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Michael Ryan says Tipp tried their 'absolute best' and salutes 'heart-breaker' Joe Canning

For a third year in succession, only a point separated Galway and the Premier in an All-Ireland semi-final.

Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

GALWAY AND TIPPERARY is the hurling rivalry that keeps on giving.

For a third year in succession, only a point separated them in an All-Ireland semi-final.

This one couldn’t have been any closer, with the teams level on 12 occasions and no more than a score between them throughout the entire contest. Ultimately it was this steely Galway outfit who reigned supreme by the minimum, as Tipperary did 12 months ago.

John McGrath’s goal at this stage last August proved Galway’s undoing, while Tribe attacker Shane Maloney was the hero with a last-gasp point in the 2015 rendition.

This time it was Joe Canning’s turn to win the game with a sensational point under the Cusack Stand.

“Needless to say we have a very disappointed bunch in our dressing-room,” Michael Ryan said afterwards.

“That is what you do, you put your best out there and you do your absolute best. Nobody knows the result of a hurling match. Otherwise, you wouldn’t get 60,000-odd here to shout their teams on.

“I thought it was a very finely balanced game right throughout. There was literally nothing in it. What a fantastic score Joe Canning pulled off at the end. It was fantastic. He is a heart-breaker. It is not his first time.

“It is harsh on any team to lose that kind of a match. This is the exact reverse of what happened last year. We beat them by a point. We lost by a point in 2015. We are no stranger to these tight games with Galway.

“I just thought they were really, really good here. So too were our guys. A great bunch of fellas. They tried so hard to stay in that game and get something out of it. It just wasn’t to be.

“We’ve just come up one-point shy to a very, very fine Galway team.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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