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Joe Canning played through pain to start final - coach

Galway coach Mattie Kenny says the Portumna forward carried an injury into Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling final replay.

Galway's Andy Smith and Joe Cannning disappointed after the game.
Galway's Andy Smith and Joe Cannning disappointed after the game.
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

JOE CANNING WOULD not have started any other game on Sunday, according to one member of the Galway hurling backroom team.

The Portumna forward suffered knee ligament damage in the build-up to the All-Ireland SHC final replay — which the Leinster champions lost to Kilkenny.

Mattie Kenny insists Galway’s talismanic forward only lined out because the Liam MacCarthy Cup was on the line again.

“He had ligament damage on the side of the knee.  He just picked it up training about 10 days ago and he hasn’t trained for the last 10 days,” said Kenny yesterday.

“Our medical team had to go fairly hard to get him ready for that game. We were delighted he was able to start for us and he managed to come through.  Credit to Joe for going through all that dedication and making himself available for the game.

“It wasn’t an impact, just something he picked up in training, call it an over use injury or whatever. Obviously up to Saturday evening there was a big doubt over himself and James Skehill. Our medical team had to work very, very hard; Dr Dan Murphy and Jerry Reilly, our physio,  the clinic in Galway to get the guys ready for the final.

“If it wasn’t an All-Ireland final, Joe wouldn’t have started, no, neither would James [Skehill], it’s just such a big match.

“Leinster semi-finals and finals are very big matches as well.  If it was a league match they wouldn’t have started. Leinster finals, All-Ireland semi-finals, All-Ireland finals are big matches do you got to get your best players out on the pitch and these guys got to make themselves available.”

And the Tribesmen’s coach admits Canning performed below par during the 11-point defeat to Brian Cody’s Cats.

“He still made a valuable contribution.  He scored nine or 10 points,” said Kenny. “Under the circumstances he performed very well and I thought

“James, for the first half, as the first half was wearing on it was very evident he was in pain.  I thought he did very well in goals in the circumstances. He dislocated his shoulder on Friday night and 40 hours later to go out in an All-Ireland final was a big ask and a lot of credit is due to him for doing that,” he added.

James Skehill: ‘Some might say I was a hindrance but some might say I was a positive’

Daithi Regan: ‘This victory strikes me as being truly special for Brian Cody’

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