Galway 1-12 Kilkenny 2-8
Enda Fahy’s stoppage-time point at Croke Park sent Galway through to an Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor hurling final with Dublin or Cork on September 3rd.
Supersub Fahy struck in the third minute of additional time to settle a tie that had been level three times in the final quarter and ensure a final presence for Galway in this grade for the second time in three years.
While Fahy was the scoring hero, the man-of-the-match award went to Galway skipper Darren Morrissey, who did a brilliant man-marking job on Kilkenny skipper and dangerman Adrian Mullen.
Galway also had a 1-4 haul from Jack Canning, nephew of senior star Joe, including a crucial penalty goal to cancel out Kilkenny's second major two minutes previously.
Galway also survived an awful call with four minutes left, when the umpire at the Hill 16 end handed Kilkenny a '65 after Evan Cody had clearly knocked the ball wide.
Mullen converted and Kilkenny were a point ahead – 2-8 to 1-10 – with time running out.
But Galway had late answers, Donal Mannion levelling it up before Kilkenny suffered a real blow when Conor Heary was sent off for a second bookable offence.
And the young Tribesmen had the wherewithal to carve out a winner, as Fahy kept his nerve to slot over the decisive score.
Kilkenny had led by 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time as Jim Ryan’s third-minute goal separated the sides.
Mullen went close to a Kilkenny goal eight minutes before the break but Galway goalkeeper Darach Fahy did well to keep out the Ballyhale youngster.
A generally disappointing first half was followed by a better second period, as weather conditions improved slightly.
Kilkenny’s second goal – scored by Cody in the 37th minute – had Kilkenny 2-6 to 0-8 clear but Galway hit back through Canning’s 39th-minute penalty, after Mannion was taken down.
Seán Bleahane, impressive in the second half for Galway, levelled the tie at 1-9 to 2-6 and while Kilkenny moved ahead twice more, the Westerners held their nerve and moved into next month’s decider.
GALWAY: D Fahy; C Killeen, D Loftus, D Morrissey; R Glennon, C Caulfield, M Gill; C Fahey, J Fleming; M McManus, C Walsh (0-2, frees), B Moran; S Bleahane (0-3), C Molloy (0-1), J Canning (1-4, 1-0 pen).
Subs: S Ryan for Fleming (35 mins), D Mannion (0-1) for Molloy (35 mins), C Elwood for Moran (47 mins), E Fahy (0-1) for McManus (52 mins).
KILKENNY: D Mason; T Ronan, M Carey, D Walsh; J Brennan, C Flynn (0-1), J Molloy; J Dowd, N Brassil (0-1); E O'Shea (0-1), C Heary, J Ryan (1-0); E Cody (1-1), A Mullen (0-4, two frees, one 65), S Ryan.
Subs: N Brennan for Brassil (temp 7-10 mins), D Barron for S Ryan (49 mins), J Kelly for O'Shea (52 mins), N Brennan for J Ryan (57 mins).
Referee: J Murphy (Limerick)