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Cats' replay woes offer morsel of comfort

BY NOW we all know Sunday will be the first All-Ireland SHC final replay in 53 years, and the first time ever that both the minor and senior hurling showpieces ended in stalemate. But do you know how Galway, historically, have fared in senior hurling final replays?

The short answer is no, because it's never happened before.

Kilkenny's replay record, though, might offer a morsel of comfort for tremulous Tribesmen who fear their All-Ireland chance has evaporated amid the high drama of early September.

In total there have been just five SHC final replays. Three of these involved the Cats, who won the first (the 1905 decider, played two years later, as you do) but lost the next two (to Cork in 1931 and Waterford in 1959).

Even their one replay triumph comes with an asterisk attached. According to 'The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games', Cork shaded the first match but a replay was ordered after an objection and counter-objection.

All very mysterious.

So we checked our old reliable, Wikipedia, and discovered the following: "In 1905 Kilkenny and Cork had an All-Ireland final showdown once again. The game was a high-scoring affair with Cork winning by 5-10 to 3-13. The game, however, had to be replayed as Cork goalkeeper Daniel McCarthy was a British army reservist and Kilkenny's Matt Gargan had played with Waterford in the Munster championship. The game was another high-scoring one, with Jimmy Kelly scoring 5-2. A puck-out by Cork's Jamesy Kelleher is said to have hopped over the Kilkenny crossbar. Kilkenny won the game by 7-7 to 2-9, with all seven of their goals coming in a 30-minute spell."

James Skehill, you have been warned...