Kilkenny were brave and honest but even those admirable qualities were not enough to bridge the gulf in class when they fell to a slick Galway outfit in the All-Ireland junior football semi-final at sun drenched Nowlan Park today.
The losers enjoyed the best of things early on, even if they got a quick reminder of the potential of the opposition.
Galway opened with a brace of lovely points from deadly attacker, Pádraic Cunningham, followed by a third from Gary Kelly in the second minute to show they meant business.
However, on four minutes Kilkenny snatched a lovely goal to draw level. Centre-back Patrick McConigley started the move from deep that was continued by the powerful Michael Malone and Edward Moylan before John Walsh punched the ball into the net (0-3 to 1-0).
Within seconds Gary Kelly kicked a free to win back the lead for Galway, who put the foot to floor from there to the rest. With goals from Jonathan Ryan (16th minute) and Matthew Reddington (23rd minute) and a handful of point from Cunningham they led by 2-12 to 1-3 at the break.
Michael Malone kicked the first point of the second half for Kilkenny, but after that normal business was resumed despite the losers best efforts.
Home goalie J.J. O'Sullivan brought off two superb saves during the half to keep Kilkenny in a respectable position, which was boosted by two closing points from sub Conor O'Connor and John Walsh.
Galway play Kerry in the final in two weeks time.
SCORERS: Galway - J. Ryan (1-4, two points frees); P. Cunningham (0-7); G. Kelly (0-6, two frees); M. Reddington (1-1); M. Day (0-2); A. Ó Laoi, S. Gaffney (0-1 each). Kilkenny - J. Walsh (1-2); M. Jones (1-0); I. Duggan (0-2, one free); M. Malone, S. Stapleton, C. O'Carroll (0-1 each); M. Kenny (0-1, free).
Galway - M. Breathnach; E. O'Sullivan, S. Cunniffe, C. Reilly; A. Ward, S. Ó Currin, D. O'Reilly; A. Molloy, M. Day; P. E. Ó Curraoin, A. Ó Laoi, T. Gleeson; J. Ryan, P. Cunningham, G. Kelly. Sub - M. Reddington for T. Gleeson (black card); A. Ó hIarnáin for O Curraoin; D. Hennessy for A. Molloy; O. Canney for S. Ó Currin; S. Gaffney for P. Cunningham; T. Rabbitte for G. Kelly.Kilkenny - J.J. O'Sullivan; A. Duggan, R. O'Hara, P. Kelly; M. Gaffney, P. McConigley, S. Kelly; S. Dowd, M. Malone; M. Kenny, J. Culleton, S. Stapleton; E. Moylan, I. Duggan, J. Walsh. Sub - J. Fennelly for P. Kelly; L. Hickey for McConigley; M. Jones for O'Hara; C. Joyce for M. Kenny; J. Power for S. Dowd; C. O'Carroll for E. Moylan;
Referee - S. Lonergan (Tipperary).
Read here for more on Kilkenny People sport.
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