GALWAY AND KILKENNY went head-to-head in the second under-21 All-Ireland semi-final at Semple Stadium and we went minute-by-minute.
Galway went in as slight favourites but Kilkenny held an 11-4 winning record against the Tribe at this level. See our match guide here.
17.51 – It’s get close to that time so let’s have a little look at the teams.
GALWAY U21: Fergal Flannery; Brain Flaherty, Daithi Burke, Jason Grealish; Johnny Coen, Darragh Burke, Joseph Cooney; Padraig Brehony, Tadhg Haran; Richie Commins, Niall Burke, James Regan; Conor Cooney, Jonathan Glynn, Davy Glennon.
And, of course, the Cats:
KILKENNY U21H: Dylan Walsh; Jason Corcoran, Willie Phelan, Brian Kennedy; Luke Harney, Richie Doyle, Joe Lyng; Geoff Brennan, Ollie Walsh; Kevin Kelly, Padraig Walsh, Cillian Buckley; Walter Walsh, John Power, Ger Aylward.
17.57 – So it’s just Galway’s first game of the year while Kilkenny have played twice but neither game could be considered a massive test. Is there much of an advantage for the Cats in that respect? We’ll see shortly
17.59 – What will be interesting to see is whether Anthony Cunningham and his backroom team use the same tactics with the 21s as the seniors, many of whom are made up by those playing today. Direct running, isolating men inside and roaming forwards — we wouldn’t be shocked to see it.
18.01 – John Sexton of Cork throws in the ball, and we’re off in Semple Stadium
18.07 – Galway 0-1 Kilkenny 0-1: 5mins —Lively start to the game With Kilkenny’s Jason Corcoran and his marker Davy Glennon in the book before the ball goes in. Richie Cummins is taken down by Joe Lyng who launches his body at the wing-forward stupidly and gets a yellow too. Niall Burke taps over the placed ball. Cillian Buckley replies with a lovely score soon after James Regan missed a handy chance. Richie Cummins then has a couple of chances to score a goal but the Cats hold out, even if they were lucky not to give away a penalty
18.12 – Galway 0-5 Kilkenny 0-3: 10mins —Helter-skelter. Kevin Kelly puts Kilkenny ahead but Wally Walsh almost went one better with a goal chance that was saved by Flannery. Brian Kennedy is having trouble keeping tabs with Galway’s Cummins who wins another free from which Burke makes no mistake. Glennon adds another to put the Tribe ahead again before Niall Burke glides one over from the wing after excellent work from Joe Cooney. Glynn has started well too and gets a deserved point — prime time from Galway. Wally Walsh is giving Brian Flaherty some trouble and wins a free which Kelly converts
18.17 – Galway 1-3 Kilkenny 0-8: 15mins — Silky centre-forward Niall Burke hits a beaut to put double scores back between the teams. But it’s level again after a poor mistake from Flannery in the Galway net, as Ollie Walsh’s tame shot — after a fine solo — somehow squirms into the net. Ollie Walsh gets on the ball again and sets up Padraig Walsh to put the Cats ahead before Kevin Kelly converts his own free
18.18 – Jonathan Glynn is lording it in the air for Galway and no wonder the youngster is always one of the first subs on for the seniors. Still, it’s 1-2 with no reply for the Cats as Tadhg Haran cuts one wide
18.23 – Galway 0-7 Kilkenny 2-6: 20mins — A dinger from Cummins who beats his man to the ball and rams it over from distance; but Aylward immediately replies for Kilkenny. John Power then puts a little daylight by slotting the ball into the bottom corner for Kilkenny
Fox is on for Brehony, who has been struggling with the pace of the game (unless he has an injury, which we don’t know about)
18.28 – Galway 0-8 Kilkenny 3-8: 25mins — Poor wide from Kevin Kelly but the Cats are on top here. Still Glynn doesn’t buy that and snaps another puckout and puts her over. Huban comes on for Grealish in the full-back line for Galway but it makes little difference as Aylward blasts another goal. Momentum firmly with the Cats as Padraig Walsh clears the lat with a lovely shot, before Aylward has one too
18.34 – Galway 0-11 Kilkenny 3-9: 30mins — Another for Kelly after Wally Walsh holds off Flaherty with ease. Haran wins a free for Galway by running at Geoff Brennan and Niall Burke puts it over; Haran then puts over a free himself that was won by Glennon. Just for kicks, Conor Cooney wins a free which Burke again converts from distance
18.36 – HALF-TIME — Galway 0-11 Kilkenny 3-9: Galway badly need a goal to get themselves back into this and Glynn looks like the most likely to do so, if they can feed him. The Cats, as is ever the way, are so deadly in front of goal
18.45 – Lots of shouldering before the wheels in the clock start moving for the second half. We’re off now though
18.49 – Galway 0-11 Kilkenny 4-9: 34mins — Penalty for Kilkenny after Aylward is pulled back by Flaherty in the box. Cunningham has made some changes but the number 2 must not be far from the line now after a tough first half on Wally Walsh. Anyway, John Power steps up and rams it home. Game over and a portent of things to come in the senior final???
