Kilkenny and Galway scrap and scrape to a draw in Leinster final

By Brendan O’Brien, Croke Park

Kilkenny 0-18 - 0-18 Galway

If draws feel a bit like kissing your sister then this entire Leinster final was one long and disturbing smacker.

The most charitable description heard at the final whistle was that of a chess match. Charitable, that. This was a poor standard game between a pair of sides that never once found anything approaching their stride.

Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Details of the replay will be announced by Leister Council on Monday morning.

There was little or nothing in the way of tactical tinkering, just a metronomic exchange of long balls from one half to the other and the vast majority of them were snapped by defenders on both sides.

Adding to the underwhelming sense of it all was the almost shocking frequency of mishits and bad passes and the number of wides was just one short of the dozen by the break, by which time Kilkenny held a 0-8 to 0-7 lead.

Padraig Walsh of Kilkenny in action against Niall Burke of Galway. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It had to get better. Surely.

If it did then the improvement was imperceptible. The pair drew level another four times before Galway put together a mini-run, four of the next five scores giving them the closest thing seen to a buffer all afternoon.

They would hold the lead for 21 minutes of the second-half before TJ Reid landed a brilliant equalising score from inside his own half as the clock ticked through the first minute of injury-time.

TJ Reid of Kilkenny is tackled by John Hanbury of Galway. picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid (0-10, 8 frees); B Reid (0-2); E Murphy (0-1 free); E Morrissey, J Maher, W Walsh, G Aylward and J Donnelly (all 0-1).

Scorers for Galway: J Canning (0-6, 4 frees, 1 ‘65’); N Burke (0-4); C Mannion (0-3); J Cooney and C Whelan (0-2); C Cooney (0-1).

Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy, P Walsh, P Deegan; J Holden, C Buckley, E Morrissey; C Fogarty, J Maher; M Keoghan, TJ Reid, R Leahy; B Ryan, W Walsh, G Aylward. Subs: L Blanchfield for Keoghan (48); J Donnelly for Leahy (58); R Hogan for Aylward (59); C Fennelly for Ryan (64).

Galway: J Skehill; A Tuohey, Daithi Burke, J Hanbury; P Mannion, G McInerney, A Harte; J Coen, David Burke; J Cooney, J Canning, N Burke; C Whelan, C Cooney, C Mannion. Subs: J Glynn for C Cooney (58); B Concannon for C Mannion (65); J Flynn for Whelan (70).

Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary).

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