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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 28 February 2021


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Inter-county provincial silverware up for grabs in the depths of November, rather than under the summer sun in 2020.

The Bob O’Keeffe Cup is on the line in Croke Park this evening, with Kilkenny and Galway doing battle. The Cats v the Tribe, Brian Cody v Shane O’Neill; this one is set up to be a cracker.

Throw-in is at 6.15pm, with the action live on RTÉ Two. We’ll keep you up to date here, though.

Here are the teams that were named last night, but as always, there could be changes.


1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

2. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own)
3. Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels)
4. Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan)

5. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)
6. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
7. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)

8. Richie Leahy (Rower Inistioge)
9. Conor Browne (James Stephens)

10. John Donnelly (Thomastown)
11. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan)
12. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)

13. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
14. Eoin Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
15. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)


16. Darren Brennan (St Lachtain’s)
17. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
18. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
19. Ciarán Wallace (Erin’s Own)
20. Darren Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
21. Alan Murphy (Glenmare)
22. Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
23. Richie Hogan (Danesfort)
24. Ger Aylward (Glenmare)
25. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
26. Niall Brassil (James Stephens)


1. Eanna Murphy (Tommy Larkins)

2. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore)
3. Daithi Burke (Turloughmore)
4. Shane Cooney (St Thomas’) 

5. Fintan Burke (St Thomas’)
6. Gearoid McInerney (Oranmore Maree)
7. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)

8. Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh Fohenagh) — captain
9. Johnny Coen (Loughrea)

10. Conor Cooney (St Thomas’)
11. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh Fohenagh) 
12. Joe Canning (Portumna)

13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
14. Niall Burke (Oranmore Maree)
15. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)


16. James Skehill (Cappataggle)
17. Aidan Harte (Gort)
18. Jack Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly)
19. TJ Brennan (Clarinbridge)
20. Adrian Tuohey (Beagh)
21. Sean Linnane (Turloughmore)
22. Darren Morrissey (Sarsfields) 
23. David Burke (St. Thomas’)
24. Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins)
25. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge)
26. Sean Bleahane (Ahascragh Fohenagh).

Galway come into this one off the back of an impressive provincial semi-final victory over Wexford, while Kilkenny arrive after beating Dublin. While Cody’s Cats fell to the Slaneysiders in last year’s decider, they’re looking for their first Leinster title since 2016. Galway, meanwhile, were back-to-back champions in 2017 and 2018.

Who’ll take the silver in 2020?

Poll Results:

Galway (123)
Kilkenny (87)

No late changes for either team, it appears. Amhrán na bhFiann is being played, and it’s nearly time for throw-in.

THROW-IN - Fergal Horgan gets us underway on a wet, windy night in Croker.

Kilkenny 0-0 Galway 0-0

1 min – Galway’s Fintan Burke has the first shot of the game and it goes wide.

Galway 0-1 Kilkenny 0-0

2 mins – Johnny Coen gives Galway the lead with a massive score after another wide, that one from Whelan.

Galway 0-2 Kilkenny 0-0

2 mins – Joe Canning makes no mistake with his first free of the day.

Galway 0-2 Kilkenny 0-1

3 mins – TJ Reid nails his first free too, the Cats playing into the Hill 16 End.

Galway 0-3 Kilkenny 0-1

5 mins – Cathal Mannion with a lovely score for the Tribe against the breeze, just after Kilkenny’s first wide of the night.

Galway 0-4 Kilkenny 0-2

6 mins – Padraig Walsh hits Kilkenny’s latest offering after great work from Cillian Buckley in the build-up, before Conor Whelan responds at the other end.

Galway 0-4 Kilkenny 0-3

8 mins – 2/2 from TJ Reid off the frees. What a strike from the middle of the pitch in testing conditions.

Galway 0-4 Kilkenny 0-4

10 mins – TJ makes it three from placed ball. And four points a-piece.

Kilkenny 0-5 Galway 0-4

11 mins – Kilkenny take the lead for the first time after Reid’s latest free, this one coming after Huw Lawlor’s hurley is held.

