Cats make no mistake this time
Kilkenny made sure of victory in yesterday’s All-Ireland final replay when they beat a 14-man Galway side at Croke Park.
Once Cyril Donnellan received his marching orders in the 48th minute the game was over as a contest.
The victory means that Henry Shefflin, who jointly top-scored with 0-9 (0-8 from frees), became the first man in the history of the GAA to win nine Celtic Crosses on the field of play.
It was also a proud day for veteran defender Noel Hickey, who was introduced during the second half. The Cats have now won a remarkable nine Liam MacCarthy Cups under Brian Cody’s watch and 34 in all.
Unfortunately for Galway, who were so impressive in the drawn encounter, Kilkenny were emphatic in their victory.
Two David Burke goals sent Galway into a 2-2 to 0-5 lead after 17 minutes, but the holders levelled through a Richie Power strike and rallied brilliantly thereafter to take a 1-11 to 2-4 lead into the break.
Galway showed character to close the gap to three points in the third quarter, but a hugely contentious refereeing decision, which saw Cyril Donnellan have a goal disallowed, coupled with the 48th minute dismissal of the same player on a straight red card, scuppered their hopes of staging a comeback and ending a 24-year wait for All-Ireland glory.