Classy Canning reigns supreme as Galway skin the Cats in Pearse Stadium
Galway 1-22 Kilkenny 2-11
Galway flashed out a clear warning that they are well-primed to make a bold bid to retain the All-Ireland hurling title when powering past Kilkenny in Pearse Stadium.
Walter Walsh's stoppage time goal provided some consolation for Kilkenny but it was too little far too late after Galway had scored the previous seven points to open up an 11-point lead. They were totally dominant in that period apart from when Walsh whipped home a Kilkenny goal. However, after consulting with his umpires, referee, Fergal Horgan disallowed it and awarded a free out.
Galway had no worries from there on, easily pulling away from their rivals. Joe Canning scored 1-12 for Galway while TJ Reid was Kilkenny's top marksman on 1-9.
Galway led by 1-9 to 1-5 at half-time, having opened up an eight-point lead after 30 minutes. Kilkenny finished the stronger, with TJ Reid driving in a goal from a penalty after Luke Scanlon was hauled down and Walter Walsh adding the closing point.
It was level at 0-4 each after 20 minutes before Galway enjoyed a golden ten-minute spell during which they scored 1-5 without reply. Some of their point-scoring was reminiscent of their run to last year's All-Ireland title while the goal came from Joe Canning in the 28th minute when he beat Eoin Murphy with a penalty after Conor Whelan was fouled.
The Kilkenny goal had two narrow escapes early on, first when Brian Conncannon's goal was disallowed and then when Murphy made a great save from Conor Cooney.
Galway: J Skehill; A Tuohey, Daithi Burke, J Hanbury; P Mannion, G McInerney, A Harte; J Coen, David Burke 0-1; C Mannion 0-2, J Canning 1-12 (0-7f, 1-0 pen, 0-1 '65'), J Cooney; C Whelan, C Cooney 0-4, B Concannon 0-1.
Subs: J Glynn for Concannon (51), J Flynn 0-1 for J Cooney (61), N Burke 0-1 for C Mannion (66), S Loftus for P Mannion (70).
Kilkenny: E Murphy; E Morrissey, P Walsh, P Deegan; C Delaney, C Buckley, P Murphy; C Fogarty, J Maher; M Keoghan, TJ Reid 1-9 (8f, 1-0 pen, 0-1 '65), L Blanchfield; J Donnelly, W Walsh 1-1, L Scanlon 0-1.
Subs: C Fennelly for Donnelly (ht), J Holden for Morrissey (44), R Leahy for Keoghan (54), B Sheehan for Blanchfield (57)
Ref - F Horgan (Tipperary)