/ GAA

Galway boss Anthony Cunningham was delighted to secure a replay with Kilkenny

Updated: Sunday, 09 Sep 2012 18:50

Brian Cody disputed the free that allowed Joe Canning the chance to equalise
Brian Cody disputed the free that allowed Joe Canning the chance to equalise

Galway manager Anthony Cunningham was delighted with securing an All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final replay with Kilkenny after Joe Canning’s injury-time point in Croke Park today.

A topsy-turvy game could not be settled this afternoon as the 23-year-old’s free secured a 2-13 to 0-19 draw and the teams will meet again on 30 September.

Cunningham told RTÉ: "It was always going to be nip and tuck and very close with Kilkenny. They powered into us in the second half but we had a great start and a great first half.

"Maybe we lost our way for the first 10 minutes of the second half. We rallied again, they rallied, it was a great save by James Skehill and drama there.

"Then a penalty a few good scores for us and it was very tough late on. We’re delighted to get the draw. We were down going into injury time and traditionally who gets the last score has a bit of advantage the next day and we hope it will be us."

Shefflin’s free drew outrage from Brian Cody on the sidelines as he believed it should not have been awarded when Davy Glennon went to ground.

The Galway boss was emphatic in his verdict on the decision by referee Barry Kelly: "It was definitely a free. He played his hurley. There are small wins and gains and that definitely was a free. I’m sure everyone knows that.

"Everybody would fight that it isn’t a free at that stage of the game, naturally.

"We’re delighted to be there again. It is huge learning for us and we think we’ll take more to it for the next day. It’ll be down to the wire again."

The meeting today was a first final for Galway in seven years and the experience will stand to his players, according to the Galway boss, ahead of the replay in three weeks' time.

"We’re a developing side and it is a big, big bonus to play in a final. We‘ve been very impressed with how the boys approached it and played in the first-half. It is something we’ll work on again for the next day. It is part three as you say, a win, a draw and we hope to make it a win again.

"But it’ll be nip and tuck again. There’ll be nothing in it and there is never is on All-Ireland final day. We’ve seen that over the last number of years.

"There has been some fantastic finals. Today’s was heart-stopping stuff and we’re just delighted to part of it."