By Michael Moynihan, Croke Park
Kilkenny 1-25 Galway 2-15
Kilkenny had too much firepower for Galway in Croke Park today, surviving a Joe Canning wonder goal to collect another Leinster Senior Hurling title by seven points.
Early on the sides swapped points, Joe Canning’s frees matching TJ Reid’s accuracy from play.
At the end of the first quarter Kilkenny led five points to four thanks to a typical piece of Richie Hogan magic. Kilkenny had already nudged three ahead before getting their first goal on 27 minutes.
TJ Reid had hit two of those points and he was the man who billowed the net, too.
Ger Aylward read the break and made ground before trying to find Richie Hogan with a clever pass - Daithi Burke broke up the attack but Reid pounced, rounded the keeper and netted, making it 1-10 to 0-6.
Genius Joe Canning.. Special player.— Ronan O Gara (@RonanOGara10) July 5, 2015
Galway hit two points, from David Burke and Feral Moore before Joe Canning got a goal for the ages to put his side back into the mix.
There was still time for Eoin Larkin to hit one more point, which meant it was 1-11 to 1-8 at the break, but the second half restarted with a bang.
A long ball broke kindly for Jason Flynn, who made ground before wrong-footing Eoin Murphy in the Kilkenny goal with a wicked drive: level.
The teams then exchanged points - Donnellan hitting two for Galway, Hogan and Aylward responding for Kilkenny, but then the Cats started to edge away.
Aylward added two good points, Hogan chipped in with a score, and when TJ Reid pointed another free on 54 minutes it was a five-point game.
Galway’s clearances were now being driven back with interest by Cillian Buckley, and with Hogan linking the play well around the middle Kilkenny were in control, though they hit some sloppy wides at this point.
Three Galway points cut the deficit to three with 10 minutes left, but Walter Walsh and Hogan steadied the ship again, Larkin and Reid extending the winning margin late on.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 1-10 (0-5 fs, 0-1 65); R. Hogan, E. Larkin 0-4 each; G. Aylward 0-3; W. Walsh 0-2 each; C. Fennelly, C. Fogarty 0-1 each.
Scores for Galway: J. Canning 1-8 (0-5 fs, 0-1 65); C. Donnellan 0-3, J. Flynn 1-0; C. Mannion, J. Glynn, F. Moore, David Burke 0-1.
KILKENNY: E. Murphy, P. Murphy, J. Holden ( c), J. Tyrrell, P. Walsh, K. Joyce, C. Buckley, C. Fogarty, W. Walsh, J. Power, R. Hogan, C. Fennelly, G. Aylward, E. Larkin, TJ Reid.
Subs: S. Prendergast for J. Tyrrell, 49; M. Kelly for J. Power, 57; M. Ruth for C. Fennelly, 70.
GALWAY: C. Callanan, J. Hanbury, P. Mannion, J. Coen, F. Moore, Daithi Burke, I. Tannian, A. Smith ( c), A. Harte, David Burke, C. Donnellan, J. Glynn, D. Glennon, J. Canning, C. Mannion.
Subs: J. Flynn for Glennon, 26; J. Cooney for A. Harte, 37; P. Brehony for David Burke 58; N. Healy for C. Mannion, 60; P. Killeen for J. Hanbury, 63.
Referee: J. McGrath (Westmeath).