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Ger and Co should know better than to doubt Kilkenny by now

"The drive for five! Immortality beckons for Kilkenny," announced Sunday Game Live presenter Michael Lyster.

It was enough to get the juices of Cyril Farrell flowing right from the throw-in, as Galway slashed away at Kilkenny's aura of invincibility when Damien Hayes goaled to leave it tantalisingly tight at the break, 1-8 to 1-5 in favour of the champions.

Farrell waded right in: "Galway should be very happy with that. The goal brought them back into the game."

It looked like Ger Loughnane had seen enough to indicate the Cats' cage had been shaken. They would have to dig deep to get out of this one.

"Galway have done well tactically, they have got it right. The two wing forwards are staying way out. Kilkenny are a bit rattled. Kilkenny have not got the same fire, not the same killer instinct. They are missing that."

It was all set up for a fall for the champions. The esteemed gentlemen should have known better. Cork's Tomás Mulcahy summed it up at full-time: "It was an absolute disaster for Galway. So much ball went into open space inside. Galway brought fellas away out the field to midfield and the half-back line to pick up possession and they were hitting it back into the Kilkenny guys."

It was a tactical move that flummoxed Loughnane as Galway played into the hands of the opposition in the second half.

"Galway, why did they change it when it was working so well for them in the first half? Why did they abandon something that was winning for them?"

Mulcahy could not understand why Galway moved the best full-forward in the country out of the danger zone. "Joe Canning is their star man. They never put him in at the edge of the square and let everyone play around him," he stressed.

This was the trigger for Loughnane to sound the klaxon of pending doom for those who would threaten Kilkenny's march towards immortality.