Richie Hogan about to score Kilkenny's first goal. Picture: Sportsfile
Kilkenny are the Leinster champions for the 72nd time in their history after two quickfire second half goals helped them overcome Galway in a thrilling provincial decider in Croke Park.
TJ Reid and Richie Hogan found the net in the 56th and 57th minutes and Hogan in particular rolled back the years to some of his best form with an incredible cameo off the bench where he scored 1-2 and his goal was a beautiful piece of skill.
Galway with the help of Joe Canning looked to be set for victory when leading 0-20 to 0-15 at the end of the third quarter but the two goals got Kilkenny right back into contention.
Galway rolled that storm initially and went two points clear but a ferocious Kilkenny side finished the better with Hogan, Conor Browne and Martin Keoghan all knocking over late points.
Galway fired in a few long balls towards the square in the four minutes of additional time to try and grab a late goal but a much improved Kilkenny defence held out to secure a fully deserved victory.
Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy; Conor Delaney, Huw Lawlor, Tommy Walsh, Padraig Walsh 0-1, Cillian Buckley, Conor Browne 0-2, Richie Leahy, Conor Fogarty, John Donnelly 0-1, TJ Reid 1-10 (0-9fs), Martin Keoghan 0-2, Walter Walsh, Colin Fennelly, Eoin Cody 0-1.
Subs: Richie Hogan 1-2 for W.Walsh 44 mins, Liam Blanchfield 0-1 for Fennelly 51 mins, Richie Reid for Fogarty 55 mins, Niall Brassil for Cody 60 mins, Alan Murphy for Leahy 60 mins.
Galway: Eanna Murphy; Sean Loftus, Daithi Burke, Shane Cooney, Fintan Burke, Gearoid McInerney, Joseph Cooney 0-1, Padraic Mannion, Johnny Coen 0-2, Conor Cooney, Cathal Mannion 0-1, Joe Canning 0-13 (0-9fs, 0-1 65), Conor Whelan 0-2, Niall Burke, Brian Concannon 0-1.
Subs: Aidan Harte for Loftus h-t, Jason Flynn 0-1 for N.Burke 39 mins, David Burke 0-2 for C.Cooney 58 mins, Adrian Tuohy for Coen 69 mins, Sean Linnane for S.Cooney 70 mins.
Ref: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)
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