Still only 19 and in just his third championship appearance in what was his debut season, Canning truly announced himself on the senior stage when fetching a long delivery ahead of Cork full-back Diarmuid O’Sullivan, then withstanding the pressure applied by the Rock to get away a one-handed flick that sent the sliotar whizzing past Dónal Óg Cusack.
‘How did he do that,’ asked Ger Canning after his namesake weaved a path that took him past the five Kilkenny players in close proximity before angling his shot back across David Herity in the Kilkenny goal.
Henry Shefflin appeared to have sealed victory for Kilkenny two minutes into injury-time. In the ensuing play, Joe kicked the sliotar out towards the stand sideline in Tullamore, eventually got it up on the stick, and managed to nail the equaliser when letting fly from where the 13-metre line meets the white paint of the sideline.
Arguably his most iconic score. Running goalward, Canning, in one incredible movement, pivoted back around to catch at chest height an Andy Smith delivery, continued his rotation after collecting possession, and slammed the sliotar home.
After his attempted match-winning free from inside the Galway 45-metre line dropped short, Canning moved up the field for a possible second bite of the cherry. That he received when Johnny Coen fed him possession. Standing on the Cusack Stand sideline just outside the Tipperary 45-metre line, Canning split the posts in the fifth minute of injury-time to send his team into the decider.