Three late goals crowned an astonishing late comeback from Galway as they rescued a replay with Kilkenny after a memorable finish in a 5-16 to 3-22 draw in O'Connor Park.
Two Conor Cooney goals and one from a Joe Canning penalty drew the sides level with time running out only for Henry Shefflin to give Kilkenny the lead once more from an acute angle.
However, when all looked lost once more for the Westerners, Canning stepped up to send over an identical point from the tightest of angles.
Indeed, it was a fitting finish to crown an epic encounter which brimmed with pasion and intensity throughout.
Niall Burke hit Galway’s first score just after the minute mark with Richie Hogan equalising moments later. But Kilkenny turned up the pace in the next five minutes with Colin Fennelly and TJ Reid sharing a brace, which sandwiched a free from Conor Cooney.
The game ebbed and flowed and the Tribesmen wrestled the initiative back as Niall Burke hit his second while Canning hit a monstrous effort from his own ’65.
Daithi Burke’s influence was growing in the Galway half-back line and when Andy Smith gave Galway the lead for the second time at 0-07 to 0-06 with 21 minutes gone, Galway looked in good shape.
However, a contentious decision from referee, Johnny Ryan saw a free awarded to Kilkenny which eventually ended up in the grateful hands of Eoin Larkin who miss-hit a shot past the despairing dive of Colm Callanan.
Galway were soon on level terms again after a free from Cooney and a goal from Niall Burke on the half-hour, when he latched on to Smith's high ball.
Fennelly got another point to get Kilkenny back on track while two fine efforts from Padraig Walsh and one from Conor Cooney saw the teams level at 1-09 to 1-09 at the break.
Galway introduced Johnny Glynn at half-time and he hit the first point of the half and after Canning's first penalty and a quick point the Tribesmen push ahead once again.
However, a devastating nine-minute spell saw Brian Cody’s men hit an unanswered 1-07, as Colin Fennelly crisp strike looked to have wrapped up the win.
But Galway conjured a stunning comeback and hit 3-3 in the closing stages to force a replay which will take place next Saturday in the same venue.
Galway: C Callanan; F Moore, R Burke, D Collins; I Tannian, D Burke, J Coen; A Smith (0-01), P Brehony; D Burke, J Canning (2-03, 2-00 pens), C Cooney (2-07, 0-04f, 0-02 ‘65); C Mannion, N Burke (1-02), J Flynn (0-02).
Subs: J Glynn (0-01) for Mannion (35); K Hynes for Smith (49); G McInerney for Brehony (60); J Cooney for David Burke (62); D Hayes for N Burke (63).
Kilkenny: E Murphy, P Murphy, JJ Delaney, B Kennedy; K Joyce, J Tyrrell, C Buckley; P Walsh (0-02), R Hogan (0-05); W Walsh, M Kelly, TJ Reid (1-08, 0-07f); C Fennelly (1-03), R Power, E Larkin (1-01).
Subs: M Walsh for Kennedy (34); T Walsh (0-01) for W Walsh (43); A Fogarty (0-01) for Power (52); H Shefflin (0-01) for M Kelly (62); B Hogan for Tyrrell (68).
Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).