Cats cry foul as Salmon gets Galway off the hook
All-Ireland MHC s/F replay: Galway 3-10 Kilkenny 0-17
Galway manager Jeff Lynskey praised the character shown by his charges as they again came from behind to thwart reigning All-Ireland champions Kilkenny.
But unlike last week when Galway twice came from six points down to force extra-time and then a replay, this time they finished the job when they struck for two late goals to break Kilkenny’s hearts.
The Cats seemed poised for the final when they led by four points with just five minutes remaining but they were stunned by a huge finish from the Tribesmen with late goals from subs Jack Kenny and Cian Salmon.
“They have shown great heart all year, they never give up,” said Lynskey.
Salmon’s goal was hotly disputed by Kilkenny, with manager Pat Hoban convinced the Clarinbridge was in the parallelogram before finishing a cross from Thomas Monaghan in the final minute.
“We all thought it was a square ball. I was turning around to organise the half-forward line for the free. I absolutely assumed it was a square ball,” said Hoban.
“They are the breaks you get or don’t get but there is no point in saying otherwise, I thought it was a square ball.”
Lynskey conceded that it probably was a square ball. “I don’t know whether it was or was not, it probably was a square ball but it is not often we get those decisions,” he said.
Kilkenny, aided by the breeze, had the upper hand for long periods of the opening half but had to settle for a lead of just 0-9 to 1-4 at the break, after Jack Coyne had given Galway a glorious start with 1-1 in the opening seven minutes.
But Kilkenny, with last week’s man of the match Richie Leahy playing up front, took over and drew level after 15 minutes and then outscored Galway by 0-4 to 0-1 in the second quarter.
The sides exchanged points three times after the restart before efforts from Coyne and Evan Niland tied the match at 1-9 to 0-12 going into the final quarter.
Two points from Andy Gaffney and one apiece from Conor Hennessy and Ed Delaney pushed the champions four points clear before Salmon set up Kenny for a good goal five minutes from the end.
And then Galway finished the job when Salmon struck for the winner in the dying seconds.
Scorers – Galway: J Coyne 1-2, E Niland 0-5 (5fs), J Kenny, C Salmon 1-0 each, M Lynch, I O’Brien, T Monaghan 0-1 each. Kilkenny: A Gaffney 0-6 (3fs, 3 ‘65s’), C Hennessy, J Connolly 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; K O’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 (27), L Forde for Lynch (43), C Salmon for Burke (45), J Kenny for Concannon (53), R Malone for Monaghan (60).
Kilkenny – S Murphy; 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 (0-06, 0-03f, 0-02 ’65), 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).
Ref – C Lyons (Cork).