Whelan brace does damage for Galway
Galway 3-22 Kilkenny 1-17
Galway overcame a tame Kilkenny challenge in Tullamore last night to book their spot in the Leinster final against Wexford.
They led 3-11 to 0-11 at half-time and they never looked in any danger of slipping up with their full-forward line of Brian Molloy, Conor Whelan and Shane Moloney recording 3-15 between them.
Both sides were in free-scoring form early on as senior star Michael Rice hit a fine score for the Cats.
At the other end Whelan got the first point of his impressive first-half haul of 2-2.
Liam Blanchfield sailed over a super score for Kilkenny to make it 0-6 each but Galway proceeded to lift it a gear as Whelan and Moloney both found the net within two minutes as the Tribesmen began to pull away.
Johnny Hayes was excellent for Kilkenny but a second goal for Whelan in the 28th minute saw Galway take a 3-11 to 0-11 lead into the interval.
The second half was a dull affair, with the Kilkenny men never really threatening to eat into the deficit.
The Galway forwards had more of a bite about them all evening and as the game entered the final 10 minutes, they extended their lead with Molloy and Moloney to the fore.
Ger Malone grabbed a consolation goal in the final minute but Galway eased to a comprehensive victory.
Scorers - Galway: S Moloney 1-9 (0-3fs, 0-1 '65'), C Whelan 2-2, B Molloy 0-4, E Brannigan 0-3, K McHugo 0-2, J Regan and E Burke 0-1 each. Kilkenny: R Hickey 0-5 (2fs, 2 '65s'), G Malone 1-1, J Hayes 0-4, M Rice 0-3, L Blanchfield 0-2, N Doherty, M Moloney 0-1 each.
GALWAY - J Skehill; C Flynn, D O'Donoghue, A Tuohy; P Flaherty, D Burke, S Cooney; K McHugo, D Higgins; E Burke, J Regan, E Brannigan; C Whelan, S Moloney, B Molloy. Subs: B Keane for S Cooney (53), E Mahony for J Regan (54), P Hannon for E Burke 55), J Kennedy for E Brannigan (56), K Lane for D Higgins (57).
KILKENNY - K Nolan; E Moriarty, P Gahan, S Phelan; A Kearns, O McGrath, L Harney; J Hayes, K Blanchfield; L Blanchfield, M Rice, B Ryan; G Malone, R Hickey, S Donnelly. Subs: C Doyle for S Phelan h-t), N Doherty for K Blanchfield (h-t), M Moloney for B Ryan (50), M Malone for S Donnelly (54), B Cahill for M Rice (57).
Ref - T Carroll (Offaly)