Hurlers well beaten by Kilkenny

Last Sunday was yet another disappointing experience for the Galway senior hurlers at the hands of their nemesis Kilkenny.

And the loyal band of Galway supporters who travel far and wide to see the hurlers in action were not too happy leaving Semple Stadium either.

Kilkenny, not for the first time, were just far too good on the day.

The scoreline at the end of the league semi-final was Kilkenny 1-24, Galway 1-17, but it could have been much worse for Anthony Cunningham's team if Kilkenny had really cut loose.

If it were not for three exceptional saves by Colm Callanan - two from Richie Power - the All-Ireland champions could have easily beaten Galway by double scores.

There can be no sugar coating the fact that at many stages Kilkenny just looked far superior.

Good Galway start

Galway started well and led in the first quarter by 1-2 to 0-3 after a good goal by the hard-working Cyril Donnellan.

Galway also had other chances and at least three times in the opening 20 minutes they spurned clear point opportunities. It was not a road Kilkenny were willing to go down and, following the departure of Fergal Moore after a clash of heads with Walter Walsh, the Cats really took off.

Three points from man of the match Lester Ryan, who excelled around the middle, seven from placed balls by Eoin Larkin, and scores from Aidan Fogarty and Richie Hogan, saw Kilkenny go in at the break six clear, 0-15 to 1-6.

Even at half time things looked a tad ominous for Galway and even in the absence of manager Brian Cody, and without marquee players like Henry Shefflin, Michael Fennelly and TJ Reid, the black and amber machine looked as smooth and as powerful as ever.

Kilkenny's old guard of Brian Hogan, JJ Delaney, Tommy Walsh and Jackie Tyrrell were all to the fore in defence and the returned Paul Murphy also had a fine game.

Galway seemed to lack any real direction and their display left their fans feeling very frustrated and wondering what can be done over the next few months to turn the tables on the All-Ireland champions.

To be fair to Galway, even though they were outplayed in most sectors of the field, and the result was well decided with 20 minutes to go, Galway kept pushing to the end and both Iarla Tannian and Joseph Cooney did get on a bit of ball. However, only Cyril Donnellan really threatened from play and Joe Canning's contribution was from placed balls.

Following such a comprehensive defeat at intercounty level the Galway squad will be happy to get back to their clubs and the local championship this weekend.

Galway: C Callanan; F Moore (c ), K Hynes, N Donoghue; A Harte, D Collins, J Coen; J Cooney, I Tannian; D Burke, C Cooney, J Canning; D Glennon, C Donnellan, D Hayes. Subs for Galway: A Smith for Moore (inj 16 ), P Killeen for Donoghue (26 ), J Glynn for C Cooney (47 ), J Regan for Hayes (57 ).


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