Monday 27 May 2019

'We were worried' - Joe Canning relieved and heaps praise on one unsung Galway hero following victory over Kilkenny

Joe Canning of Galway with young fans after beating Kilkenny in this year's Leinster final
Joe Canning of Galway with young fans after beating Kilkenny in this year's Leinster final

Galway talisman Joe Canning has admitted the All Ireland champions were a little bit "worried" as Kilkenny staged a comeback in today's Leinster final.

Galway led by 12 points at one stage in the first half but Brian Cody's Cats clawed themselves right back into the match after the break to trail by just the one point.

Galway showed exactly why they are champions as they dug into the tank to eventually win out 1-28 to 3-15.

For Canning, Galway's work ethic was the deciding factor as the men from the west retained their crown.

"It was very important in the second half because we have been in them situations in the past few years and Kilkenny have come out on top so we knew that the scoreline at half time wasn't a reflection (on the game)," Canning told RTE after the game.

"They came back with two goals in the second half and we were a little bit worried to be straight up. There is no point in saying otherwise.

"It just shows the different character in this group that we powered on again and finished strongly."

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Canning admitted that Kilkenny's two second-half goals rocked his side but added that work-rate saw them over the line and signalled out Joe Cooney for special praise.

"You're always worried when you're playing Kilkenny, there's no point saying otherwise. They have that history and they're a great team, so we knew that it was going to be a battle.

"We are lucky we upped the work-rate again. We stopped a little bit in the first half around the middle third and we stopped again in the second half ands we can't afford to do that against Kilkenny.

"That's the sort of stuff that goes unnoticed. Lads like Joe Cooney don't get the credit they deserve. He's one of the most important guys on our team for work-rate alone. It's a huge thing we've set standards on over the last two years and we didn't live up to it at stages today but at different points we did."

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