Match report: Tribesmen cling on to deny Kilkenny in fiery end to Nowlan Park thriller
Galway 3-20 Kilkenny 2-22
Galway still aren’t guaranteed a place in the Leinster hurling final, but they strengthened their case considerably with an impressive win in Nowlan Park.
They lead the ‘round robin’ table on five points, one ahead of Kilkenny and Wexford, who meet in Innovate Wexford Park next Saturday evening.
Dublin, who host Galway in Parnell Park at the same time as the Wexford-Kilkenny game, are on three points so a win would keep them in contention too.
It’s all very tight among the top four in a group where Carlow fill the relegation berth after losing all their games.
Galway had shown indifferent form over recent weeks but raised their game considerably in a fiery contest which Kilkenny finished with 13 men, following dismissals on second yellow cards for Paul Murphy (48th minute) and Ger Aylward (66) while Galway lost John Hanbury on a straight red card in the 61st minute. Several players were also booked.
Galway, playing with the wind, led by 1-13 to 1-10 at half-time, having led by 1-5 to 0-3 after 13 minutes. The goal was scored by Conor Whelan in the 11th minute and was followed by points from Flynn and Adrian Tuohey.
Kilkenny’s response was quick and effective. They scored 1-3 in four minutes, the goal coming from TJ Reid, who also scored three points from play in the first half.
Cathal Mannion was Galway’s star act at the other end, scoring six points in the first 35 minutes. His accuracy was in marked contrast to free-taker, Jason Flynn, who was off target with three long range efforts in the first half.
Galway were six points clear at the three-quarter stage before a TJ Reid re-ignited Kilkenny’s challenge.
Galway sub, Johnny Coen fired in their third goal two minutes later but it was all Kilkenny in the final 13 minutes during which they scored five points.
However, Galway held out in a tense finish.
TJ Reid scored 2-11 (2-4 from play) for Kilkenny while Cathal Mannion hit eight points (seven from play) for Galway.
SCORERS: Galway: C Mannion 0-8 (1f), C Whelan, B Concannon 1-2 each, J Flynn 0-3 (2f), J Coen 1-1, A Tuohey 0-2, J Glynn, David Burke 0-1 each.
Kilkenny: TJ Reid 2-11 (6f, 1’65’), B Ryan 0-3, B Sheehan, R Leahy 0-2 each, C Fennelly, A Murphy,P Deegan, C Fennelly 0-1 each.
KILKENNY: D Brennan; T Walsh, H Lawlor, P Murphy; C Fogarty, P Walsh, P Deegan; A Murphy, R Leahy; A Mullen, B Ryan, TJ Reid; B Sheehan, C Fennelly, G Aylward.
Subs: R Hogan for Mullen (31), J Hoden for T Walsh (44), J Cleere for A Murphy (51), J Donnelly for Sheehan (58)
GALWAY: C Callanan; A Harte, Daithi Burke, J Hanbury; P Mannion, G McInerney, J Cooney; S Loftus, David Burke; A Tuohey, J Glynn, C Mannion; C Whelan, J Flynn, B Concannon.
Subs: J Coen for Loftus (ht), D Glennon for Tuohey (58), N Burke for Concannon (64).
REF - C Lyons (Cork)