Galway has claimed its second All Ireland interfirms title this season. Medtronic won the senior hurling title for the first time, one week after the Galway Gardai pulled off the football crown.
In a high-scoring encounter at Erins Own in Castlecomer, this was a real classic, with the Galway side prevailing by one point over Kilkenny’s Dunreidy Eng.
Medtronic, backboned by five Galway senior players, were the better team throughout, but they were made fight all the way by Dunreidy Eng, typical of a Kilkenny side that never gave up.
Niall Healy was the star of the show at centre forward, finishing with a tally of 1-9. Although most of his scores came from placed balls, Healy was on fire throughout and his contribution was immense.
Medtronic got off to a flyer as the Dunreidy rearguard struggled against a lively Medtronic attack. An early Niall Healy free opened the scoring before full forward Conor Kavanagh crashed home the opening goal. An Andy Smith point, coupled with Niall Healy frees, left Medtronic 1-5 to 0 - 0 clear after 10 minutes.
Dunreidy’s first score came on 11 minutes when a long delivery from their outstanding player Michael Grace found Stephen Daly inside, who rattled the back of the Medtronic net.
Medtronic’s reply, however, was swift. Ger Burke fed Keril Wade who took on the Dunreidy defence before crashing home to regain their eight-point advantage. Both sides traded points before Jason O’Gorman scored Medtronic’s third goal in the 20th minute.
Trailing by 10, Dunreidy engineered a revival. Points from Jamie Power, Gordon Byrne and Michael Murphy reduced arrears before Niall Healy replied for the winners.
However Dunreidy finished the half the stronger and although substitute Mike Doyle found the Medtronic net, it finished at the break Galway 3-7 Dunreidy 2-10.
A couple of Healy points and an effort from Keril Wade opened up a three-point lead before Dunreidy fullback Sean Mealy was sent off on a second yellow for a late challenge on Keril Wade. To rub further salt into Dunreidy’s wounds, Niall Healy fired the resultant free to the net. Wade and Andy Smith stretched their advantage to eight, but Dunreidy still refused to concede defeat. Michael Murphy crashed home a 30-metre free on 13 minutes and with 12 minutes left they had reduced the margin to three again.
Medtronic remained composed and a Niall Healy free and a Conor Kavanagh point stretched the margin to five, but Dunreidy rallied again. In a tense finish, the Kilkenny outfit cut the margin to just one entering injury time , but although both sides had late opportunities, Medtronic held on for a deserved victory.
Medtronic: K Egan, M Dermody, E Noone, S Og Linnane, P McMahon, I Tannion, M Ryan, D Joyce, G Burke, A Smyth, N Healy, J O’Gorman, S Minton, C Kavanagh, K Wade. Subs, T Barrett.
Dunreidy Engineering: T Brophy, J Mullins, S Mealy, J Cahill, G Callinane, J Ryall, D Lyng, J Power, G Byrne, J Maher, M Murphy M Moran, M Grace, D Buggy, S Daly ), Subs, M Doyle, N Lyng.
Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Laois ).