Galway’s minors snatch victory from jaws of defeat
Galway into minor hurling final after late, late show against Kilkenny
Galway’s Jack Kenny celebrates his late goal. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Galway 3-10 Kilkenny 0-17
Substitute Cian Salmon capped a remarkable Croke Park finale with the match winning goal to secure Galway’s Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor final place at the second attempt.
Jeffrey Lynskey’s Tribesmen looked in real trouble in this semi-final replay when they trailed by four points with just five minutes remaining.
But Lynskey can take credit for some savvy substitutions with Jack Kenny netting shortly after his introduction before Salmon’s 60th minute strike which crowned a stunning comeback.
Clarinbridge’s Salmon was the key player as he won the ball for Kenny’s goal before dispatching the winning score himself, sealing a final place on September 6th .
There was a strong suggestion of a square ball infringement for Salmon’s goal and both managers appeared to acknowledge this although Kilkenny manager Pat Hoban accepted that ‘these are the breaks you get’.
He will be frustrated that his team even required the replay having led by six points early in extra-time a week earlier only to cough up the significant advantage.
Galway appeared to take most momentum from the stalemate as they began with 1-1 from Jack Coyne to move into a comfortable position.
But Kilkenny’s bursts of three and then four points without reply put the Leinster champions 0-9 to 1-4 ahead at half-time.
Galway had the wind at the backs after the break but Kilkenny remained in control and stretched their lead to four late on, 0-16 to 1-9. Free-taker Andy Gaffney helped himself to a half dozen points while Conor Hennessy, Edmund Delaney and John Donnelly were also on the mark.
But Kilkenny scored just once in the last 10 minutes as Galway turned that four-point deficit into a two-point victory in quite stunning style.
Galway: D Gilligan; C Connor, J Fitzpatrick, S Bannon; C Mulry, I O’Brien (0-1), A Greaney; J Grealish, F Burke; J Coyne (1-2),T Monaghan (0-1), B Concannon; M Lynch (0-1), E Niland (0-5, 5f), S Loftus. Subs: C Fahy for Grealish (28), L Forde for Lynch (43), C Salmon (1-0) for Burke (46), J Kenny (1-0) for Concannon (54), R Malone for Monaghan (61).
Kilkenny: S Murphy; M Cody (0-1), T Walsh, C McGrath; C Doheny, R Bergin, D Mullen; D Joyce, J Connolly (0-2); C Hennessy (0-2), S Mahony (0-1), T O’Dwyer (0-1); A Gaffney (0-6, 3f, 2 65), R Leahy (0-1), D O’Connor (0-1). Subs: J Donnelly (0-1) for O’Connor (40), E Delaney (0-1) for Connolly (45), B Sheehan for O’Dwyer (54), N Walsh for Bergin (50), J Cuddihy for Mahony (60).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).