Galway’s future in division 1a of the Allianz National Hurling League is in serious doubt this evening following a 25 point mauling at the hands of current All-Ireland Champions Kilkenny in Nowlan Park today.
The tribesmen will now face Anthony Daly’s Dublin in a relegation battle in a few weeks time with the possibility of playing hurling in division 1b next year at stake for the looser.
Galway went into today’s game with the outside possibility of still reaching the semi-final later this month providing that other games in the group went their way.
However, the difficulty of taking on Kilkenny in Nowlan Park became all too clear within the opening minutes as Brian Cody’s charges flew out of the starting blocks.
A point and a Matthew Ruth goal within the opening five minutes sent Kilkenny into a lead that they would never relinquish and they set down the gauntlet to Galway who struggled to cope with the fast pace and ruthless attack of the black cats.
Another goal extended Kilkenny’s lead as Galway attempted to keep in touch via frees and an inspirational Brian Flaherty point. However, as became a common feature of the match, every Galway score was matched by Kilkenny’s roving forward line and when Eoin larkin struck for their third goal of the first-half, Cody’s men began to pull out of sight.
Any hope of a Galway revival in the second half proved to be short lived and a Tony Óg Regan point for the Tribesman was overshadowed as Michael and Colin Fennelly and T.J Reid were all on target for Kilkenny early in the second half.
Anthony Cunningham’s men registered another two, however, the rout was already complete as Richie Hogan put the All-Ireland champions 22 points in front and Brian Cody began to ring the changes.
Cody was given food for thought as John Mulhall impressed after coming off the bench and Colin Fennelly extended the lead to 25 points, before the final whistle sounded to cement Kilkenny’s place in the semi-final and end Galway’s nightmare.