Saturday 20 January 2018

Henry Shefflin's Kilkenny and Joe Canning's Galway draw in epic hurling encounter

Niall Burke, Galway, scores his side's first goal despite the attempts of Kilkenny's Eoin Murphy, left, and JJ Delaney.
Niall Burke, Galway, scores his side's first goal despite the attempts of Kilkenny's Eoin Murphy, left, and JJ Delaney.
Niall Burke, Galway, celebrates scoring his side's first goal infront of Kilkenny players Eoin Murphy, left, and JJ Delaney.
Kilkenny and Galway players argue over a sideline ball. Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Kilkenny v Galway, O'Connor Park, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Colin Fennelly, Kilkenny, in action against David Collins
Joe Canning, Galway, in action against Jackie Tyrell, Kilkenny.
Cathal Mannion, Galway, in action against Paul Murphy
Richie Power, Kilkenny, in action against Cathal Mannion, Galway.
Colin Fennelly, Kilkenny, shoots to score his side's second goal
Galway's Niall Burke, supported by team-mate Cathal Mannion, in action against JJ Delaney, left, and Paul Murphy
TJ Reid, Kilkenny, in action against David Collins, Galway
Galway manager Anthony Cunningham exchanges words with referee Johnny Ryan during the first half

This game had everything. Galway and Kilkenny must go to war again after a pulsating 5-16 to 3-22 draw in Tullamore.

Kilkenny 3-22 Galway 5-16

With 10 minutes remaining, Galway looked on the canvas and trailed by nine points but Anthony Cunningham's side summoned one of the great GAA comebacks to deny Cody's men victory.

Goals from Conor Cooney (2) and a second Joe Canning penalty in the 70th minute saw the sides level before the two biggest stars of hurling duelled with two equally amazing points to ensure that both sides must do it again.

Galway played their get out of jail free card in the quarter-final win over Laois and began much better this afternoon in Tullamore.

Niall Burke put them ahead but a fine brace from play from Colin Fennelly gave the Cats an early advantage.

TJ Reid was keeping the scoreboard ticking over with frees while points from Burke, Conor Cooney and Jason Glynn has the sides level at six points apiece after 20 minutes.

The game was growing increasingly tetchy with Andy Smith and Jackie Tyrell getting to know each other.

Smyth dusted himself down to fire Galway ahead but Kilkenny responded with the first goal of the game from Eoin Larkin.

Galway hit back through a Conor Cooney free and then Galway had a goal of their own when Andy Smyth's under-hit shot was bungled to the net by Niall Burke.

Two impressive scores from Colin Fennelly and Padraig Walsh restored parity before Cooney and Walsh traded scores and the sides were level at 1-9 apiece at the break.

Jonathan Glynn was introduced at the break for Galway and made an immediate impact with a point.

Galway had nudged their way in front but a Colin Fennelly goal but Kilkenny back in front.

Jonathan Glynn received a blow across the chest from Brian Kennedy as he went in on goal and Joe Canning just about got the resulting penalty over the line.

Canning then put Galway in front with a rasping point before Kilkenny assumed command and hit 1-7 without reply with TJ Reid grabbing the goal.

When Henry Shefflin entered the fray, Kilkenny were leading by nine points and looked to be cruising to the Leinster final but Galway produced an amazing comeback.

Two goals from Conor Cooney pulled the Tribesmen back into the game with three minutes to play and unbelievably Jonathan Glynn was fouled for a second penalty which Canning coverted and the sides were level in injury time.

The drama was not done however as Kilkenny musted an attack and Henry Shefflin pointed from an unbelievable angle to send Cats' fans into raptures.

Galway had one last chance to force a draw and it fell to their star man Joe Canning who pointed with a superb score that matched Shefflin's heroics.



A replay will decide who plays Dublin in the Leinster final and it will be one very eagerly anticipated game. It has been provisionally fixed for Tullamore next Saturday

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