Kilkenny strike early for goals
ALL-IRELAND U-21 HURLING SEMI-FINALS: Kilkenny 4-16 Galway 2-15:KILKENNY’S TRADITIONAL ability to expose weaknesses and blitz teams for goals looks to be in safe hands after they struck the net three times in the opening 23 minutes at Semple Stadium on Saturday. Kilkenny built a 10-points lead at one stage despite playing against the wind in the opening half and Galway, the reigning champions, never recovered.
Galway, with the senior management in charge and 17 of the senior squad available, did stage a late rally which reduced the deficit to a goal but coach Mattie Kenny conceded the damage was done in the opening half. “We were hurling well in the opening half, but they got three goals where they opened us up a bit against the run of play and I think that was the big difference in the game,” he said.
Galway were leading by 0-6 to 0-3 when Ollie Walsh soloed through for a soft goal after 12 minutes, which prompted a great six minute spell where they outscored Galway by 2-3 to 0-1, with John Power getting the second goal.
Ger Aylward fired home the third and while Galway hit three points before the break to leave it 3-9 to 0-11 at the interval, Kilkenny struck another blow three minutes after the restart when Power sent a penalty to the net. Davy Glennon gave Galway hope when he goaled and then Joe Cooney ended a long run with a fine goal, with Tadgh Haran’s point shortly afterwards leaving just a goal between them with seven minutes left. Kilkenny tacked on four points to seal the win and leave manager Richie Mulrooney looking forward to a final showdown with Clare.
KILKENNY: D Walsh; J Corcoran, W Phelan, B Kennedy; L Harney, R Doyle, J Lyng; G Brennan, C Buckley (0-2); O Walsh (1-0), J Power (2-1, 1-0 pen), K Kelly (0-6, four frees); G Aylward (1-3), P Walsh (0-2), W Walsh (0-2).
Subs: M Gaffney for P Walsh (59 mins).
GALWAY: F Flannery; J Coen, Daithí Burke, B Flaherty; J Grealish, Darragh Burke, J Cooney (1-0); P Brehony, T Haran (0-3, two frees); R Commins (0-1), N Burke (0-8, five frees), J Regan; C Cooney, J Glynn (0-2), D Glennon (1-1). Subs: D Fox for Brehony (19 mins), P Huban for Grealish (22 mins), P Killeen for Darragh Burke (half-time), S Moloney for Commins (45 mins).
Referee: J Sexton (Cork).