18.55 – Galway 0-13 Kilkenny 4-9: 40mins — Power and Niall Burke both miss frees from distance and then Haran puts over one of his own making. Burke drives over a beauty on his left side but perhaps he could have worked it infield because his side need a goal badly. John Power is becoming very prominent here
19.00 – Galway 0-13 Kilkenny 4-11: 45mins —Wally Walsh is blocked with one effort but puts his first over off his bike shortly after. Then Conor Cooney wins a free which is moved closer to the goal on protest, giving Haran a goal chance. It’s saved and, predictably, Kilkenny get the next score through Cillian Buckley
19.02 – If Galway are to turn this around, they need senior stars like James Regan, Conor Cooney and Johnny Coen to step up. We haven’t seen enough from them today, have we?
19.05 – Galway 1-13 Kilkenny 4-12: 50mins — GOAL by Davy Glennon. He runs through the Kilkenny defence and boots it into the back bar of the net. Kilkenny number 13 Wally Walsh wins a free back and it should have been the other way because he simply hauled Coen to the ground with him.
19.08 – Galway 2-14 Kilkenny 4-12: 53mins — Niall Burke makes sure a free is costly for Kilkenny after Joe Cooney is fouled. The same man Cooney charges up the field and buries one in the bottom corner to pull Galway back into this. The umpire slips to break the tension somewhat. Game on!
19.12 – Galway 2-15 Kilkenny 4-13: 56mins — Haran takes his time and makes sure of a point as Galway bring it back to just three points. Paul Killeen was sent off harshly for the minors against Tipperary last weekend and he was more deserving of it here after cutting Aylward at the knees just now. He gets a yellow and Kevin Kelly makes it four again.
19.14 – Galway 2-15 Kilkenny 4-14: 59mins —Why are Galway leaving Kilkenny centre-forward John Power on his own? After setting up Padraig Walsh for a chance that was missed, the full-forward goes on his own this time and finds the posts with ease
19.18 – Galway 2-15 Kilkenny 4-15: 61mins — Aylward should get man of the match and he tops off a fine display with a lovely point out the left wing, with Flaherty labouring behind him. James Regan wins a free which is lobbed into the Kilkenny are and cleared with ease. That’s been the way of it and we’re just waiting for the whistle now. Donal O’Grady goes with us and gives MVP to Aylward
19.19 – FULL-TIME — Galway 2-15 Kilkenny 4-16: Wally Walsh puts the final seal on a fine Kilkenny display with another point and referee Sexton calls for the ball.
19.22 – Galway disappointed for long spells here and with their senior stars supposed to tip the scales in this semi-final clash, it was evident that Kilkenny were able to nullify them for the most part. Kilkenny’s forwards — particularly inside — were lethal on the day and once they pushed ahead, it always looked to be a bridge too far. Credit Galway for bringing it back to three points near the end but the better and more clinical side won