Galway 0-21 V Kilkenny 0-14
All-Ireland Minor Hurling Final
Croke Park Sunday 19th August 2018
Galway win the Irish Press Cup for the second year running, and the third time in four years, thanks to a fine second-half display. They trailed Kilkenny by a point at the break, but tigerish defending of the young tribesmen which kept the dangerous Kilkenny full forward line scoreless and the ice-cold free taking of Donal O’Shea saw them surge ahead after the break to win by seven.
Kilkenny started brightly with four points in a row. Darragh Maher got the scoring underway and captain Conor Kelly pointed a fine free from under the Hogan stand. Ciarán Brennan then added a brace of points, one of which was a fine sideline cut. Galway then got back into the match and Donal O’Shea blasted a penalty just over the crossbar, after Niall Collins had been dragged down when a goal looked likely. This was the first of six Galway points in a row as they started to get on top around the middle. Donal O’Shea added three more during this spell and both Oisín Flannerys’ scored (no.9 from St. Thomas’ and no. 11 representing the Padraig Pearses club).
Kilkenny’s Cian Kenny broke Galway’s scoring streak with a point before Donal O’Shea edged Galway two ahead again. Jack Buggy then cut the gap to a single point with a fine sideline cut and three pointed frees from Kilkenny captain Conor Kelly saw the cats lead by two. A Darragh Maher point for Kilkenny was sandwiched between two Donal O’Shea frees. At the break the scoreline was Kilkenny 0-10 Galway 0-09.
Kilkenny midfielder Cian Kenny put the cats two up after the restart. Diarmuid Kilcommins and Conor Kelly swapped points before Colm Cunningham and Donal O’Shea pointed to level it up again. Diarmuid Kilcommins and a Donal O’Shea 65’ put Galway two up, another Conor Kelly free cut the gap to the minimum. Dean Reilly, Evan Duggan and substitute Seán McDonagh added further scores for the Tribesmen as they began to take a firm grip on the game. Conor Kenny pointed his 7th of the day from a free to bring the cats back to within a goal of Galway at 0-17 Kilkenny 0-14, but it was to be Kilkenny’s last point of the day as Galway pushed on and finished strongly with Donal O’Shea pointing another free and Seán McDonagh and Dean Reilly both added their second points of the day. Dean Reilly took his personal tally to three with a nice point and Donal O’Shea put the icing on the cake in injury time with his 10th point of the day.