Electric Ireland MHC SF: Galway defeat Kilkenny
Electric Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Semi-Final
GALWAY 0-23 KILKENNY 1-12
By John Fallon at Semple Stadium
Brian Hanley’s Galway, who created history last month when they became the first team to win the Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor hurling title for the fourth year in a row, are through to this season’s final after an impressive win in Thurles.
Galway were on top for long periods as they ousted a Kilkenny side they had beaten in the last three All-Ireland finals.
Galway, who will now meet Cork in the final, led by 0-12 to 0-06 at the break having played with the breeze, with wing-forward Rory Burke seven points from placed balls.
Galway had only one starting survivor from that win but despite this being their first match of the campaign they were still too good for the Leinster champions.
The sides twice exchanged points in the opening 12 minutes but Galway, backed by the breeze, got the next four scores with Burke landing a couple of frees and John Cosgrove and Michéal Power shooting efforts from play to lead by 0-6 to 0-2 after 17 minutes.
Kilkenny hit back and while Danny Glennon was denied a couple of goal chances by the crossbar and Galway goalkeeper Darragh Walsh, the only one to start the 2020 final last month, they reduced the margin through Ben Whitty and Harry Shine.
But the scores came easier to Galway and with Burke, son of former Galway goalkeeper Richard, bringing his opening half tally to seven points from placed balls, they led by double scores at the break by 0-12 to 0-6 with Darragh Neary and Dylan Dunne also picking off good scores from play.
Galway full-back Tiernan Leen was outstanding but Kilkenny got some hope from points from Joe Fitzpatrick and another free from Shine to trail by six at the break.
Cosgrove extended Galway’s lead directly after the restart but then Glennon finally got in for a goal for Kilkenny and Shine quickly added two points to cut the gap to 0-13 to 1-8 after 34 minutes.
Galway, who brought in Anthony Keady, son of the late 1988 Hurler of the Year Tony, responded well and outscored Kilkenny by five points to one to lead by 0-18 to 1-9 before the Cats hit back with efforts from Cillian Hackett and a second from wing-back Fitzpatrick before Oisin Lohan made it 0-19 to 1-11 at the second water break.
Galway, with Joshua Ryan, son of another of that Galway double team of ’87 and ’88 Eanna, at midfield, did not relent in the closing stages as they qualified for their 17th final in the last 23 years.
Scorers for Galway: Rory Burke 0-10 (9f, 1’65), Oisin Lohan 0-3, Micheal Power 0-3, Darragh Neary 0-2, John Cosgrove 0-2, Tiernan Leen 0-1, Dylan Dunne 0-1, Darren Shaughnessy 0-1.
Scorers for Kilkenny: Harry Shine 0-7 (6f), Danny Glennon 1-1, Joe Fitzpatrick 0-2, Ben Whitty 0-1, Cillian Hackett 0-1.
GALWAY: Darragh Walsh; Matthew Tarpey, Tiernán Leen, Joshua O’Connor; Dylan Dunne, Diarmuid Davoren, Nathan Gill; Joshua Ryan, Conor Lawless; Darren Shaughnessy, Michéal Power, Darragh Neary; John Cosgrove, Rory Burke, Oisin Lohan
Subs: Anthony Keady for Lawless (38), Conor Headd for Dunne (57), Tom Nolan for Power (58), Matthew O’Connor for Ryan (60).
KILKENNY: Alan Dunphy; Evan Rudkins, Bill Hughes, Sean Moore; Joe Fitzpatrick, Gearòid Dunne, Owen Lyng; Anthony Ireland Wall, Killian Doyle; James Walsh, Harry Shine, Ben Whitty; Danny Glennon, Killian Carey, Ted Dunne.
Subs: Cillian Hackett for Walsh (half-time), Killian Corcoran for Rudkins (7), Darragh Queally for Ireland Wall (47), Michael Brennan for Whitty (55).
Referee: Rory McGann (Clare).