Kilkenny 0-5 Galway 0-5

12 mins – Coen with a stunning effort from under the Hogan Stand to level matters. Two brilliant scores from him so far.

Galway 0-7 Kilkenny 0-5

14 mins – Galway get their noses out in front once again after Canning’s latest free. The Portumna man adds another from play just after.

Galway 0-7 Kilkenny 0-6

16 mins – Reid is keeping the Cats in the game here through his frees. His fifth of the night.

Galway 0-7 Kilkenny 0-7

18 mins – Galway give away a needless free and Reid ties up matters. 6/6.

Waterbreak time…

Galway 0-8 Kilkenny 0-7

19 mins – What Reid does at one end, Canning does at the other… his fourth, and third from frees, edges Galway ahead.

Galway 0-9 Kilkenny 0-7

21 mins – Five-time All-Star Canning finds Joseph Cooney off a sideline cut, and Cooney slots over after an excellent catch. This comes just after Kilkenny ‘keeper Eoin Murphy put a long-range free wide.

Galway 0-9 Kilkenny 0-8

22 mins – TJ Reid fires over another free, won by Eoin Cody who is having an excellent game.

Galway 0-10 Kilkenny 0-8

23 mins – Whelan sticks another from play. Just beforehand, Conor Browne went up for a great catch but lost it shortly afterwards.

Galway 0-11 Kilkenny 0-8

24 mins – Canning nails his latest free. It came after Niall Burke produced and outstanding catch and nearly got away with the goal on, but Kilkenny players held him back.

Galway 0-11 Kilkenny 0-9

25 mins – Eoin Cody with Kilkenny’s latest point.

Galway 0-11 Kilkenny 0-10

26 mins – Martin Keoghan gets in on the scoring act after more good work from Cody. The Cats are keeping the scoreboard ticking over nicely after TJ’s free-taking exhibition.

Galway 0-12 Kilkenny 0-10

27 mins – Canning grabs his sixth of the game from a free.

Galway 0-12 Kilkenny 0-11

30 mins – Padraig Walsh powers through and looks to be in on goals but he’s hooked – Horgan thinks illegally so and gives Kilkenny a free. Reid continues his 100% free-taking record.

Galway 0-12 Kilkenny 0-12

32 mins – Mannion plays Concannon in but he’s kept out, the ball eventually landing to Cats ‘keeper Murphy. He’s adjudged to go over the line and concedes a ’65, but Canning misses.

John Donnelly equalises matters at the other end, the teams now level for the fourth time.

Galway 0-13 Kilkenny 0-12

34 mins – Well, what about that from Canning? A stunning score from the sideline…

Galway 0-13 Kilkenny 0-12

34 mins – Hawkeye rules that Whelan’s latest effort was wide and it remains a one-point game as half time nears.

One minute added on. 

Kilkenny 0-13 Galway 0-12

35 mins + 1: The sides exchange wides before the half-time whistle sounds.

SECOND-HALF: We go again…

Galway 0-13 Kilkenny 0-13

36 mins – TJ Reid picks up where he left off with another free to level matters.

Just one half-time change to update you on: Aidan Harte replaces Sean Loftus for Galway.

Galway 0-14 Kilkenny 0-13

29 mins – Canning edges Galway ahead from a placed-ball effort. Just after, Jason Flynn replaces Niall Burke.

Galway 0-14 Kilkenny 0-14

40 mins – Level game once again.

Galway 0-14 Kilkenny 0-14

42 mins – Conor Browne was the Kilkenny player who scored the equalising point. Joey Holden comes on for Cillian Buckley.

Galway 0-15 Kilkenny 0-14

44 mins – Canning puts Galway one up once again. Huw Lawlor and Conor Whelan both got yellow cards just beforehand, the latter missing a chance from open play just after.

Richie Hogan comes in for Walter Walsh.

