Fine start for Galway as they see off Cats

Galway 3-11 Kilkenny 0-17, Pearse Stadium

Fine start for Galway as they see off Cats

Galway 3-11 Kilkenny 0-17, Pearse Stadium

Galway burst out of the blocks in the Allianz Hurling League, handing defending champions Kilkenny a first round defeat in Salthill.

Meeting for the first time since the Cats won last September’s All-Ireland SHC final replay, Anthony Cunningham’s men prevailed with Davy Glennon, Niall Healy and Damien Hayes scoring goals.

Joe Canning wielded plenty of influence on proceedings, his move out to the half forward line helping Galway take control of the scoreboard.

He turned provider for the opening two goals in the 14th and 15th minutes, launching telling balls in as the Tribesmen outmanoeuvred the Kilkenny full-back line.

Brian Cody’s charges responded well to those concessions, Richie Hogan and Canning initially trading points before the visitors rattled off five without reply.

However, Galway took a 3-4 to 0-10 lead into half-time and Canning was again on hand with a terrific assist for Hayes’ 34th-minute goal.

His perfectly placed cross-field pass played in Hayes who used his pace to dash clear of his marker and fire a fine shot past net minder Eoin Murphy and into the roof of the net.

Given their list of absentees headed by Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny can be pleased with a dogged second half display playing into the wind.

Aidan Fogarty finished the first half’s scoring with a point but two missed frees from Richie Hogan, on the restart, saw Galway remain in front.

With the quality of play dipping and scores drying up, points from Glennon and David Collins kept the westerners on course for an opening league victory.

By the hour mark, the game was still there for the taking with the Cats just 3-9 to 0-15 in arrears - mainly thanks to the accuracy of top scorer Richie Power.

But they were left ruing a total of 11 wides as late points from Canning and man-of-the-match Joseph Cooney settled the issue in Galway’s favour.

Centre-back Cooney had a day to remember and his long range point with three minutes remaining was the perfect way to round it off.

Scorers: Galway: J Canning 0-6 (0-5f, 0-1 ‘65’), D Glennon, D Hayes 1-1 each, N Healy 1-0, J Cooney, D Collins, A Harte 0-1 each

Kilkenny: R Power 0-8 (0-5f, 0-1 ‘65’), R Hogan 0-4, A Fogarty 0-2, E Larkin, T Walsh, L Ryan 0-1 each

GALWAY: F Flannery; F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen; N Donoghue, J Cooney, D Collins; I Tannian, A Harte; J Glynn, N Burke, D Glennon; N Healy, J Canning, D Hayes.

Subs used: T Haran for Tannian (31 mins), B Flaherty for Healy (52), P Brehony for Burke (68).

KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, K Joyce, C Fogarty; L Ryan, R Power, C Fennelly, E Larkin, M Ruth; T Breen, R Hogan, A Fogarty.

Subs used: M Kelly for Breen (49 mins).

Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)

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