Galway boss Jeffrey Lynskey has backed his side to shine in the All-Ireland MHC semi-finals after they eased past Kilkenny at Semple Stadium in Thurles.
Dean Reilly scored Galway’s goal to cancel out first-half efforts from Cathal O’Leary and Ciarán Brennan for Kilkenny and Galway led 1-14 to 2-3 at half-time before easing up in the second half.
Conor Kelly led Kilkenny but despite his seven points they could not hold Lynskey’s charges. Lynskey said: “We were waiting to kick off our championship, we were late starting in comparison to the rest of them. But we’re hungry and fresh so we’ll have a huge chance in the semi-final.”
Galway were 0-6 to 0-1 clear inside the opening quarter before Cathal O’Leary goaled for Kilkenny in the 20th minute.
Reilly found the net shortly after to give the All-Ireland champions a 1-7 to 1-3 lead. That goal was cancelled out by Cats full-forward Ciarán Brennan but Galway scored 0-7 in a row before half-time.
Kelly took the fight to Galway in the second half but Kilkenny had an early Dan Coogan goal disallowed and never looked like coming back.
Scorers for Galway: D O’Shea 0-10 (9f, 1 65), D Reilly 1-4, O Flannery (Padraig Pearses) 0-2, J O’Donoghue 0-2, D Kilcommins 0-2, K Creaven 0-1.
Scorers for Kilkenny: C Kelly 0-7 (4f, 2’65), C O’Leary 1-1, C Brennan 1-0, G Murphy 0-2, J Young 0-1.
GALWAY: P Rabbitte; M Flynn, S Jennings, I McGlynn; S Quirke, S Neary, E Duggan; O Flannery (St Thomas), J O’Dongohue; D Kilcommins, S McDonagh, O Flannery (Padraig Pearses); K Creaven, D O’Shea, D Reilly.
Subs for Galway: A Brett for McDonagh (40), C Flahery for McGlynn (43), N Collins for O’Donoghue (54), C Cunningham for Creaven (56), A Conaire for Flannery (St Thomas) (61).
KILKENNY: J Brennan; P Dempsey, J Young, C Korff; J Harklin, S Staunton, D Maher; C Rudkins, C Kelly; W Halpin, C Kenny, G Murphy; C O’Leary, C Brennan, J Morrissey.
Subs for Kilkenny: J Buggy for Halpin (30), D Crehan for Korff (ht), D Coogan for Rudkins (ht), K Hogan for Murphy (56).
Referee: Colum Canning (Antrim).