelly (Barrow Rangers) for O’Shea (51)
23. Niall Brennan (Lisdowney) for Jim Ryan (56)

Galway

1. Darrach Fahy (Ardrahan)

2. Caimin Killeen (Loughrea)
3. Daniel Loftus (Turloughmore)
4. Darren Morrissey (Sarsfields – captain)

5. Ronan Glennon (Mullagh)
6. Conor Caulfield (Kilconieron)
7. Mark Gill (Castlegar)

8. Conor Fahy (Padraig Pearses)
9. John Fleming (Meelick Eyrecourt)

12. Ben Moran (Tynagh Abbey Duniry)
11. Conor Walsh (Turloughmore)
10. Martin McManus (Loughrea)

13. Sean Bleahen (Ahascragh Fohenagh)
14. Conor Molloy (Kilnadeema/Leitrim)
15. Jack Canning (Portumna)

Subs

19. Shane Ryan (Clarinbridge) for Fleming (34)
20. Donal Mannion (Cappataggle) for Molloy (34)
21. Conor Elwood (Liam Mellows) for Moran (46)
22. Enda Fahy (Michael Cusacks) for McManus (52)

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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