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Michael Rice returns - but it's first blood for Galway in a big week against Kilkenny

Shane Moloney scored 1-10 as Galway booked an intermediate final date against Wexford.

Rice: Allstar midfielder returned after two years out with serious injury (file photo).
Rice: Allstar midfielder returned after two years out with serious injury (file photo).
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Galway 3-22

Kilkenny 1-17

TWO-TIME ALLSTAR Michael Rice made a losing return to the Kilkenny colours as his side bowed out of the Leinster intermediate championship to a smart Galway outfit at O’Connor Park in Tullamore.

Rice had been out of action for best part of two years with a devastating cruciate knee injury, but not even the most fervent of Galway supporters couldn’t deny his resilience in getting back to full fitness.

And he showed a lot of his old skill in the No 11 shirt, but his side had no answer to the power of the Galway team – who featured a number of Anthony Cunningham’s senior squad members – as they booked a Leinster final date with Wexford in a fortnight.

Defensive lapses cost Kilkenny dearly as the Galway full-forward line helped themselves to three goals in the first half.

The first two came within a two-minute burst from Conor Whelan and Shane Moloney and Whelan rubbed salt into the wound with his second goal two minutes before the break.

It was all uphill for Kilkenny in the second-half and with the Galway defence working overtime to restrict the threat of Rice and a dangerous Billy Ryan, the western outfit ran out handy winners.

Ger Malone struck a late consolation for the Cats, but sadly the event failed to inspire the supporters of either side, with an official attendance of 466 telling its own story.

Scorers for Galway: Shane Moloney 1-10, Conor Whelan 2-2, Brian Molloy 0-4, Eamon Brannigan 0-3, James Regan 0-1, K McHugo 0-1, E Burke 0-1.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Rory Hickey 0-5 (2f, 2 65) Johnny Hayes 0-4, Ger Malone 1-1, Michael Rice 0-3, Liam Blanchfield 0-2 Niall Doherty 0-1, Michael Maloney 0-1.

Galway

1. James Skehill (Cappataggle)

2. Colm Flynn (Tommy Larkins)
3. Darragh O’Donoghue (Kilnadeema-Leitrim)
4. Adrian Tuohy (Beagh)

5. Paul Flaherty (Abbeyknockmoy)
6. Darragh Burke (St Thomas’)
7. Shane Cooney (St Thomas’)

8. Kevin Mc Hugo (Tommy Larkins)
9. Dean Higgins (Castlegar)

10. Eamon Brannigan (Rahoon-Newcastle)
11. James Regan (St Thomas’)
12. Eanna Burke (St Thomas’)

13. Brian Molloy (Kilnadeema-Leitrim)
14. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
15. Shane Moloney (Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry)

Subs:

17. Barry Keane (Clarinbridge) for Cooney (50)
20. Emmett Mahony (Loughrea) for Mahony (54)
21. Kevin Lane (Ballinderreen) for Higgins (59)
22. Paddy Hannon (Athenry) for Burke (56)
23.  Jason Kennedy (Ardrahan) for Brannigan

Kilkenny

1. Kevin Nolan (Clara)

2. Eoin Moriarty (Emeralds)
3. Pauric Gahan (capt, Mullinavat)
4. Sean Phelan (Lisdowney)

5. Andy Kearns (O’Loughlins)
6. Owen Mcgrath (John Lockes)
7. Luke Harney (Kilmacow)

8. Johnny Hayes (Kilmacow)
9. Kevin Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)

10. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
11. Michael Rice (Carrickshock)
12. Billy Ryan (Graigue Ballycallan)

13. Ger Malone (Mullinavat)
14. Rory Hickey (Lisdowney)
15. Shane Donnelly (St Lachtains)

Subs:

17. Ciaran Doyle (Barrow Rangers) for Phelan (30)
18. Niall Doherty (Galmoy) for K Blanchfield (30)
21. Michael Moloney (Blacks and Whites) for Ryan (47)
24. Brian Cahill (Cloneen) for Rice (57)

Referee: Tony Carroll (Offaly)

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About the author:

Brian McDonald

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