Galway hold their nerve against Kilkenny in Leinster final replay

Galway 1-28 Kilkenny 3-15

Galway lead by as much as 12 points but they were made to graft to successfully defend their Leinster title in this enjoyable final replay.

A crowd of 25,102 in Semple Stadium witnessed Kilkenny come as close as a point when Richie Hogan found the net in the 55th minute after his fellow substitute Colin Fennelly had earlier struck past James Skehill in the 41st minute.

But Kilkenny managed just two TJ Reid frees in the final 10 minutes of normal time as Galway sent over six points including one Joe Canning free after Jason Flynn had been impeded before Eoin Murphy saved his strike.

Galway, who led on a handsome 1-16 to 1-7 scoreline at half-time, began with a flurry of points and led by 0-3 to 0-0 after seven minutes and 1-9 to 0-1 by the 19th minute.

Their goal was a traditional one, Jonathan Glynn rising the best to fetch the ball and turn to rifle a shot that was too hot for Murphy and spun into the net.

Just two minutes previous, Glynn had shot wide after the excellent Cathal Mannion had weaved his way past Paddy Deegan to set him up.

Kilkenny were being beaten up a stick at midfield and in their full-back line, the Galway inside forwards having posted 1-7 from play before the break.

Losing Walter Walsh to an injury midway through the half also didn’t help as much as there was mini-recovery from Kilkenny between the 22nd and 28th minutes when they sent over five unanswered scores.

Normal service resumed, though, after that when Canning announced himself to the game and when Joe Cooney sent over a 33rd minute to make it 1-15 to 0-6 he became the sixth Galway forward to score.

A fortuitous Ger Aylward goal a minute later gave Kilkenny something to cling onto although he appeared to take too many steps and drop his hurley.

At the same time, he also looked to have been illegitimately impeded on his way to kicking the ball to the net.

Scorers for Galway: J. Canning (0-10, 6 frees); C. Mannion (0-6); J. Glynn (1-1); C. Whelan (0-4); N. Burke, A. Harte (0-2 each); J. Cooney, C. Cooney, J. Flynn (0-1 each).

Scorers for Kilkenny: T.J. Reid (0-9, 6 frees, 1 65), C. Fennelly, R. Hogan (1-1 each); G. Aylward (1-0), J. Donnelly, J. Holden, J. Maher, C. Fogarty (0-1 each).

GALWAY: J. Skehill; A. Tuohy, Daithí Burke, J. Hanbury; P. Mannion, G. McInerney, A. Harte; J. Coen, David Burke (c); J. Cooney, J. Canning, N. Burke; C. Mannion, J. Glynn, C. Whelan.

Subs for Galway: C. Cooney for N. Burke (47); J. Flynn for J. Cooney (61); S. Loftus for David Burke (69).

KILKENNY: E. Murphy; P. Murphy, P. Walsh, P. Deegan; J. Holden, C. Buckley (c), E. Morrissey; C. Fogarty, J. Maher; J. Donnelly, T.J. Reid, R. Leahy; W. Walsh, B. Ryan, G. Aylward.

Subs for Kilkenny: L. Blanchfield for W. Walsh (inj 18); R. Hogan for R. Leahy, C. Fennelly for B. Ryan (both h-t); R. Lennon for E. Morrissey (48); L. Scanlon for J. Donnelly (62).

Referee: J. Owens (Wexford).

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