Galway 2-21, Kilkenny 2-11
Kilkenny’s dreams of an eighth successive Leinster hurling title bit the dust as Galway upset the odds in a rip-roaring final.
The Tribesmen were full value for their 10-point win in Croke Park, showing a ruthless nature as they mercilessly dethroned the champs.
Led by Joe Canning and Cyril Donnellan the Westerners finally tasted success four years after moving into the province. It was a win worth waiting for, as they bossed Kilkenny and never let them into their stride.
From the time Joe Canning ghosted away from Jackie Tyrrell and unleashed a bullet strike past David Herity the shock of the championship was on the cards. Kilkenny were raging favourites to net a 14th title in 15 years but were surprisingly out if sorts - it took them 20 minutes to register their first score.
Not so Galway - by that stage they were cruising. Three minutes later, David Burke’s goal helped them open a 13-point lead (2-8 to 0-1). They tore on, going in at half-time a staggering 14 points clear (2-12 to 0-4).
The response after the break was typical Kilkenny. Aided by quickfire goals from Henry Shefflin and Richie Hogan the champions rallied, but ice-cool performances from Canning, Damien Hayes and Johnny Coen ensured the O’Keeffe Cup was going West for the first time in hurling history.
SCORERS: Galway - Joe Canning (1-10, 0-7 frees); David Burke 1-2); Cyril Donnellan (0-5); Niall Burke (0-2); Damien Hayes, David Collins (0-1 each). Kilkenny - Henry Shefflin (1-8, 0-7 frees), Richie Hogan (1-0), Richie Power (0-2), Michael Rice (0-1).
See this week’s Kilkenny People for full match report and reaction from Sunday’s Leinster final.