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Galway defeat Kilkenny to seal historic win

It was the Tribesmen’s third successive victory over the Cats in as many years.

Kilkenny's Harry Shine and Michael Walsh of Galway.
Kilkenny's Harry Shine and Michael Walsh of Galway.
Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Galway 1-17

Kilkenny 1-14

David Connors reports from O’Moore Park

GALWAY CARVED out their own unique piece of hurling history by becoming the first county to win four All-Ireland Minor hurling titles in a row defeating Kilkenny in the long-awaited, Covid-delayed 2020 decider.

It was the Tribesmen’s third successive victory over the Cats in as many years at minor and saw Galway claim their 14th-ever minor crown and an incredible 10th at the grade since the turn of the millennium.

Backed by a first half breeze in, Brian Hanley’s Galway exploded out of the traps in the opening quarter and were 0-7 nil to the good before the multi-talented Kilkenny attacker Billy Drennan, the 2020 All-Ireland Minor Handball Singles champion, opened the Noresiders’ account right before the first half water break. Soon-to-be hero Liam Collins (0-5, three frees) and Colm Molloy (0-2) registering the early scores for the men in maroon.

With the aid of three second quarter points from Drennan and a point apiece from Denis Walsh and Killian Doyle, the Leinster champions roared back into the contest and pared the gap back to four by the half-time interval, 0-10 to 0-6, after a highly entertaining opening 30-plus minutes.

The third quarter ended similarly to how the first half finished with Kilkenny looking the more impressive side. Though both teams went almost 10 minutes without a score midway through the half, Kilkenny outscored their western opponents, 0-5 to 0-2, to leave just two white flags between them at the second intake of fluids. Two long-range efforts from wing-back Joe Fitzpatrick the highlight scores from this period of Cats ascendancy.

Kilkenny appeared well on course for the win at this point as three times late on, following points from Cathal Beirne, Ted Dunne and Denis Walsh, which edged them into lead by the minimum but after Gavin Lee equalised in the second minute of stoppage time, Liam Collins was on hand to put the finishing touches from close-range in the 64th minute for the game-deciding goal and cement Galway’s historic achievement.

Elsewhere, Derry progressed to the All-Ireland minor football final after a 1-14 to 1-7 victory over Meath.

Matthew Downey, who is the son of the county’s 1993 All Ireland winning captain Henry, hit six second-half points while Dan Higgins bagged a goal after 46 minutes to help their side to victory.

Eoghan Frayne slotted the goal for Meath after his initial penalty effort in the second half was saved. But Derry proved to be too powerful as they charged to a seven-point win.

They will go on to contest the 2020 All-Ireland decider and will face the winners of Kerry and Roscommon, who will face off in the other semi-final tomorrow.

Scorers for Galway: Liam Collins 1-7 (4 frees, 1 65), Colm Molloy 0-3, Gavin Lee (0-2), Ruben Davitt, Liam Leen, Kieran Hanrahan, Diarmuid Davoren, Greg Thomas 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Billy Drennan (1-6, 1-0 pen, 5 frees), Joe Fitzpatrick and Denis Walsh 0-2 each, Killian Doyle, Harry Shine, Cathal Berine, Ted Dunne 0-1 each.

Galway

1. Darragh Walsh (Turloughmore)

2. Shane Morgan (Loughrea), 3. Adam Nolan (Kilnadeema-Leitrim), 4. Michael Walsh (Ardrahan).

5. Seán O’Hanlon (Turloughmore), 6. Tiernan Killeen (Loughrea), 7. Patrick Burke (Oranmore-Maree).

8. Liam Leen (Clarinbridge), 9. Kieran Hanrahan (Loughrea).

10. Gavin Lee (Clarinbridge), 11. Greg Thomas (Ballygar), 12. Ronan Killilea (Carnmore).

13. Liam Collins (Cappataggle), 14. Ruben Davitt (Oranmore-Maree) 15. Colm Molloy (Kilnadeema-Leitrim).

Subs

19. Diarmuid Davoren (Moycullen) for Killilea (41)

24. Darren Shaughnessy (Loughrea) for Davitt (55)

20. Tiernan Leen (Craughwell) for Walsh (58)

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17. Conor Slattery (Tommy Larkins) for Collins (60+5)

Kilkenny

1. Brian Minogue (Dicksboro)

4. Zach Bay Hammond (Thomastown), 3. Niall Rowe (Dicksboro), 2. Mark Donnelly (St Lachtain’s).

5. Joe Fitzpatrick (Dunnamaggin), 6. Gearóid Dunne (Tullaroan), Cathal Berine (Glenmore).

8. Killian Doyle (Emeralds), 7. Billy Reid (Glenmore).

10. Billy Drennan (Galmoy), 11. Timmy Clifford (Dicksboro),14. Ted Dunne (Graiguenamanagh).

12. Denis Walsh (Dunnamaggin), 13. Harry Shine (Dicksboro), 15. Eoin O’Brien (Rower-Inistioge).

Subs

19. Killian Carey (Young Irelands) for O’Brien (51).

Referee: Seán Stack (Dublin).

About the author:

David Connors

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