Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium
FOR THE SECOND successive summer, Galway move onto the All-Ireland series as Leinster hurling champions.
It took two games for them to better Kilkenny and today’s replay transpired to be ultimately a more testing examination for the All-Ireland champions, than had seemed likely in the opening period.
Galway’s early dominance was underlined by a 13th minute goal, a move originating from an inspirational catch and surge out of defence from Daithi Burke. It culminated in Jonathan Glynn’s shot finding the net, despite Eoin Murphy getting a hurley to the sliothar.
Galway profited from direct deliveries to Glynn in the opening quarter and were 11 points to the good in the 19th minute, before moving 12 points clear approaching the break.
A Ger Aylward goal, booted home and award despite the suspicion he had over-carried, gave Kilkenny some hope before the interval as they went in trailing 1-16 to 1-7 and then Brian Cody’s side produced a second-half fightback of terrific spirit.
Half-time substitutes Colin Fennelly and Richie Hogan both whipped home goals, with the latter’s effort cutting the deficit Kilkenny faced to a single point, 1-20 to 3-13, by the 54th minute.
That was when Galway kept their heads and reeled off a succession of points to douse any hopes Kilkenny had of pegging them back further. A TJ Reid free in the 69th minute left Kilkenny four adrift before Aidan Harte, Joe Canning and Jason Flynn popped up with the efforts from play that settled the issue to seal a merited victory.
Cathal Mannion hit 0-6 from play for the victors and Conor Whelan chipped in with 0-4 for Galway. That scoring streak was crucial in enabling them to stave off the challenge of a Kilkenny side largely reliant on TJ Reid to make things happen.
Galway’s victory propels them towards an All-Ireland semi-final date on 28/29 July with Kilkenny taking on Limerick at the quarter-final stage next weekend.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-10 (0-6f), Cathal Mannion 0-6, Conor Whelan 0-4, Jonathan Glynn 1-1, Niall Burke, Aidan Harte 0-2 each, Joseph Cooney, Jason Flynn, Conor Cooney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-9 (0-6f, 0-1 ’65), Richie Hogan, Colin Fennelly 1-1 each, Ger Aylward 1-0, Joey Holden, Conor Fogarty, James Maher, John Donnelly 0-1 each.
1. James Skehill (Cappataggle)
2. Adrian Tuohy (Beagh)
3. Daithi Burke (Turloughmore)
4. John Hanbury (Rahoon-Newcastle)
5. Padraig Mannion (Ahascragh/Fohenagh)
6. Gearoid McInerney (Oranmore-Maree)
7. Aidan Harte (Gort)
8. Johnny Coen (Loughrea)
9. David Burke (St Thomas’)
10. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)
11. Joe Canning (Portumna)
15. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh/Fohenagh)
13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
24. Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan)
12. Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree)
14. Conor Cooney (St Thomas) for Niall Burke (47)
25. Jason Flynn (Tommie Larkins) for Joseph Cooney (61)
18. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore) for David Burke (69)
1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)
2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
3. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
4. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
5. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
6. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro – captain)
7. Enda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)
8. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
9. James Maher (St Lachtains)
25. John Donnelly (Thomastown)
11. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. Richie Leahy (Rower Inistioge)
13. Billy Ryan (Graigue-Ballycallan)
14. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
15. Ger Aylward (Glenmore)
17. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge) for Walsh (17)
21. Richie Hogan (Danesfort) for Leahy (half-time)
22. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks) for Ryan (half-time)
18. Robert Lennon (Bennettsbridge) for Morrissey (48)
24. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens) for Donnelly (62)
Referee: James Owens (Wexford)