Canning fires Galway into All-Ireland final with 11 points haul over Cork
Galway secure a 0-22 to 0-17 win at Croke Park on Sunday to book final spot.
Joe Canning fired Galway into their first All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final since 2005 after overcoming Cork by 0-22 to 0-17 at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon with the Tribesmen’s talismanic forward tallying 0-11 to book a final spot on September 9 against either Kilkenny or Tipperary, who meet in the last four next Sunday.
Anthony Cunningham’s Tribesmen are now 15/8 for All-Ireland glory for the first time since 1988, whilst defending champions Kilkenny are installed as 10/11 favourites followed by their semi-final opponents and 2010 champions Tipperary, who are 3/1 to regain the Liam McCarthy Cup in just over three weeks time.
The Rebels led for much of the first half, with captain Pat Horgan and Paudie O’Sullivan scoring well, but it was a majestic show from Canning, who hit 0-7 in a pulsating half as Cork forward Horgan scored a late free to level matters at 0-11 apiece at the interval.
However, the Leinster champions edged a scintillating second period, with their defence improving and Canning and Damien Hayes hitting crucial scores to simply overpower a youthful Cork side to storm home with five points to spare as their remarkable season unfolded another chapter on their quest for the coveted Liam McCarthy Cup..
There was a certain degree of rustiness to Galway, who were last in action in that historic ten points provincial final win over Kilkenny five weeks ago on July 8, in the opening moments but they threw off the shackles, particularly in the second half, to move a step closer to All-Ireland glory.
Cork supremo, Jimmy Barry-Murphy, emptied their strong bench in a bid to overhaul Cunningham’s men but Johnny Coen and Fergal Moore were rock solid in the Tribesmen’s rearguard, and the firepower of Canning was hugely influential in this goalless encounter.
Galway were unchanged from the Kilkenny game, apart from the late withdrawal of centre forward Cyril Donnellan, who has been nursing a chipped bone below his elbow and was replaced by James Regan.
The Tribesmen upped the gears to take a four point lead in the second half which Cork chipped away to reduce the margin down to two again, 0-18 to 0-16, as the hour mark approached, however, Galway responded with Canning and Hayes standing tall to restore a four-point lead as the signal came for three minutes of injury-time.
Cork desperately craved a goal but the Galway defence stood up to the task, particularly the heroic Coen and Moore, and a final point from Hayes, who tallied 0-04 for the afternoon, sealed the deal for the westerners and set up a potential All-Ireland final with Kilkenny in what would be a repeat of the Leinster decider.
Brian Cody’s Kilkenny charges face Declan Ryan’s Tipperary in next Sunday’s semi-final in what is a repeat of the 2010 and 2011 All-Ireland finals. Kilkenny are 1/2 to reach the final on September 9 with the Premier County available at 3/2. Cody’s Cats are 4/7 to get the result at headquarters on Sunday with Ryan’s Tipp charges available at 13/8 and the draw is offered at 10/1.