Electric Ireland MHC Final: Impressive Galway triumph
Electric Ireland Minor Hurling Final
GALWAY 3-14 KILKENNY 0-12
By Cian O'Connell at Croke Park
This was another minor decider in which Galway’s hard working values were evident as Brian Hanley’s charges carved out a hugely satisfying success.
Hanley, eager to maintain Galway’s splendid recent record at this level, had Galway primed for a battle with the maroon and white team sufficiently crafty to deal with Kilkenny’s spirited challenge.
Sean McDonagh ended the hour with a 2-8 haul and was instrumental throughout for Galway, who collected a third minor title on the spin.
The striped outfit were defiant, but Galway plundered two first half goals courtesy of Ruben Davitt and Sean McDonagh to hold a commanding 2-6 to 0-7 advantage.
Those majors were severe blows to Kilkenny’s hopes with Davitt mining an opportunistic goal in the eighth minute signaling Galway’s intentions.
In first half additional time McDonagh made the Kilkenny net dance from a penalty following a Peter McDonald foul on the imposing and impressive Greg Thomas.
Boosted by those two goals Galway led by five at the turnaround with Kilkenny relying on the crisp accuracy of Billy Drennan for scores.
After the restart Kilkenny craved an improvement, but Galway refused to read from that script with McDonagh remaining prominent.
Galway clipped another five points without response with Davitt and Thomas supplying cute efforts guiding the Tribesmen 2-11 to 0-6 clear.
Drennan terminated a 13 minute search for a second period score when Drennan nailed a free, but Galway were unperturbed.
Thomas’ inviting pass released McDonagh, who summoned an equally tidy goalscoring finish as Galway led 3-12 to 0-10 in the 47th minute.
Kilkenny just couldn’t adequately cope with Galway’s potent mixture of power and poise up front with the Tribesmen powering to a 13th All Ireland crown.
Scorers for Galway: Sean McDonagh 2-8 (1-0 pen, 6fs, 165), Ruben Davitt 1-2, Tiernan Killeen 0-2, Greg Thomas and Alex Connaire 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny: Billy Drennan 0-6 (5fs), Colman O’Sullivan 0-2, Peter McDonald, Braedon Wheeler, Timmy Clifford, and Liam Moore 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Michael Egan; Christy Brennan, Eoin Lawless, Adam Nolan; Enda Collins, Ian McGlynn, John Cooney; Liam Leen, Alex Connaire; Colm Cunningham, Sean McDonagh, Tiernan Killeen; Ruben Davitt, Shane Morgan, Greg Thomas.
Subs: Gavin Lee for Cunningham (46), Sean O’Hanlon for Morgan (52), Eanna Davoren for Collins (55), Colm Molloy for Davitt (59), Niall Glynn for Thomas (60).
KILKENNY: Aidan Tallis; Billy Reid, William Halpin, Tristan Roche; Peter McDonald, Padraic Moylan, Zach Bay Hammond; Liam Moore, James Aylward; Pierce Blanchfield, Timmy Clifford, Colman O'Sullivan; Billy Drennan, Jack Doyle, Ian Byrne.
Subs: Denis Walsh for Blanchfield (38), Andy Hickey for Aylward (44), Braedon Wheeler for Byrne (52), Aran Murphy for Drennan (59).
REFEREE: Patrick Murphy (Carlow).