Galway star Joe Canning has made his peace with Kilkenny and admitted they deserved to win the All-Ireland crown last month.
Canning incensed the Cats when he accused Henry Shefflin of gamesmanship in the drawn game, but he has now hailed their runaway success in the replay.
Canning said, “The better team won. It was Kilkenny’s experience that saw them triumph on the second day.”
Speaking to the Irish Examiner weeks after the 11 point defeat, Canning added, “Everything is settling in now and you’re kind of depressed thinking about the last month and a half.
“The better team won and that’s the honest truth. Kilkenny wanted it that small bit more. Their experience, I suppose, came to the fore the second day. They were the better team on the day and we’ve no qualms with that.”
All-star nominee Canning will still take some solace from the season that saw Galway capture the Leinster title.
He continued, “To win Leinster and to get to an All-Ireland final was a good year, but only one match counts when you get that far and we’d be disappointed that we didn’t finish off the year.
“If you said at the start of the year you would have probably taken this considering we didn’t get past the quarter-finals for the seven previous years before that.
“There was a lot more goodwill from the Galway public this year. Even after we lost, there was a great crowd there in Salthill and that was nice to see.
“Earlier on this year, people were questioning whether we’d go far or not but winning the Leinster championship gave a good bit back to the supporters and got them on our side again.
“It was hard for them to be following over the last couple of years when we weren’t performing and weren’t at the right end of results.”