GAA Digest: Tough Galway battles in All-Ireland draw against Kilkenny


Brian Cody and Anthony Cunningham have insisted their All-Ireland hurling final sideline spat is behind them as they prepare for the replay on Sunday fortnight after the teams battled to a 2-13 (Galway) to 0-19 draw.

The pair engaged in a heated debate after a late free was awarded by referee for a foul on Davy Glennon which Joe Canning sent over the bar to bring the game to extra-time.
Kilkenny boss Cody told RTE, “I’m not going to get involved with it.

“The game is over. I’m sure there are several instances of frees if you like that were given or not given during the game that several people at that match thought were right or thought were wrong.

“That is a personal opinion. I don’t referee the game. I’m not considered to be a very good referee, for some reason, Barry Kelly is and that is fine.

“Look there were about 81,000 people there today. Every one of them was fairly excited and roaring and fierce passionate at that stage of the game.

“Surely to God the two managers are entitled to be excited. If that’s a strange thing to see then you haven’t been at too many hurling matches.

Galway manager Anthony Cunningham added, “Look at any team that plays and there’s a close call coming up to injury time, you’re going to challenge it with the ref. That’s what happens.

“If it was me, I’d be challenging it on the other side. But that game had no false strokes and there was great sportsmanship from both sides. That’s always the way with Kilkenny. They’re tough but honest.”
Cody conceded, “It was a point, they scored a point from it, so that was a very important score.

“Look, I don’t referee the game. I don’t even have a good reputation with the referee it seems.

“I’m sure there were different incidents during the game where I might have disagreed with, Anthony Cunningham might have disagreed with, that’s the nature of the game.

“I’m sure there were several – it will be blown up a bit because it happened to be the last one.”

Kilkenny went back to training on Tuesday night ahead of the replay on Sunday, September 30.
Cody said, “At the end of the day it ended in a draw which I suppose is very unusual seeing I think since 1959 there hasn’t been a draw in the All-Ireland final.

“To make it even stranger the minor final ended in a draw so certainly the spectators got value for money I would imagine.

“Obviously the replay is a long time away. Normally you have a draw in a game like that and you would be getting ready for a replay maybe the following week or the very most two weeks.

“Three weeks is a long time. But I’d be happy to wait six months for an All-Ireland final. It is worth waiting for. We’ll certainly take it on.”

Cody also defended the decision made by Henry Shefflin to point a second-half penalty rather than go for goal.

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.