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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 26 June, 2019
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Kilkenny suffer first home championship defeat in 70 years after thrilling clash with Galway

A narrow Galway victory at Nowlan Park this afternoon.

Joe Canning congratulates Joe Cooney after the game Joe Canning congratulates Galway team-mate Joe Cooney after the game. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Galway 3-20
Kilkenny 2-22

David Connors reports from Nowlan Park

FEVER-PITCH, FRENETIC AND utterly fantastic — a game the Leinster senior hurling championship desperately needed.

Kilkenny tasted defeat in home championship hurling for the first time since 1949 in a rip-roaring contest played at Nowlan Park.

If Cathal Mannion dominated proceedings in the first half and placed Galway firmly in the driving seat, it was Kilkenny captain TJ Reid who almost single-handedly dragged his side back into it twice, almost salvaging a draw for the Cats.

Coming into this encounter, there had been serious question marks over Galway’s credentials after several lacklustre displays in the lead-up.

Padraig Walsh with Jonathan Glynn Kilkenny's Padraig Walsh under pressure from Johnny Glynn of Galway. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

However, a breathless and topsy-turvy opening half saw the Tribesmen lead by a five-point margin by the 13th minute following a razor-sharp finish by Conor Whelan to the Kilkenny net.

But Brian Cody’s charges, inspired by the awesome Reid, pegged Galway back to retake the lead in just four minutes of action despite playing into the elements.

Mannion produced an imperious first half, landing six points from play, and was the major influence in pushing Micheál Donoghue’s men three points to the good at the half-time break, 1-13 to 1-10.

With Galway’s attack buzzing, Whelan and Brian Concannon fired in second-half goals, with the latter’s effort cancelling out a Reid net-buster, and the Westerners’ advantage was as great as six with just 10 minutes remaining.

However, the irrepressible Reid sifted through the gears and finished with four of the last five points, the the other coming from team-mate Richie Leahy, but the immense Kilkenny fightback came up just short.

Ger Aylward is shown a red card by referee Colm Lyons Kilkenny's Ger Aylward is sent off. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Kilkenny lost Paul Murphy and Ger Aylward to two yellow cards each, and Galway defender John Hanbury received his marching orders for a high challenge in one of the countless talking points from this match-up.

Both teams are still well-poised at one and two in the Leinster standings. Galway finish off their campaign with a trip to Parnell Park to take on Mattie Kenny’s Dublin, knowing a win will put them 70 minutes away from a historic three-in-a-row of provincial crowns.

If Kilkenny beat Wexford away, spectators will be be in for a mouthwatering repeat of this brilliant contest.

Scorers for Galway: Cathal Mannion 0-8 (0-1f); Conor Whelan and Brian Concannon 1-2 each; Johnny Coen 1-1; Jason Flynn 0-3 (0-2f); Adrian Tuohy 0-2; Jonathan Glynn and David Burke 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 2-11 (0-6f, 0-1 65); Billy Ryan 0-3; Bill Sheehan and Richie Leahy 0-2 each; Alan Murphy, Colin Fennelly, Paddy Deegan and Darren Brennan (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Galway

1. Colm Callanan (Kinvara)

4. Aidan Harte (Gort)
3. Daithí Burke (Turloughmore)
2. John Hanbury (Rahoon-Newcastle)

5. Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
7. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)
6. Gearóid McInerney (Oranmore-Maree)

8. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore)
9. David Burke (St Thomas’)

12. Adrian Tuohey (Beagh)
10. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
11. Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan)

14. Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins)
15. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)
13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)

Subs

21. Johnny Coen (Loughrea) for Loftus (HT)
23. Davy Glennon (Mullagh) for Tuohey (59)
24. Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree) for Concannon (64)
25. Sean Linnane (Turloughmore) for Flynn (70+2)

Kilkenny

1. Darren Brennan (St Lachtain’s)

2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
3. Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels)
4. Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan)

5. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
6. Pádraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
7. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)

8. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
9. Richie Leahy (River Inistioge)

10. Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
11. Billy Ryan (Graigue-Ballycallan)
12. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

13. Bill Sheehan (Dicksboro)
14. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
15. Ger Aylward (Glenmore)

Subs

22. Richie Hogan (Danesfort) for Mullen (32)
17. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks) for Tommy Walsh (45)
18. Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge) for Alan Murphy (50)
23. John Donnelly (Thomastown) for Sheehan (58)

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).

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About the author:

David Connors

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