The Liam MacCarthy that the hurling world always felt was his destiny is finally in Joe Canning's grasp after Galway edged out Waterford in a pulsating All-Ireland final.

Ever since he burst on the scene as a teenage phenom, Canning was anointed an All-Ireland winner-in-waiting and, after three final defeats, the Portumna star has claimed a Celtic Cross.

The 28-year-old played a starring role for the Tribesmen, scoring 10 points. He moved into full-forward late on as he appeared to be struggling with an injury, but with the final whistle all pain was forgotten.

Canning watched David Burke's emotional speech in the company of Tony Keady's grieving family and, once the crowds dispersed, he was slowly making his way to the Galway dressingroom when he met two more fans.