Kilkenny 0-20 Galway 0-18: They had to withstand a late rally, but Kilkenny did enough to see off the Galway challenge and lift the Walsh Cup for a 20th time at a chilly Nowlan Park.
The Tribesmen were far from intimidated at playing the Cats in their own backyard. and outscored their rivals, who finished with 14 men following Pat Lyng’s dismissal, in the closing stages, but couldn’t overtake them.
There was little between the teams in the early exchanges but, led by Richie Hogan, Kilkenny got their noses in front.
Hogan helped himself to eight first-half points, five from frees, as Brian Cody’s side took a 0-13 to 0-10 lead in at the break.
Kilkenny kept up their charge after the restart, staying three points clear thanks to scores from Hogan (65) and Ollie Walsh. Galway were hurt by the loss of centre-back Martin Dolphin.
Dolphin’s injury affected the team, who fell five points behind when Hogan (free) and Walsh struck again to make it 0-17 to 0-12 with a quarter of the game to play.
Galway drove on in the final quarter. Their comeback could have been even better had Sean McInerney grabbed the goal his side craved, but Kilkenny ’keeper Eoin Murphy made a solid save.
Kilkenny moved on, adding another point from sub Lester Ryan but were reduced to 14 men when Pat Lyng was dismissed for a second yellow card offence 14 minutes from time. Aidan Harte and Davy Glennon helped to narrow the gap with some late points, but it wasn’t enough to reel in the long-time leaders.
“We were happy to win,” said Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody.
“It gives us good momentum going into the league, but we have a lot of injuries. We don’t know how we will be fixed.”
Despite the loss, Galway manager, Micheál Donoghue was far from downbeat.
“Our attention is on the start of the League, but this was a great game to get at this time,” said Donoghue.
“We were pleased with the performance, if not the outcome.”
R. Hogan (0-11, 0-7 frees, 0-2 65s); O. Walsh (0-3); L Ryan (0-2); K. Joyce, C. Fogarty, P. Lyng, C. Martin (0-1 each).
J. Flynn (0-6, five frees); J. Cooney, D. Glennon (0-2 each); S. Maloney (0-2, one free); C. Callanan (0-1, free); A. Tuohy, A. Harte, J. Coen, S. McInerney, T. Monaghan (0-1 each).
E. Murphy; J. Holden, R. Lennon, M. Walsh; K. Joyce, P. Murphy, C. Fogarty; O. Walsh, L. Ryan; P. Lyng, C. Martin, M. Malone; R. Hogan, J.J. Farrell, R. Leahy.
C. O’Shea for C. Fogarty ht; L. Blanchfield for Malone 42nd min; S. Morrissey for Leahy 52nd min; J. Maher for Martin 61st min; A. Murphy for Farrell 70th min.
C. Callanan; B. Flaherty, J. Hanbury, J. Grealish; A. Tuohy, M. Dolphin, A. Harte; J. Coen, D. Nevin; S. Maloney, J. Cooney, D. Glennon; S. McInerney, J. Flynn, C. Whelan.
T. Monaghan for Nevin 28th min; M Donohoe for Grealish ht; G. McInerney for Dolphin (inj) 50th min; P. Flaherty for S. McInerney 59th min; K. McHugo for C. Whelan 64th min.
P. Murphy (Carlow).
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