Galway produced a wonder performance to upset the odds and beat Kilkenny in the Leinster Hurling Championship final at Croke Park yesterday.
The Tribesmen roared out of the traps and amassed a ten-point lead by half-time. It helped stave off the Black Cats’ second-half fightback.
A crowd of 22,171 were there to witness one of the great upsets of recent years as Anthony Cunningham’s side “did a Kilkenny” on the Black Cats.
A dominant first-half performance set up the 2-21 to 2-11 win, with Galway netting 1-6 before Kilkenny got a sniff – their first point coming courtesy of Shefflin on the 26th minute.
Hogan and Sheflin hit goals for the Black Cats after the restart but it would not be enough.
Galway’s Donnellan, Burke, Hayes and Canning displayed ruthless form to send the Leinster title across the Shannon.
Galway boss Anthony Cunningham was elated with his side’s performance.
“We’re delighted. We’ve been going well in training and we’ve put a lot of work into it and it’s great when it works out on the day. We’re delighted to be the first Galway team to have won Leinster,” he told GAA.ie.
“We were very happy with the workrate. If you don’t have workrate and don’t bring intensity to the play, you’re not going to have any chance against Kilkenny.”
“Speaking of Kilkenny, what a fantastic record they’ve had. It’s never going to be matched and it’s unreal to think of the amount of games that they have gone in Leinster without being defeated.
“Everyone is learning from Kilkenny and we brought a bit of that intensity today and we’re delighted with that.”
The Irish summer just got interesting.
Kilkenny Scorers: H Shefflin 1-8 (0-7f), R Power 0-2, M Rice 0-1, R Hogan 1-0
Galway Scorers: N Burke 0-2, J Canning 1-10 (0-7f), D Burke 1-2, C Donnellan 0-5, D Collins 0-1, D Hayes 0-1.