Final countdown


Compiled by IAN O'RIORDAN

Not so lucky Cats: Kilkenny's All-Ireland final replays record nothing to brag about

A first senior final replay since Waterford beat Kilkenny in 1959, a first minor replay since Galway beat Kilkenny in 2004, and the first time in GAA history that a senior and minor All-Ireland hurling final replay are set to be decided on the same day.

So what does that mean in terms of omens? Galway have an advantage by default, given they’ve never before played in a senior All-Ireland hurling final replay, and have therefore never lost one.

Kilkenny, however, lost out in that 1959 replay: having drawn with Waterford, 1-17 to their 5-5, Kilkenny then lost out on the second attempt, losing 3-12 to 1-10.

Kilkenny have also been involved in two other senior hurling replays: in the 1905 final (actually played in April, 1907), they lost out to Cork 5-10 to 3-13, but this result was “disputed” and in the subsequent replay, played in June 1907, Kilkenny won out 7-7 to 2-9.

Kilkenny were also taken to replay in 1931, drawing with Cork 2-5 apiece, before losing the replay 5-8 to 3-4 – which means they’ve played in three replays, losing two and winning one.

Previous All-Ireland SHC Final Replays

1905 Kilkenny 7-7 Cork 2-9

1908 Tipperary 3-15 Dublin 1-5

1931 Cork 5-8 Kilkenny 3-4

1934Limerick 5-2 Dublin 2-6

1959 Waterford 3-12 Kilkenny 1-10


Major minor: Young Dub Costello getting ready for fifth under-18 final in two years

Surely the fact Cormac Costello finds himself playing in his fifth All-Ireland minor final in two years must be some kind of record? At any grade?

What is certain is Costello has been the stand-out Dublin minor over the last two years: he played his first final with the Dublin hurlers last year, at corner forward, losing out to Galway, and two weeks later, played at wing forward with the football team that lost out to Tipperary, a late goal by substitute Colman Kennedy denying Costello and his team-mates a first All-Ireland medal.

Still young enough for the minor grade this year, Costello maintained the demanding dual role all summer, helping take the Dublin minor hurlers back to the All-Ireland final earlier this month, where they drew with Tipperary: again, he followed that up two weeks later when helping Dublin beat Meath in last Sunday’s All-Ireland minor football replay, chipping in with 0-5, including four frees.

So that makes it one All-Ireland medal from four finals, with the chance to make it two from five tomorrow. Win or lose, Costello has come a long way since his childhood days practising frees at Parnell Park while his father, Dublin secretary John Costello, went about his frequently late evening business, and it’s surely only a matter of time before the youngster from Whitehall Colmcille’s is looking forward to his next All-Ireland final, at either under-21 or indeed senior grade.

One such feat at minor level still unrivalled, however, is that of Tipperary hurler Jimmy Doyle, who holds the unique record of playing in four successive All-Ireland minor finals, all in hurling: in 1954 Doyle played in goal when Tipp lost to Dublin, but after moving out the field, helped Tipperary win three successive minor titles, beating Galway in 1955, and Kilkenny in both 1956 and 1957. Doyle went on to win six All-Ireland senior titles.

Setting dates: Another draw may see October 13th replay

No one has yet fully contemplated the prospect of a second hurling final replay, and that includes the GAA themselves.

If Kilkenny and Galway do end on level terms for the second time – and remember extra-time will be played, if necessary, on Sunday – then the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) will meet immediately after the game to discuss the options for a second replay (and likewise should Dublin and Tipperary end up level again, in the minor final).

The women’s All-Ireland senior football final between Munster rivals, Cork and Kerry, is set for Croke Park on Sunday week, October 7th, although the teams would most likely be given at least a two-week break, the amount of time necessary to distribute tickets for the third time, as well.

Interestingly, the football replay date had been pencilled in for the Saturday, October 6th, with possibly a later afternoon throw-in, which would suggest the Saturday, October 13th, as a possible date for a second hurling replay.

Not that anyone has contemplated that prospect.


In the drawn game Joe Canning and Henry Shefflin finished locked together, with the Galway star hitting 1-9 (eight points from frees) and Shefflin scoring 12 points (just one from play). Unless Canning completely rules the scoreboard tomorrow then Shefflin looks poised to top the championship scoring chart once more.

Top-10 to date

Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny) 3-47 (56)

Shane Dowling (Limerick) 4-37 (49)

Patrick Horgan (Cork) 1-42 (45)

Joe Canning (Galway) 2-41 (47)

Pa Bourke (Tipperary) 2-29 (35)

Shane Dooley (Offaly) 4-21 (33)

Willie Hyland (Laois) 1-26 (29)

Diarmuid Lyng (Wexford) 1-25 (28)

Niall O’Brien (Westmeath) 2-20 (26)

Maurice Shanahan (Waterford) 0-24 (24)

Omen: Hotel change

It didn’t exactly prove a lucky choice of hotel for the Mayo footballers, who returned to The Regency on the old Swords Road following their defeat to Donegal in last Sunday’s All-Ireland football final.

The Galway hurlers originally intended on staying there too, win or lose in tomorrow’s final replay with Kilkenny, having booked in there for the night after the drawn game.

However, due to a large wedding reception, the Galway County Board found there was no longer enough room to accommodate the team, so they’ve booked into the Burlington Hotel tomorrow evening instead.

Guided tour: Hayes right up there with the legends

In perfect synchronisation with Galway’s replay showdown with Kilkenny, former Galway captain Conor Hayes presents a guided tour of Croke Park Stadium this afternoon, at 2.30 – with tickets still available from

As Galway seek to capture their first All-Ireland title since 1988, when Hayes lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup as Galway captain, he will revisit the scene of some of his most glorious days in the maroon jersey.

One of only a handful of Galway players with three All-Ireland medals, Hayes was a corner back on the team in 1980, and then captained the side from full back in 1987 and 1988. He also won three All Stars playing for the Galway hurlers, in 1986, 1987 and 1988.

“To be noted as a legend at that level is great,” he says. “It’s an acknowledgement of the achievements of the team I was on, particularly back in the 1980s, the 1987 and 1988 teams that I was captain of.

“We had the 25-year walkabout there recently which was great as well.

“I suppose it’s an honour of the team and being captain of a team that won two All-Irelands, it puts me up there with the legends, I suppose, really.”


One of the many unwritten rules in the GAA is to appoint a different referee for All-Ireland final replays, which means James McGrath, who acted as a linesman and the standby referee for Barry Kelly in the drawn match, takes control of the whistle this time.

The Westmeath referee will be familiar to both Galway and Kilkenny, as McGrath was also in charge for their Leinster final meeting last July, which Galway won comfortably. Yet any accusation of potential bias can be quickly dismissed by the fact that McGrath was also in charge of this year’s league final, where Kilkenny comfortably beat Cork. Kelly has been retained as a linesman opposite Cork’s John Sexton.

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