Tuesday 17 September 2019

McDonagh goal helps Tribes hold off Cats comeback

Galway 3-16 Kilkenny 2-16

Galway's Sean McDonagh gets his shot away despite the efforts of Kilkenny's Peter McDonald (left) and William Halpin during the Electric Ireland. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Galway's Sean McDonagh gets his shot away despite the efforts of Kilkenny's Peter McDonald (left) and William Halpin during the Electric Ireland. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportdesk

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.

Kilkenny's Joey Holden hunts down Cork’s Patrick Horgan. Holden's switch back to play as a sweeper turned the tide for the Cats. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Kilkenny's Joey Holden hunts down Cork’s Patrick Horgan. Holden's switch back to play as a sweeper turned the tide for the Cats. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

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.

Billy Drennan of Kilkenny in action against Christy Brennan of Galway. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Billy Drennan of Kilkenny in action against Christy Brennan of Galway. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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."

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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).

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