Galway’s Cian Salmon leaps late to sink Kilkenny

Galway 3-10 Kilkenny 0-17: Galway boss Jeffrey Lynskey refused to apologise for Cian Salmon’s controversial late goal that stole a dramatic All-Ireland semi-final victory.

Substitute Salmon had a major impact on this replay, firstly creating a 55th-minute goal for fellow sub Jack Kenny before flicking in the winner himself at the death.

The strikes stunned Kilkenny, who led by four points with just five minutes remaining and looked set to advance.

But the Cats can be cut some slack as there were strong suspicions that Salmon was guilty of a square ball infringement when he got a touch on Thomas Monaghan’s long ball in and found the net.

Kilkenny manager Pat Hoban refused to lay into the match officials for allowing the strike though his opposite number, Galway’s Lynskey, said he didn’t care either way.

“Look, in 1995 I was a minor myself in Thurles and there was a square ball that day that was given - 20 years later I got the rub of the green,” said Lynskey. “That’s it, that’s life.” Asked if he had any apology to make to Kilkenny, he gasped: “To Kilkenny! No, will you stop.”

Kilkenny manager Pat Hoban shrugged when asked about the goal. “I think we all thought it was a square ball,” he said. “That’s the breaks you get but there is no point saying otherwise, I thought it was a square ball, yeah.”

Galway started well, moving into a 1-1 to 0-0 lead. Jack Coyne fired a point before hitting the net after seven minutes. But they scored just three more points in the half and only once from open play.

Kilkenny had a strong breeze in their favour and capitalised with bursts of three and then four points.

Kilkenny led 0-9 to 1-4 at the break but resurgent Galway drew level by the 44th minute at 1-9 to 0-12. They appeared to have slipped out of contention when they trailed by four but Galway’s subs had a huge impact as Salmon took centre stage to snatch the win.

Scorers for Galway:

J Coyne (1-2); E Niland (0-5 frees); J Kenny (1-0); C Salmon (1-0); M Lynch, I O’Brien, T Monaghan (0-1 each)

Scorers for Kilkenny:

A Gaffney (0-6, 3 frees, 2’65s’); J Connolly, C Hennessy (0-2 each); S Mahony, D O’Connor, M Cody, R Leahy, T O’Dwyer, E Delaney, J Donnelly (0-1 each)

GALWAY:

D Gilligan; C Connor, J Fitzpatrick, S Bannon; C Mulry, I O’Brien, A Greaney; J Grealish, F Burke; J Coyne, T Monaghan, B Concannon; M Lynch, E Niland, S Loftus.

Subs:

C Fahy for Grealish (28), L Forde for Lynch (43), C Salmon for Burke (46), J Kenny for Concannon (54), R Malone for Monaghan (61).

KILKENNY:

S Muprhy; M Cody, T Walsh, C McGrath; C Doheny, R Bergin, D Mullen; D Joyce, J Connolly; C Hennessy, S Mahony, T O’Dwyer; A Gaffney, R Leahy, D O’Connor.

Subs:

J Donnelly for O’Connor (40), E Delaney for Connolly (45), B Sheehan for O’Dwyer (54), N Walsh for Bergin (59), J Cuddihy for Mahony (60).

Referee:

C Lyons (Cork).

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