Canning insists Galway have made major strides
DESPITE missing out on ultimate honours, Ollie Canning believes 2012 will go down as a very good year for Galway hurling.
Anthony Cunningham's side recovered from a poor league campaign to secure a first Leinster title and take Kilkenny to a replay in the All-Ireland final.
"You would say it was a good year. At the start of the year, they had a relegation play-off with Dublin -- then them winning the Leinster title and reaching the All-Ireland final, you'd have to say it's been a successful year.
"I know the lads themselves and the management are a bit disappointed with the performance the second day against Kilkenny, but that's the way it goes," said Canning, who lined out for Portumna as they crashed out of the Galway SHC at the quarter-final stage.
"Kilkenny are a phenomenal team. There's definitely a lot to build on, a lot of progress this year."
And while the veteran defender accepted the injuries James Skehill and Joe Canning carried into the replay might have upset the Tribesmen a little, he wasn't offering any excuses.
"They didn't play well enough on the day, that was it. I don't think they'll offer that as an excuse.
"It wasn't ideal, obviously, going into the game with the two guys carrying knocks but that's the way hurling goes, that's why you have a big panel."
Canning also took issue with the reporting of his brother Joe's controversial comments about Henry Shefflin in the wake of the drawn game.
"I thought the reaction from the media was overhyped," claimed the former All Star defender.