How they lined out
1. P Rabbitte
IT MATTERED: Kilkenny rued their wasteful play early on. With just over five minutes on the clock they’d created eight scoring opportunities, registering four points and four wides. They hit eight first-half wides in total and should have led by more than one at the interval. Galway made them pay in the second-half.
CAN’T IGNORE: Galway are the modern masters of the minor grade. They’ve claimed nine titles since 1999, four more than Kilkenny and five more than Tipperary. For the record the other two were claimed by Cork and Waterford.
GOOD DAY: Eamon O’shea is a Tipperary man and managed his county senior team as recently as 2015 but nobody was prouder than he yesterday. His son, Donal, was terrific at full-forward for Galway, shooting 10 points. Eamon is a lecturer at NUI Galway.
BAD DAY: Jeffrey Lynskey argued that the championship structure needs tweaking to accommodate Galway in Leinster. Their U-21s competed in Leinster for the first time this year, winning it, though the minors entered their competition at the quarter-final group stage. “I would still rather us be in Leinster to be honest with you - I think we all need an equal amount of games,” said Lynskey. PHYSIO ROOM: A couple of Galway players required treatment for injuries during a high octane encounter but all were fit to play on.
SIDELINE SMARTS: Both sides set up in orthodox fashion and stuck to the teams and positions printed in the programme, a rarity these days. Galway were quicker to make changes and ran in four of their five subs by the 45th minute with two of those, Colm Cummingham and Sean Mcdonagh, hitting 0-3 between them.
BEST ON SHOW: Galway had a number of contenders for the individual award. Diarmuid Kilcommins was terrific, particularly in the second when he scored two points and created two more. But Shane Jennings was Galway’s outstanding performer, locking down a full-back line that held the Kilkenny full-forward trio scoreless.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Johnny Murphy did his best to keep a full blooded encounter under control, issuing five yellow cards; two to Galway and three to Kilkenny. Galway ‘keeper Patrick Rabbitte was fortunate there’s no black card in hurling after crudely pulling down George Murphy as he hunted a goal early on.