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The Late Joe Show from Galway and 7 other great hurling comebacks

Where does Galway’s stunning revival yesterday rank in the list of great hurling comebacks?

Joe Canning celebrates scoring the equalising point Joe Canning was Galway's saviour at the finish yesterday. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

JOE CANNING’S WONDROUS point from the sideline capped an incredible comeback from Galway yesterday in Tullamore.

The Tribesmen looked down and out when they trailed Kilkenny by nine points with five minutes remaining before they amazingly hit three goals in succession and even after Henry Shefflin pointed for the Cats, Galway still drew level thanks to Canning.

Was it the greatest hurling comeback of all time? Here’s seven more great revivals to consider.

1. Offaly’s late show sensationally defeats Limerick in the All-Ireland final – 1994

The greatest ever hurling comeback on the biggest stage? Offaly trailed by five points with five minutes to go before producing an incredible revival. Johnny Dooley and Pat O’Connor hit the net and Billy Dooley swung over a series of points as a scoring burst of 2-5 gave Offaly a 3-16 to 2-13 win.

Source: Bryansford Gael/YouTube

2. Limerick fall 11 points behind but hit back against Waterford – 2001

A remarkable Munster semi-final with Waterford exploding from the blocks to lead 2-6 to 0-1 after 15 minutes with Seamus Prendergast and Paul Flynn both netting. But Limerick cut the deficit to six points at the break after Ollie Moran raised a green flag. Further second-half goals by James Butler and Brian Begley (2) saw Limerick get over the line as 4-11 to 2-14 victors.

Brian Begley Brian Begley starred for Limerick in 2001. Source: INPHO

Go to 2.08

Source: hjmartin1/YouTube

3. Limerick force a dramatic draw against Tipperary – 2007

An astonishing Munster semi-final replay in Semple Stadium saw Limerick come from ten points down at half-time to force extra-time in this encounter. Limerick still trailed by 1-19 to 1-14 approaching the 70th minute mark but five late points from James O’Brien, Ollie Moran (3) and Andrew O’Shaughnessy rescued them. In extra-time they needed a late O’Shaughnessy point to force a replay that they subsequently won.

Source: LimerickNomad/YouTube


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4. Wexford stun Kilkenny at the death in Croke Park – 2004

Kilkenny clung to a 1-16 to 1-15 lead late on in this Leinster semi-final after enduring a tough test from Wexford. Then in injury-time Adrian Fenlon sent in a sideline cut which Peter Barry caught before his attempted clearance was blocked down by Mick Jacob who swivelled and cracked home a match-winning goal.

Source: Conor Ryan/YouTube

5. Tipperary come back to win eight-goal thriller against Cork – 1991

The drawn Munster final had seen Tipperary come back from the dead to force a replay through Pat Fox and they needed those survival instincts again in the replay. Cork were ahead by nine points at the break and held that same advantage after the third quarter.

But Tipperary finished in style with Fox and Declan Carr both grabbing goals and Aidan Ryan struck to the net late on to seal a thrilling 4-19 to 4-15 victory.

Pat Fox  1991 Pat Fox celebrates with Tipperary fans. Source: INPHO

6. Limerick peg back 10-point deficit against Tipperary – 1996

Limerick were crowned Munster senior hurling champions in 1996 after striking four goals in a replay win over Tipperary. The drawn game saw them demonstrate incredible resolve as they were ten points down at one juncture before coming back to level. Limerick didn’t hit the net to ignite their revival either with Gary Kirby leading the way in the point-scoring stakes as they forced a 1-16 to 0-19 draw.

Gary Kirby of Limerick and Tipperary's Brian O'Meara Source: © INPHO/Tom Honan

7. Cork haul back Clare in All-Ireland semi-final – 2005

Cork were nearly toppled as All-Ireland champions at the semi-final stage in Croke Park in 2005 by Clare. Midway through the second-half Clare looked in control as they were ahead by six points.

But Cork mounted a storming revival, inspired by John Gardiner and Pat Mulcahy, and they reeled off a series of brilliant points. The Rebels still trailed by two with nine minutes left before they timed their run to the finish line with Jerry O’Connor firing over the winner at the death to seal a 0-16 to 0-15 victory.

Jerry O'Connor celebrates scoring the winning point 14/8/2005 Jerry O'Connor celebrates scoring Cork's winning point in 2005 against Clare. Source: INPHO

What do you think was the greatest hurling comeback of all time? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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