Galway Minors cruise past Kilkenny to third consecutive hurling title

Galway Minors cruise past Kilkenny to third consecutive hurling title

Galway 3-14 - 0-12 Kilkenny

In the end, history was achieved with the minimum of fuss by Galway who cruised to a three-in-a-row of Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor hurling titles at Croke Park.

Kilkenny, just like 12 months ago, came up short of a talented Galway team who were superbly led this time by Sean McDonagh.

The centre-forward, who came on in last year's final, helped himself to 2-8 this time while Ruben Davitt grabbed their other goal in what was a comprehensive win.

There was a brilliant performance from midfielder Alex Connaire too while captain Ian McGlynn, who was cleared to play after a red card in the semi-finals was rescinded, locked down the Galway defence.

It means a dream double of All-Ireland minor wins is still on the cards for Galway whose footballers will play in their final on September 1 against Cork.

It's a fifth minor hurling title this decade for Galway, adding to the wins of 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2018, a feat only outdone by the six titles Tipperary won in the 1950s.

Galway were in control virtually throughout though the memory of Kilkenny's remarkable fightback in the quarter-finals - Kilkenny came from 12 points down in that match to drawl level before losing by three - meant they didn't rest on their laurels.

Galway Minors cruise past Kilkenny to third consecutive hurling title

Kilkenny led briefly early on here but Davitt's eighth-minute goal for Galway put them into a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

It was a neat strike from Davitt who latched onto a long ball in and beat his man on the left of goals to volley home the bouncing sliotar.

Connaire was at his best in the first-half and won three frees that McDonagh converted to keep Galway well ahead.

Connaire then pointed in the 29th minute to leave Galway 1-9 to 0-6 clear and he was involved in their second goal in first-half stoppage time.

This time he played the ball in that was caught by Greg Thomas who won a penalty off William Halpin that McDonagh expertly converted.

It left Galway 2-6 to 0-7 up at half-time and the five-point margin didn't flatter the young Tribesmen who also tallied eight wides in the half hour or so.

Galway struck 13 wides in total but a strong start to the second-half, when they reeled off another five points without reply, moved them 10 clear and within touching distance of the title.

Galway Minors cruise past Kilkenny to third consecutive hurling title

McDonagh's 47th-minute goal, his second and Galway's third, set the seal on victory and was a strike worthy of the occasion.

Thomas did the spade work with a terrific hand-pass from a crowd of players that picked out McDonagh in space and he hammered home to the roof of the Kilkenny net.

Galway scorers: S McDonagh (2-8, 1-0 pen, 6 frees, 1 '65); R Davitt (1-2); T Killeen (0-2); A Connaire & G Thomas (0-1 each).

Kilkenny scorers: B Drennan (0-6, 5 frees); C O'Sullivan (0-2); T Clifford, P McDonald, L Moore & B Wheeler (0-1 each).

Galway: M Egan; A Nolan, E Lawless, C Brennan; E Collins, I McGlynn, J Cooney; L Leen, A Connaire; T Killeen, S McDonagh, C Cunningham; R Davitt, S Morgan, G Thomas.

Subs: G Lee for Cunningham 46, S O'Hanlon for Morgan 52, T Davoren for Collins 55, C Molloy for Davitt 60, N Glynn for Thomas 62.

Kilkenny: A Tallis; B Reid, W Halpin, T Roche; P McDonald, P Moylan, Z Bay Hammond; L Moore, J Aylward; P Blanchfield, T Clifford, C O'Sullivan; B Drennan, J Doyle, I Byrne.

Subs: D Walsh for Blanchfield 38, A Hickey for Aylward 45, B Wheeler for Byrne 52, A Murphy for Drennan 59.

Ref: P Murphy (Carlow).

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