GAA Digest: Kilkenny’s fury Galway's Joe Canning, Donegal ready for the All-Ireland
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Kilkenny’s Fury at Catty Canning
Galway superstar Joe Canning has become embroiled in a bitter row with the Kilkenny camp after he accused Henry Shefflin of unsportsmanlike behavior in the drawn All-Ireland SHC final two weekends ago.
Canning also claimed to The Irish Times than the more experienced Kilkenny players are “cuter” at dealing with referees than their younger Galway counterparts.
He said, “I suppose they are a bit cuter. In one instance in the first half, Henry ran 30 or 40 yards down the field and was giving out to Barry Kelly and Damien Hayes for a free.
“That’s not sportsmanlike either at the same stage. That’s the way it goes -- that’s probably the experience they have. Hopefully we can get that and use it to our advantage as well. You need everything you can get during those games.”
Canning also claimed Kilkenny defender JJ Delaney was unhappy with Shefflin’s decision to settle for a point from the late penalty when the sides were level.
Speaking ahead of the replay on Sunday, September 30, he added, “JJ wasn’t too impressed anyway behind me! He thought he should have went for it as well.
“People asked me after what I would have done. I probably would have went for a point as well because at that time of the game, a point was very crucial. If he missed it, people would have said why didn’t he tap it over the bar?
“It’s a very thin line and he’s probably the most experienced player on the pitch. At the time, he thought it was the right thing to do.
“If it was saved and we went down the pitch and got a point or a goal, it could have swung things in our favor. He probably took the right decision at that time in the match.
“Delaney probably would have went for it himself. I’ll just put it that way!”
Kilkenny fans and former players have slammed Canning for his comments on Shefflin.
Legendary Cat Eddie Keher summed up the feeling in the county when he said, “All the comments coming from Kilkenny after the match were very complimentary towards Galway and towards Joe Canning himself, the way he took that last free.
“I think that’s a very disappointing comment to make about probably one of the greatest hurlers to ever play the game, and a thorough gentleman at that.
“We’d hate in Kilkenny to have someone of the stature of Joe Canning making a remark like that.”
Keher continued, “How would Henry influence a referee? Everyone is getting at Kilkenny for the last while, trying to turn everything against us.
“We know everyone outside Kilkenny would like to see us beaten, but all this talk of influencing referees. What way did we influence the referee against Tipperary?
“Fellas from Kilkenny get belted and just get up, get on with the game and that’s the kind of manly behavior I like to see in hurling. Don’t be lying down looking for the free or for fellas to be carded.”
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