History was made at Croke Park as Galway claimed a first Leinster SHC title as they recorded a 2-21 to 2-11 victory against Kilkenny.

The All-Ireland champions were outfoxed by the dynamic Tribesmen, who were once again inspired by the talismanic Joe Canning, who ended the game with a personal haul of 1-10.

Cyril Donnellan contributed six points from play.

It was a Galway performance sprinkled with heroic performances as Kilkenny failed to contain their rivals.

Galway stunned the Cats with a cool exhibition of hurling in the first half as the Tribesmen thundered into the contest.

Anthony Cunningham's team were primed for battle and their diligent work ethic was critical during of an amazing opening quarter.

Gaining in confidence, Galway moved the sliotar quickly inside and their fluid forward line put in a splendid show.

Damien Hayes was given a free role out the field and that helped Galway seize control initially at centrefield.

With Iarla Tannian and Andy Smyth dovetailing well, Galway were intent on grabbing scores early and often.

And that is precisely what they did as Galway scorched into a commanding 1-06 to 0-00 lead after 18 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, Canning occupied a significant role in Galway's blistering start, netting a splendid third-minute goal.

Tannian's delivery vexed Jackie Tyrell and Canning took maximum advantage to smash an opportunistic goal.

Canning was accurate from frees, while Niall Burke and Donnellan were also motoring effectively for Galway.

Kilkenny finally registered a score 20 minutes in when Henry Shefflin batted over a free, but Galway responded by hitting 1-05 on the spin.

The goal arrived in the 23rd minute when David Burke scampered clear before blasting past Kilkenny custodian David Herity.

Brian Cody's Kilkenny improved slightly as the interval approached trimming the half time deficit down to 2-12 to 0-04 following two Shefflin frees.

After the restart, Kilkenny needed goals and they got one in the 44th minute when Richie Hogan scored following a Richie Power pass.

Galway, though, replied with three points in a row from Canning (0-02) and David Burke to edge 2-16 to 1-06 ahead.

But then Shefflin flicked a goal in the 49th minute to narrow the margin again, but Galway still led 2-19 to 1-11 with only five minutes remaining.

And a gritty and determined Galway were composed in the closing stages to eke out a smashing success at headquarters.


Galway: J Canning (1-10, 7fs), C Donnellan (0-06), D Burke (1-02), N Burke (0-01), D Collins (0-01), D Hayes (0-01).

Kilkenny: H Shefflin (1-08, 7fs), R Hogan (1-00), R Power (0-02), M Rice (0-01).

Galway: J Skehill; F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen; D Collins, T Og Regan, N Donoghue; I Tannian, A Smyrg; N Burke, D Burke, D Hayes; J Canning, C Cooney, C Donnellan.

Subs: J Glynn for Cooney (53 mins), J Regan for Tannian (57 mins), T Haran for N Burke (61 mins), J Cooney for Donnellan (70 mins).

Kilkenny: D Herity; P Murphy, N Hickey, J Tyrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, R Doyle; C Buckley, P Hogan; H Shefflin, TJ Reid, E Larkin; C Fennelly, R Power, R Hogan.

Subs: A Fogarty for C Fennelly (23 mins), M Rice for P Hogan (27 mins), M Ruth for Reid (58 mins).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).