Galway determined to kill off Kilkenny at the second time of asking

HOPES are high that Kilkenny and Galway can repeat their Croke Park heroics in the replay of the All-Ireland MHC Final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore tomorrow (2pm).

The game finished on a 1-18 to 3-12 scoreline in the thrilling tie. The Connacht champions lost a seven point lead which left coach Mattie Murphy fuming, while the Kilkenny management were unhappy with the concession of three goals.

“When we had Kilkenny by the throat we didn’t kill them off,” said Murphy. “It was Kilkenny who created the chances to win in the finish.

“We shouldn’t have lost that big lead and there will have to be a lot of tightening up in our defence if we are to complete the job tomorrow.

“We played some great hurling at times but need to be a bit more consistent. We probably won’t get those goal chances again and it will call for more direct hurling on this occasion.”

In defence Galway struggled and the concession of 1-13 may cause Murphy to make some tactical realignment closer to throw-in.

Kilkenny may do likewise with Noel Delahunty, who came on as a sub at corner back, likely to start.

Kilkenny coach Brother Damien said his side were a little fortunate to get the second chance, but added they could have stolen it at the death.

“It looked to have gone from us when we went 1-7 to 0-2 down, but all credit to the lads they hung in there and showed their character in the second half,” he said.

“We’ll need to tighten up considerably in defence tomorrow if we are to be successful, and if we don’t concede too many goals this time around, I would be very hopeful we can complete the job. It’s going to be another titanic struggle.”

GALWAY: M. Herlihy; P. Loughnane, G. Mahon, C. O’Donovan; M. Ryan, J. Lee, K. Kilkenny; A. Carey, D. Kennedy; D. White, K. Hynes, F. Coone; K. Wade, J. Canning, B. Hanley.

KILKENNY: L. Tierney; J. Maher, K. Joyce, F. Walsh; N. Prendergast, R. Maher, S. Prendergast; P. Hartley, P. Hogan; G. Nolan, M. Nolan, N. Kenny; R. Hogan, E. O’Donoghue, E. Guinan.

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