GAA Digest: Tough Galway battles in All-Ireland draw against Kilkenny
The Kilkenny boss added, “I gave him no advice. I had no idea what he should do. I shrugged my shoulders and said do whatever you like, as I always do with Henry because he knows himself if he wants to have a go or if he doesn’t want to have a go.
“If he had gone for a goal and it has been saved, he’d be completely wrong in everyone’s head but if he scored he’d be an absolute genius. He put a point on the scoreboard and it was an important score.”
Canning was the hero with a point from the final free of the afternoon as his late score grabbed a draw for Galway in the All-Ireland hurling final.
The Tribesmen led Kilkenny by five points at one stage on Sunday but in the end had to snatch the equalizer from Canning’s free in injury time.
Cunningham was delighted with Canning’s 1-9 tally and the result.
“It was always going to be nip and tuck and very close with Kilkenny. They powered into us in the second half but we had a great start and a great first half,” he said.
“Maybe we lost our way for the first 10 minutes of the second half. We rallied again, they rallied, it was a great save by James Skehill and drama there.
“Then a penalty a few good scores for us and it was very tough late on. We’re delighted to get the draw. We were down going into injury time and traditionally who gets the last score has a bit of advantage the next day and we hope it will be us.”
Cunningham was also in no doubt that the free, was a foul on Davy Glennon, was deserved.
He added, “It was definitely a free. He played his hurley. There are small wins and gains and that definitely was a free. I’m sure everyone knows that.
“Everybody would fight that it isn’t a free at that stage of the game, naturally.
“We’re delighted to be there again. It is huge learning for us and we think we’ll take more to it for the next day. It’ll be down to the wire again.”
Galway captain Fergal Moore was confident his team would grab a replay when Canning took the last gasp free.
Moore said, “All the kudos to Joe, the ultimate professional. A free out on the sideline and he put it straight over and we have another bite at the cherry.”
“We didn’t panic when Kilkenny went ahead late on. There were a couple of minutes left and all the players had spoken beforehand of how we were going to go to the finish. We knew another chance would come and it did.”
Moore believes Galway’s youngsters will thrive on the experience gained in the drawn match.
He added, “It’s all about fighting for each other and I thought we did that very well today.
“It’s great for the young players. All year we’ve said we’ve a very young team, but even if they lack experience they’re very enthusiastic.
“It can only stand them in good stead to come out on the biggest occasion of the year and perform.”
PAT Gilroy has quit as Dublin manager in the wake of his team’s All-Ireland semifinal defeat to Mayo.
Gilroy, who guided the Dubs to last year’s All-Ireland title, has said he will consider a return to the job in the future.
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