John Allen, former Cork and current Limerick manager: “The game changed when the Galway goal that was disallowed and Kilkenny went up the field and scored a point and then Galway had a man sent off.
Having said that, Kilkenny were super in the first half. Galway had only 2-2 scored for a good bit of the way, and they had only four points on the ’board at half-time. That was a low return.
The better team won, no doubt about it. Kilkenny caught hold of the game early. They needed to this time, psychologically as much as anything else. In the previous two games between the counties, the Leinster final and draw All-Ireland final, Galway had taken hold of things in the early stages.
If they had done that a third time maybe the doubt might have crept into Kilkenny heads. They weren’t given a chance, however.
That was an important factor for Kilkenny. They had a good game plan, and they executed it well. J.J. Delaney, for example, didn’t follow Joe Canning for the whole game. Brian Hogan spent a lot of time on Joe Canning.
That was important from a Kilkenny point of view also, that their players weren’t pulled all over the place and out of position, which they weren’t.
It was lovely to see Henry Shefflin and Noel Hickey get the 9th winners medal. Henry showed all the wonderful leadership that he has shown throughout his career. He was really up for it.
This is a super Kilkenny team. You cannot but admire the players the way they play the game and the consistency they have shown over a decade and more. And the management of the team is wonderful too.
The Kilkenny players will enjoy the rest of the year now, and they should. And if the past is anything to go by, they will be as hungry as ever next year.
The draw for next year’s championship will be on Thursday night, and we will all be looking forward to the next challenge. That is sport, what it is all about.”