Declan Rooney reports from Pearse Stadium
GALWAY TOOK A big step towards the Leinster final as Joe Canning’s 1-12 helped them win the first Leinster senior hurling championship game to be played in the county.
In a game that failed to ignite, Canning and Kilkenny’s TJ Reid dominated the scoring stakes, and once Walter Walsh had a late goal disallowed and Conor Cooney hit three late points, Galway were guaranteed a second win from two Leinster SHC outings.
Kilkenny won the toss and elected to play into the stiff Salthill breeze and after they only trailed by four points at the break, they’d have been satisfied with that return from a half where they were largely out-muscled and out hurled.
The first four points were shared between Canning and Reid, and the first score from play didn’t arrive until the 13th minute when Conor Cooney claimed a James Skehill puck-out on the right.
Galway were well on top in the full-forward line though, with Conor Whelan looking particularly dangerous, while Brian Concannon had a goal disallowed after eight minutes for a square ball.
As the half went on, Galway’s half-back line began to gain the upper hand, although the switch of Walsh to wing-forward settled Kilkenny just before the break.
Four points in a row arrived from Galway’s most fluid period between the 24th and 28th minutes, while a foul by Paddy Deegan on Whelan earned the penalty, which was converted by Canning for a 1-9 to 0-4 lead.
But Kilkenny drew a penalty of their own when Daithí Burke halted Luke Scanlon’s run with a dangerous tackle — he escaped a red card though — and Reid scored to cut the deficit to 1-9 to 1-5 at the break.
The first two points of the half came Galway’s way as David Burke and Canning pointed from play, but Kilkenny stayed in touch and they hit three in a row to close the gap to three points with 17 minutes remaining.
Walsh had a goal disallowed when Bill Sheehan dropped his hurley five minutes form time and Galway surged clear in the closing stages despite Walsh finding the net in the final minute.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 1-12 (1-0pen, 7f, 1’65), Conor Cooney 0-4, Cathal Mannion 0-2, Brian Concannon 0-1, David Burke 0-1, Jason Flynn 0-1, Niall Burke 0-1.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 1-9 (1-0pen, 8f, 1’65), Walter Walsh 1-1, Luke Scanlon 0-1.
1. James Skehill (Cappataggle)
7. Aidan Harte (Gort)
3. Daithi Burke (Turloughmore)
2. Adrian Tuohy (Beagh)
5. Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh)
6. Gearoid McInerney (Oranmore/Maree)
4. John Hanbury (Rahoon/Newcastle)
8. Johnny Coen (Loughrea)
9. David Burke (Turloughmore)
12. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)
11. Joe Canning (Portumna)
10. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh)
14. Conor Cooney (St Thomas)
13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
15. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)
24. Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan) for Concannon (51 mins)
25. Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins) for J Cooney (60 mins)
22. Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree) for C Mannion (67 mins)
18. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore) for Canning (71 mins)
17. Paul Killeen (Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry) for P Mannion (71 mins)
1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)
2. Enda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)
3. Padraig Walsh Tullaroan)
4. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
5. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own)
6. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)
7. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
8. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
9. James Maher (St Lachtains)
10. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan)
11. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
13. John Donnelly (Thomastown)
14. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
15. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens)
22. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks) for Donnelly (half-time)
17. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks) for Morrissey (45 mins)
24, Richie Leahy (Rower Inistioge) for Keoghan (55 mins)
26. Bill Sheehan (Dicksboro) for Blanchfield (58 mins)
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).
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