McDonagh goal helps Tribes hold off Cats comeback
Galway 3-16 Kilkenny 2-16
It was a good day all round for both counties in this qualifier in Croke Park yesterday.
The result has all but pushed both through to the semi-finals on the weekend after next.
Clare, the third party in the qualifiers, could change the scenario, but they will need to defeat defending All-Ireland champions Galway by a big score in the last game in the series next weekend.
Galway, thanks to two goals from magnificent fielder Greg Thomas (sixth and 28th minutes), took a serious grip on the match during the first-half to lead by a commanding 2-10 to 0-6 at the break.
Kilkenny were on the verge of exiting the championship, but they put in a stunning showing after the break. They changed their team about, and when lively sub Ian Byrne crashed two goals to the net they had the gap down to 2-10 to 2-11 in the 39th minute.
The game was all square at 2-12 each in the 47th minute when Timmy Clifford found the target for the losers. Galway regained the lead with a goal from the excellent Sean McDonagh on 50 minutes and from there on they kept the opposition at bay.
After looking like being hammered during the first-half, the Cats won the second-half scoring exchanges by 2-10 to 1-6 to rescue their season and most likely claim a semi-final place.
"We couldn't be more happy with the effort put in by the team," insisted Kilkenny manager Richie Mulrooney. "Hopefully we have done enough."
SCORERS - Galway: G Thomas 2-2; S McDonagh 1-7 (3f); G Lee, A Connaire 0-2 each; L Leen, T Killeen, C Molloy 0-1 each. Kilkenny: I Byrne 2-2; B Drennan 0-7 (6f); P Blanchfield, T Clifford 0-2 each, P McDonald, L Moore, C O'Sullivan 0-1 each.
GALWAY - M Egan; E Davoren, E Lawless, A Nolan; E Collins, I McGlynn, C Brennan; L Leen, O Slevin; C Cunningham, S McDonagh, T Killeen; G Lee, S Morgan, G Thomas. Subs: A Connaire for Slevin (40); P Cummins for Lee (49); S O'Hanlon for Leen (52); R Howley for Collins (54), C Molloy for Killeen (57).
KILKENNY - A Tallis; B Reid, W Halpin, T Roche; P McDonald, P Moylan, J Aylward; A Hickey, D Walsh; P Blanchfield, C O'Sullivan, L Moore; B Drennan, T Clifford, J Doyle. Subs: I Byrne for Hickey ht; Z Bay Hammond for D Walsh ht; J McNamara for Doyle (58); S Doyle for Drennan (59)
REF - T Walsh (Waterford).