This past Sunday was not a good one for fans of Galway in the replay of this years All Ireland Hurling Final. They were soundly defeated at the hands a Kilkenny, who really proved to be a much better team. The final score line was 3-22 to 3-11 (which is 31-20), an 11 point defeat for Galway. Kilkenny got off to a fast start but Galway was able to hang around for most of the first half. In the second half, Galway almost made a game out of it in a whirlwind few minutes of play. The referee’s whistle blew the play dead for a foul as Galway scored a goal. The goal was not allowed and Galway were forced to settle for just a point on the resulting play after the foul. Seconds later, they rang a shot of the post and Kilkenny recovered working play down the field and scoring a point of their own. From this point on there was no looking back for Kilkenny.
This win for Kilkenny was revenge of sorts on a team that had beat them once already this season and played to a draw just three short weeks ago. This ‘evening’ of the season series, so to speak, is no consolation to Galway since it was this final match that really mattered.
Even though I was rooting for Galway, I have to give plenty of respect for the Kilkenny team. They have won 6 of the past 7 finals, and now have 34 titles to their credit. Galway still sits at 4, and haven’t won since 1988. Galway have been the runner-up 18 times. (This is tied for second most losses in a final. The leading ‘loser’ in finals is Kilkenny, but with the most wins that doesn’t seem to bother them too much. The other team with 18 losses is Cork, who also have the second most wins at 30) This is a staggering statistic for a team with only 4 wins. They have been good enough numerous times to make the final and have unfortunately been disappointed in a majority of those trips.