Supersub Richie Hogan helps Kilkenny stage Leinster hurling final comeback against Galway

Kilkenny 1-26 Galway 0-22

Richie Hogan's half-time introduction helped Kilkenny turn a tricky situation into yet another Leinster SHC title success, a 71st for the county and their 15th under long-serving manager Brian Cody, writes Paul Keane.

The back to back All-Ireland champions trailed by three points at the break, exactly the same as last year's final against Galway, as they struggled to get to grips with the Tribesmen.

But just like last September, the Cats' response was strong with 1-16 after the break and a brilliant individual display from Hogan who came on at the break following a hand injury.

The 2014 Hurler of the Year hit five points while John Power, who came on at the same time, had a big impact and contributed a point.

Jonjo Farrell's 45th minute goal tied the game up and Kilkenny never looked back after that, pushing on for an impressive win and an All-Ireland semi-final place.

Cillian Buckley was excellent in defence while Conor Fogarty and Michael Fennelly dominated midfield in the second-half and free-taker TJ Reid contributed 10 points.

Galway bossed the first-half, however, and hit the interval with a deserved 0-13 to 0-10 lead.

Cathal Mannion was Galway's key man with four points from play in the opening half as they played a deep lying game and hit Kilkenny on the break.

Kilkenny led for just two minutes of the half, at 0-6 to 0-5, and found themselves in Galway's slipstream for the most part.

They scored just five points from play in the first-half and went from the 15th minute to deep into injury-time without hitting one from play.

The expectation was that Kilkenny would raise their game again and they duly delivered, introducing Hogan and Power to the game with immediate positive consequences.

Hogan scored a point with his first touch followed by scores from Fogarty and Reid before Kilkenny levelled it up at 1-13 to 0-16 with Farrell's goal.

Fogarty played the pop pass over the top of Galway's defence and Farrell applied the finish, albeit a scuffed low effort that went through goalkeeper Colm Callanan's legs.

Suddenly, Kilkenny were high on confidence and capitalised on their momentum to sprint four points clear, Hogan and Power both on the mark with points.

With 10 minutes to go, Kilkenny found themselves in a familiar position with a 1-21 to 0-19 lead and getting better as the game wore on.

They didn't let up from there with Reid, Hogan and Fogarty all on the mark late on.

​Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-10 (0-7f, 1 65), J Farrell 1-4, R Hogan 0-5, C Fogarty 0-3, W Walsh 0-2, J Power 0-1, M Fennelly 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: J Canning 0-6 (0-6f), C Mannion 0-5, C Cooney 0-3, C Whelan 0-3, J Cooney 0-2, D Glennon 0-1, C Donnellan 0-1, A Smith 0-1.

Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy, J Holden, R Lennon; P Walsh, K Joyce, C Buckley; C Fogarty, M Fennelly; W Walsh, C Fennelly, L Ryan; J Farrell, TJ Reid, E Larkin.

Subs: R Hogan for Larkin h/t, J Power for Fennelly (h/t).

Galway: C Callanan; P Mannion, Daithi Burke, J Coen; G McInerney, J Hanbury, A Harte; David Burke, D Glennon; N Burke, J Cooney, C Cooney; C Whelan, J Canning, C Mannion.

Subs: C Donnellan for J Cooney (46), F Moore for Coen (53), J Flynn for N Burke (57), A Smith for Glennon (59), P Killeen for Hanbury (66).

Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary).


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