Galway Minors cruise past Kilkenny to third consecutive hurling title

In the end, history was achieved with the minimum of fuss by Galway who cruised to a three-in-a-row of Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor hurling titles at Croke Park.

Galway Minors cruise past Kilkenny to third consecutive hurling title

[team1]Galway [/team1][score1]3-14[/score1][team2]Kilkenny [/team2][score2]0-12[/score2][/score]

In the end, history was achieved with the minimum of fuss by Galway who cruised to a three-in-a-row of Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor hurling titles at Croke Park.

Kilkenny, just like 12 months ago, came up short of a talented Galway team who were superbly led this time by Sean McDonagh.

The centre-forward, who came on in last year's final, helped himself to 2-8 this time while Ruben Davitt grabbed their other goal in what was a comprehensive win.

There was a brilliant performance from midfielder Alex Connaire too while captain Ian McGlynn, who was cleared to play after a red card in the semi-finals was rescinded, locked down the Galway defence.

It means a dream double of All-Ireland minor wins is still on the cards for Galway whose footballers will play in their final on September 1 against Cork.

It's a fifth minor hurling title this decade for Galway, adding to the wins of 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2018, a feat only outdone by the six titles Tipperary won in the 1950s.

Galway were in control virtually throughout though the memory of Kilkenny's remarkable fightback in the quarter-finals - Kilkenny came from 12 points down in that match to drawl level before losing by three - meant they didn't rest on their laurels.

Kilkenny led briefly early on here but Davitt's eighth-minute goal for Galway put them into a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

It was a neat strike from Davitt who latched onto a long ball in and beat his man on the left of goals to volley home the bouncing sliotar.

Connaire was at his best in the first-half and won three frees that McDonagh converted to keep Galway well ahead.

Connaire then pointed in the 29th minute to leave Galway 1-9 to 0-6 clear and he was involved in their second goal in first-half stoppage time.

This time he played the ball in that was caught by Greg Thomas who won a penalty off William Halpin that McDonagh expertly converted.

It left Galway 2-6 to 0-7 up at half-time and the five-point margin didn't flatter the young Tribesmen who also tallied eight wides in the half hour or so.

Galway struck 13 wides in total but a strong start to the second-half, when they reeled off another five points without reply, moved them 10 clear and within touching distance of the title.

McDonagh's 47th-minute goal, his second and Galway's third, set the seal on victory and was a strike worthy of the occasion.

Thomas did the spade work with a terrific hand-pass from a crowd of players that picked out McDonagh in space and he hammered home to the roof of the Kilkenny net.

Galway scorers: S McDonagh (2-8, 1-0 pen, 6 frees, 1 '65); R Davitt (1-2); T Killeen (0-2); A Connaire & G Thomas (0-1 each).

Kilkenny scorers: B Drennan (0-6, 5 frees); C O'Sullivan (0-2); T Clifford, P McDonald, L Moore & B Wheeler (0-1 each).

Galway: M Egan; A Nolan, E Lawless, C Brennan; E Collins, I McGlynn, J Cooney; L Leen, A Connaire; T Killeen, S McDonagh, C Cunningham; R Davitt, S Morgan, G Thomas.

Subs: G Lee for Cunningham 46, S O'Hanlon for Morgan 52, T Davoren for Collins 55, C Molloy for Davitt 60, N Glynn for Thomas 62.

Kilkenny: A Tallis; B Reid, W Halpin, T Roche; P McDonald, P Moylan, Z Bay Hammond; L Moore, J Aylward; P Blanchfield, T Clifford, C O'Sullivan; B Drennan, J Doyle, I Byrne.

Subs: D Walsh for Blanchfield 38, A Hickey for Aylward 45, B Wheeler for Byrne 52, A Murphy for Drennan 59.

Ref: P Murphy (Carlow).

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