Galway’s Joe Canning scored a late contentious free kick to ensure an All-Ireland final replay on September 30th after a stunning second half comeback from Kilkenny lead by Henry Sheflin.
Galway 2-13 (19) v 0-19 Kilkenny
These opponents were inseparable from start to finish. It was a final that will live long in the memory as an absolute classic. Many expected another Kilkenny victory with Henry Shefflin leading the charge but a determined Galway changed the trend.
To everyone’s surprise, Galway dominated the opening proceedings, leading by five points at the break – 1-9 to 0-7 – but it was still all to play for. Whatever Brian Coady told his team at half time, it clearly worked as Kilkenny clawed one back straight away after the restart, with a Henry Shefflin free, but again Galway were matching Kilkenny toe to toe through Niall Burke. Then with forty nine minutes gone, Kilkenny cut the deficit to a single point. Soon they were level, but out of the blue Niall Burke grabbed a goal for Galway and the tables had turned once again. Shefflin levelled it up again, and then came what looked the decisive strike, a penalty, but bizarrely Shefflin sent it over the bar instead of going for goal.
Canning then had a free to level it from forty five metres, but unbelievably he sent it wide, the disgust was written all over his face.
As if fate and destiny had intervened, Canning got one final chance and drove this one over the bar with unerring conviction. The final is set to be replayed on September 30th with another classic expected from a sold out Croke Park.