Kilkenny 3-22 Galway 3-11
The normal order in Irish hurling was restored in Croke Park this afternoon when Kilkenny won the all-Ireland hurling final replay thanks to another stunning performance by veteran Henry Shefflin over a luckless Galway side, who never quite gained enough altitude to threaten the serial champions.
The Cats ran out 11 point winners thanks to nine points from Shefflin, a goal and a point a piece from Walter Walsh and Richie Hogan before Colin Fennelly added the icing on the cake with a late third.
Despite two goals within three minutes from David Burke in the first half, Galway trailed Kilkenny at the break, thanks to a much improved field game by the Leinster runner-ups.
The game turned on a decision by referee James McGrath to disallow a goal by Galway’s Cyril Donnellan for no clear reason. A frustrated Donnellan was sent off just minutes later for rashly hitting his opponent on the head with his hurl.
The dismissal capped a frustrating period for Galway, as a Joe Canning shot rebounded back from the goalpost, depriving the Tribesmen of another three points.
Killkenny, as is their trademark, exploited the extra man and ruthlessly tagged on scores, hammering nails in Galway’s coffin with goals on 57 and 62 minutes respectively.
Galway substitute Johnny Glynn added a superb late strike which, on another day, would be seen as one of the great goals in an All-Ireland final.
But as the circumstances stood, with an 11 point deficit at full time, it was scant consolation.
Shefflin led the celebrations. “We’ve won All Irelands down through the years (thanks to) the work-rate. The lads upped it today completely,” he told RTE television in the game’s immediate aftermath.
“Galway are after putting it up to us twice this year already, we knew it had to be a big performance and we’re absolutely thrilled about the way it went.”