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.”
DONEGAL boss Jim McGuinness is adamant he won’t underestimate Mayo in Sunday’s All-Ireland football final -- even thought most pundits rate his side as favorites to lift Sam Maguire for the first time in 20 years.
With the game set to make history as the first final since 1948 without a team from Munster or Leinster, McGuinness is quick to dismiss the theory that it will be an easy match to win.
He said, “I would consider Mayo to be a big hitter. They have been there or thereabouts for the last few years.
“There was no apprehension in Mayo going into that Dublin game in the semifinal. No fear of the Hill or championship football. They went and delivered because they are comfortable with what they are doing. There aren’t many teams that can do that. They aren’t fazed by not winning an All-Ireland in X amount of years.
“They are a very driven group and they feel they are on a mission. We feel we are on a mission. And only one team will get over the line. So it will make for a very interesting match.”
Mayo team captain Andy Moran will have to watch the game from the sidelines after injury ruled him out of Sunday’s final, but he insists he is not bitter and will be the county’s biggest supporter at Croke Park.
Ruled out by a serious knee injury, Moran said, “The real hurting was before the semifinal. I’d a few dark nights then all right where I was feeling sorry for myself but, look, there’s a lot of people worse off than me.
“The fact the team still needs you and that James still wants you around the place, that was a great positive for me. I was at training every night and I’ll be there again all week and, in some ways, I’m one of the lucky ones.
“If we get over the line on Sunday, I’ll be with the cup wherever it’s going and I’ll have my All-Ireland medal. I’ll be the happiest man in the country.”