GAA Digest: Tough choice for Henry Shefflin - Kilkenny Cats on cloud nine after All-Ireland hurling win
King Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny boss Brian Cody's praise and Galway struggles
Henry Shefflin took his place at the high altar of hurling as he won a record ninth All-Ireland senior title at Croke Park on Sunday, as Kilkenny defeated Galway by a score of 3-22 to 3-11.
Shefflin and teammate Noel Hickey joined legendary Cats goalkeeper Noel Skehan as the only men to win nine MacCarthy Cups.
And Galway could have no complaints on a day that saw them finish with 14 men and no hope after a second half red card for Cyril Donnellan.
Shefflin made his own history as the only man to win nine medals on the field of play.
Marking the occasion with nine points, Shefflin was joined in the scoring stakes by youngster Walter Walsh who celebrated his first senior start with a goal and three points from full-forward and a man of the match performance.
The 11-point winning margin was no more than Kilkenny deserved as they set about Galway from the off and ensured there was no repeat of the drama in the drawn game three weeks ago.
Two first half goals from full forward David Burke did give Galway some hope of an upset, but in truth they were second-best for most of this game as a Richie Power goal helped the Cats to a 1-11 to 2-4 halftime lead.
And once Cyril Donnellan was dismissed for an off the ball incident with JJ Delaney in the 48th minute, it was always going to be difficult for the westerners.
Annoyed by the referee’s decision to disallow a Damien Hayes call because he has already blown his whistle, Galway then conceded goals to Walsh and substitute Colin Fennelly in the closing minutes.
Substitute Johnny Glynn restored some Galway pride with a late goal but it was too little too late for Anthony Cunningham’s side.
Kilkenny: D. Herity; P. Murphy, JJ Delaney, J. Tyrrell; T. Walsh, B. Hogan, K. Joyce (0-1); M. Fennelly (0-1), C. Buckley (0-1); E. Larkin (0-1), H. Shefflin (0-9), TJ Reid (0-1); W. Walsh (1-3), R. Hogan (0-3), R. Power (1-2). Subs: C. Fennelly (1-0) for Walsh 59 mins; N. Hickey for Joyce 65 mins; A. Fogarty for Reid 66 mins.
Galway: J. Skehill; F. Moore, K. Hynes, J. Coen; D. Collins, T. Og Regan (0-1), N. Donoghue; I. Tannian, A. Smith (0-1); D. Burke (2-0), N. Burke, C. Donnellan; D. Hayes, J. Canning (0-9), J. Regan. Subs: J. Cooney for Donoghue 27 mins; J. Glynn (1-0) for Regan 33 mins; F. Flannery for Skehill 35 mins; C. Cooney for N. Burke 53 mins; D. Glennon for Smith 63 mins.
Referee: J. McGrath (Westmeath).
HENRY Shefflin was crowned the king of Croke Park on Sunday as the hurling legend made it nine All-Ireland wins in a star studded career.
Sub Noel Hickey also joined Kilkenny old boy Noel Skehan as a nine time MacCarthy Cup winner after Sunday’s big win over Galway.
But only Shefflin has started all nine All-Ireland finals, a unique achievement for a man now set on winning a tenth and setting a new record all on his own next year.
King Henrysaid after scoring nine points in the win, “At this stage in my career you always review and evaluate. But I’d love to be back again and hopefully the body will let me come back again. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling.
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