Sunday 25 June 2017

Hogan lays down early Cats marker

Kilkenny 0-20 Galway0-18

Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy puts his body on the line to save from the close-range effort of Galway’s Conor Whelan at Nowlan Park. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy puts his body on the line to save from the close-range effort of Galway’s Conor Whelan at Nowlan Park. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

A chilly day in Nowlan Park, but this Walsh Cup final had competitive fires beating in the hearts of the men in maroon and black and amber jerseys.

The stars of the summer gave way to the continued experimental set-ups on both sides to a large extent, as rival managers Brian Cody and Micheál Donoghue were shorn of some of their big names.

That did not detract from the brisk intensity which the teams brought to the occasion, which was witnessed by an attendance of 4,011.

A two-point win for the Cats, who were reduced to 14 men when Pat Lyng was sent off for a second yellow card offence in the 56th minute, was a satisfactory outcome for Brian Cody.

Kilkenny's Michael Walsh in action against Sean McInerney of Galway. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Kilkenny's Michael Walsh in action against Sean McInerney of Galway. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

"A competitive game for sure. We're happy enough to win it," he said.

Exposure

"We got a good bit out of the competition from the point of view of certain players who might not have had a good bit of exposure up to now.

"Next Sunday the league starts, so straight away we're into very, very serious hurling."

Both Cody and Donoghue knew the Tribesmen had the chances to win this game and take a trophy they last won in 2015. However, too many wides and a failure to finish off a couple of solid goal chances cost Galway in the second-half.

"Obviously we were disappointed. We came down to put in a good performance and try and win it, but a lot of our attention and focus is on to next week, so it was a great game to have in preparation," said Donoghue.

Kilkenny's Joey Holden in action against Sean McInerney of Galway at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Kilkenny's Joey Holden in action against Sean McInerney of Galway at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Kilkenny host Waterford at home next Sunday in their opening Division 1A fixture, while Galway are away to Offaly in Division 1B.

Richie Hogan did the most damage to the Tribesmen with his accuracy from placed balls, scoring 0-11 - seven from frees and two from 65s.

The visitors were under pressure for most of the first-half, but kept in touch to reach half-time just three points in arrears on a 0-13 to 0-10 scoreline.

Both goalkeepers, Eoin Murphy of Kilkenny and Colm Callanan at the other end, performed heroics with a couple of point-blank saves in each half to keep the green flag unused throughout the 82 minutes played.

Referee Pat Murphy from Carlow allowed three extra minutes in the first-half and tacked on nine more to the second-half, largely due to the time taken to treat injured Galway centre-back Martin Dolphin.

Dolphin took a heavy knock in the 44th minute and was stretchered off after treatment. The player suffered a back injury and his fitness will be assessed during the week.

Soon after the game restarted Kilkenny's Lyng got a second yellow card and his marching orders, leaving the Cats to play for almost 23 minutes with 14 players.

At the time of his dismissal, Kilkenny led by 0-18 to 0-13, but the work rate and tackling by Cody's men made up for being a man down.

Galway missed some quality chances and did not score again until the 70th minute, when Shane Maloney notched up a point from a free.

However, in the next nine minutes, Lester Ryan and Richie Hogan, from a free, tacked on two more points to give Kilkenny that precious breathing space.

Galway's Adrian Tuohy, Tom Monaghan, Aidan Harte and Davy Glennon all got on the scoresheet in that period.

On the day, just too little, too late for Galway, but this result will mean little in the greater scheme of the season to come.

Scorers - Kilkenny: R Hogan 0-11 (7f, 265s); O Walsh 0-3; L Ryan 0-2; K Joyce, C Fogarty, P Lyng, C Martin 0-1 each. Galway: J Flynn 0-6 (5f); S Maloney 0-2 (1f); J Cooney and D Glennon 0-2 each; J Coen, C Callanan (f); S McInerney, A Tuohy, T Monaghan, A Harte 0-1 each.

Kilkenny: E Murphy; J Holden, R Lennon, M Walsh; Kieran Joyce, P Murphy, C Fogarty; O Walsh, L Ryan; P Lyng, C Martin, M Malone; R Hogan, JJ Farrell, R Leahy Subs: C O'Shea for C Fogarty (h.t); L Blanchfield for M Malone (42); S Morrissey for R Leahy (52); J Maher for C Martin (61); A Murphy for J J Farrell (70)

Galway: 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. Subs: T Monaghan for D Nevin (28); M Donohoe for J Grealish (h.t); G McInerney for M Dolphin inj (50); P Flaherty for S McInerney (59); K McHugo for C Whelan (64);

Ref: P Murphy (Carlow).

Irish Independent

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