Kilkenny cruise to All-Ireland at second time of asking
Kilkenny 3-22 Galway 3-11: Kilkenny saw off 14-man Galway in an at times epic All-Ireland final replay in Croke Park.
The Cats ran out convincing 11 point winners but only after Galway had given them some hairy moments in the first-half but the dismissal of Cyril Donnellan for a striking offence would help swing this game in Kilkenny’s favour.
The result also saw Henry Shefflin make a unique piece of history as he became the first man to win nine All Ireland medals on the field of play. Noel Hickey also made a late appearance as a sub to collect his ninth medal.
A rip-roaring first half ebbed and flowed and featured three goals in as many breathless minutes. First David Burke hit a quick-fire brace before Richie Power responded almost instantly for the Cats.
Burke’s first came after he diverted an Iarla Tannian delivery to the net before he coolly finished a clever pass from Damien Hayes. But Kilkenny replied through Power and would go on to sore 1-6 without reply to take a 1-11 to 2-4 lead in at the break.
Galway had already made changes in the first half and they were forced into another at the break as goalkeeper James Skehill was replaced. Skehill had been an injury doubt before the game after damaging his shoulder at training in Friday night and he was replaced by Fergal Flannery for the restart.
Galway remained in touch for much of the second half and Canning hit the post with a goal attempt while Donnellan had the ball in the net only for play to be pulled back by referee James McGrath.
However the dismissal of Donnellan left them with a mountain to climb and when debutant Walter Walsh goaled to put the Cats into an 11 point lead, the game was all but decided.
It was to get worse for Galway when sub Colin Fennelly found the net again and while Jonathan Glynn hit a late goal for Galway it was merely academic as the Cats cruised to a staggering ninth All-Ireland title in 13 seasons.