Galway 0-15 Kilkenny 0-14

47 mins – Canning spurns the chance to put Galway two up, going for goal instead but Conor Fogarty clears it off the line. That all came after a goalmouth scramble… Cillian Buckley is back on after that injury attention, Joey Holden comes off

Galway 0-16 Kilkenny 0-14

48 mins – Canning makes no mistake in putting the Tribe two up this time, an excellent effort from the sideline under the Hogan Stand.

Galway 0-17 Kilkenny 0-14

50 mins – Another goal chance for Galway but Murphy produces a brilliant save. Canning nails the ’65.

Galway 0-18 Kilkenny 0-14

51 mins – Canning extends Galway’s lead to four, the biggest margin so far. Liam Blanchfield replaces Colin Fennelly.

Galway 0-18 Kilkenny 0-14

52 mins – Kilkenny are 12 minutes without a score here… Murphy’s long-range free goes off the upright and wide while Martin Keoghan fires across the face of the goal and wide. Huge opportunity missed.

Waterbreak time…

Galway 0-19 Kilkenny 0-15

54 mins – Concannon with his first score of the game, well deserved after his trojan work inside. Blanchfield keeps Kilkenny in the hunt at the Canal End.

Galway 0-20 Kilkenny 0-15

55 mins – Jason Flynn extends Galway’s lead. Richie Reid comes in for Conor Fogarty.

GOAL! Kilkenny 1-15 Galway 0-20 (Hogan, 57)

GOAL! Kilkenny 2-15 Galway 0-20 (Reid, 57)

By God, two quickfire goals from Kilkenny there – excellent skill from Richie Hogan before he finds the back of the net, while TJ Reid follows suit just seconds later.

Anyone’s game now… 2-15 to 0-20.

Galway 0-21 Kilkenny 2-15

Canning levels matters after that period of excitement. All-Ireland winning captain David Burke comes in for Conor Cooney. 

Galway 0-22 Kilkenny 2-15

60 mins – Canning edges Galway ahead. Niall Brassil on for Richie Leahy, who limps off. Brassil comes in for his championship debut. Alan Murphy comes in just after.

Galway 0-23 Kilkenny 2-16

62 mins – And what about that for impact off the bench from David Burke. His first point makes it a two-point game once again. 

But Reid, whose tally is 1-10, brings it right back to the minimum deficit.

Galway 0-24 Kilkenny 2-16

64 mins – CLOSE! Canning’s sideline cut comes off the post, Concannon is there to pull the trigger with a one-handed pull but his shot went wide…

David Burke notches his second shortly after.

Galway 0-24 Kilkenny 2-17

66 mins – Richie Hogan blazes over, another goal chance there with Murphy well out. One-point game.

Galway 2-18 Kilkenny 0-24

67 mins – Level game, Conor Browne tying matters from play.

Kilkenny 2-19 Galway 0-24

68 mins – Keoghan pushes Kilkenny into the slimmest of leads.

Coen comes off, missed his replacement but there’s been another score…

Kilkenny 2-20 Galway 0-24

69 mins – Hogan puts Kilkenny into a two-point lead. Sean Linnane in for Shane Cooney.

Four minutes added on, the Cats with their tails up here…

Kilkenny 2-20 Galway 0-24

71 mins – A missed Canning opportunity keeps Kilkenny two up. The Portumna man’s free from the middle comes off the post.

Kilkenny 2-20 Galway 0-24

72 mins – Kilkenny holding up here as the clock runs down…

What a win for Kilkenny in Brian Cody’s 22nd campaign in charge. Goals win games, eh? Richie Hogan was certainly the difference in the end, it must be said.

Galway will be absolutely gutted after that, as Colin Fennelly lifts the Bob O’Keeffe Cup.

Kilkenny win their first Leinster title since 2016, and now head straight into the All-Ireland semi-final. Galway head for the quarters where they’ll face Galway will face Clare or Tipperary next week.

That’s the lot from me. Kevin O’Brien is in Croke Park for us so his report will be available on The42 shortly. Thanks for reading, enjoy the rest of the weekend.


Subscribe to The42′s new member-led GAA Championship show with Marc Ó Sé and Shane Dowling. 

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Emma Duffy


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