Kilkenny face a do-or-die situation in Round 3 of the All-Ireland minor hurling championship qualifiers when they play Limerick next Saturday in Thurles (3pm).
The winners will grab the ticket into the All-Ireland semi-finals, but Kilkenny face a big challenge to lift themselves after suffering a bad beating against Galway in Semple Stadium today which followed on a disappointing defeat in the Leinster final.
The Cats were out of it in the opening half, and although they edged the second half scoring by eight points to seven there was no disputing Galway's superiority.
After the teams traded early points, Galway proceeded to dominate the game. They galloped away from the opposition with points from free taker Donal O'Shea, Keelan Creaven, Jason Donoghue and Diarmuid Kilcommins to lead by 0-5 to 0-1 after only nine minutes.
Kilkenny were making little or no impression up front. Then after they conceded a sixth point they hit a good patch.
Cathal O'Leary shot a great goal after good work on the left wing by Jack Morrissey, and with the addition of points from Conor Kelly and George Murphy they had the gap down to the minimum after 22 minutes (0-7 to 1-3).
However, Galway regained their strong rhythm, and after an exchange of goals between Dean Reilly and Ciarán Brennan, the ran up the points to lead by 1-14 to 2-3 at the break.
Kilkenny opened the second half with points from James Young and Conor Kelly (free) but they never looked like saving the match.
SCORERS: Galway - D. O'Shea (0-10); D. Reilly (1-4); J.Donoghue, O. Flannery, D. Kilcommins (0-2 each); K. Creaven (0-1). Kilkenny - C. Kelly (0-7); C. O'Leary (1-1); C. Brennan (1-0); G. Murphy (0-2); J. Young (0-1).
Kilkenny - J. Brennan; P. Dempsey, J. Young, C. Korff; J. Harkin, S. Staunton, D. Maher; C. Rudkins, C. Kelly; W. Halpin, C. Kenny, G. Murphy; C. O'Leary, C. Brennan, J. Morrissy. Subs - J. Buggy for W. Halpin; D. Crehan for C. Korff; D. Coogan for Rudkins; K. Hogan for Murphy.
Galway - P. Rabbitte; M. Flynn, S. Jennings, I. McGlynn; s. Quirke, S. Neary, E. Duggan; O. Flannery, J. Donoghue; D. Kilcommins, S. McDonagh, O. Flannery; K. Creaven, D. O'Shea, D. Reilly. Subs - A. Brett for S. McDonagh; C. Flaherty for McGlynn; N. Collins for J. Donoghue; C. Cunningham for K. Craven; A. Conaire for O. Flannery.
Referee - C. Cunning (Antrim).
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