Liam Collins’s late goal secures minor four-in-a-row for Galway hurlers

Final clash against Kilkenny looked set for extra-time until forward’s intervention

Galway celebrate after beating Kilkenny to win the 2020 All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Final against Kilkenny at  MW Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Galway celebrate after beating Kilkenny to win the 2020 All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Final against Kilkenny at MW Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Galway 1-17 Kilkenny 1-14

A late goal from man-of-the-match Liam Collins sealed Galway’s 14th All-Ireland minor hurling crown as they became the first ever to win four-in-a-row in the grade.

This delayed 2020 decider at MW Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise seemed poised for extra-time as Kilkenny, having failed to score in the opening quarter, came with a storming display in the second half to hit the front for the first time four minutes from the end.

Galway, with Collins leading the way, raced into a 0-7 to 0-0 lead after just 14 minutes with the breeze behind them but Billy Drennan helped Kilkenny eventually settle and they turned around trailing by 0-10 to 0-6.

Gavin Lee pointed for Galway shortly after the restart but Kilkenny took over and hit the next three points, with wing back Joe Fitzpatrick hitting two of them either side of a point Harry Shine.

Galway midfielder Kieran Hanrahan hit back with a point from the left wing but two more pointed frees from Drennan cut the gap to 0-12 to 0-11 after 39 minutes.

Galway’s Gavin Lee celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Galway’s Gavin Lee celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Diarmuid Davoren and Greg Thomas pushed Galway three clear in the final quarter but then Drennan drew Kilkenny level after 53 minutes when he blasted home a penalty after sub Killian Carey was fouled.

Cathal Beirne edged Kilkenny in front for the first time with a superb point from the left wing but Colm Molloy cancelled with an equally fine point at the other end.

Denis Walsh restored Kilkenny’s lead as the game slipped into four minutes of injury-time and extra-time seemed likely when Lee levelled after a run by Davoren.

Then the impressive Liam Leen broke away, sub Darren Shaughnessy bore down on goal and his pass inside was flicked to the net by Collins to secure the title.

GALWAY: D Walsh; S Morgan, A Nolan, M Walsh; S O’Hanlon, T Killeen, P Burke; L Leen (0-1), K Hanrahan (0-1); G Lee (0-2), R Davitt (0-1), R Killilea; L Collins (1-7, three frees, two 65s), G Thomas (0-1), C Molloy (0-3).

Subs: D Davoren (0-1) for Killilea (41 mins), D Shaughnessy for Davitt (54), T Leen for Walsh (58), C Slattery for Collins (64).

KILKENNY: B Minogue; Z Bay Hammond, N Rowe, M Donnelly; J Fitzpatrick (0-2), G Dunne, C Beirne (0-1); K Doyle (0-1), B Reid; B Drennan (1-6, 1-0 pen, four frees, one 65), T Clifford, D Walsh (0-2); H Shine (0-1), T Dunne (0-1), E O’Brien.

Subs: K Carey for O’Brien (50).

Referee: S Stack (Kilkenny).

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