CATS GET THE LIAM
By David Hennessy
Prevented from bringing the Liam McCarthy Cup home by a late and contentious Joe Canning free on their last Croke Park outing, Brian Cody’s Kilkenny team swept Galway aside in an exciting final on Sunday, 3-22 to 3-11.
Galway did have their moments and a lesser team may have been rattled by David Burke’s two first half goals, but Kilkenny responded inthe right way each time with immediate scores.
There were eyebrows raised to see Walter Walsh making his debut for The Cats in an All-Ireland but the young man from Tullogher provided an aeria lthreat and bustling presence that Galway’s
backs struggled with all game.
“I don’t want to single out players because I thought from one to fifteen and the subs that came in and the subs that didn’t come in, contributed,” said Kilkenny boss Brian Cody after the match.
But if there was one hero, of course it was Henry Shefflin. The creative spark and driving force of Kilkenny’s challenge, the Ballyhale man was playingforhisrecordbreakingninthAll-Ireland, and he played with the inspirational example of a man who had done it all before.
Galway will rue a Cyril Donnellan goal that didn’t stand, Donnellan’s red card and a Joe Canning rocket that came back off the post but Galway boss Anthony Cunningham said afterthe game: We have no complaints”.