All-Ireland Hurling Finals 2017

Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Finals

Saturday at Kenny Park Athenry
Sarsfields v Cappataggle 2.00pm
Gort v Killimordaly 3.30pm

Sunday at Kenny Park Athenry
Clarinbridge v Liam Mellows 2.00pm
Craughwell v Portumna 3.30pm

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Galway hurler Gearoid McInerney with his PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month award for September in hurling, during a reception at PwC Offices, in Spencer Dock, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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Marie Coady, Tax Partner, PwC, Paraic Duffy, GAA Director General, left, and Dermot Earley GPA Chief Executive, right, are pictured with Galway hurler Conor Cooney at the announcement of July and August’s PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month Awards at a reception in PwC Offices, Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

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Congratulations to well known Raidió na Gaeltachta Journalist Martán Ó Ciardha with his GWA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gaelic Writers Association Awards 2017 in the Jackson Court Hotel. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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Joe Canning hit seven points and reigning league champions Galway saw off Offaly by 0-33 to 1-11 at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise.

Galway were 0-16 to 1-06 ahead at half-time after they answered Oisin Kelly’s early strike with a brilliant half of free-flowing hurling.

Portumna ace Canning scored five points in the first-half and Conor Whelan did the rest of the damage in the second-half as he finished with seven points from play. 

Galway have only ever won one Leinster title, back in 2012, but they will face the might of Wexford in a novel provincial final pairing at Croke Park.

Micheal Donoghue’s side were huge favourites coming into this final four clash having breezed past Dublin in the quarter-final, following on from their massive league final success against All-Ireland holders Tipperary.

There was a slight breeze behind Galway in the first-half but they fell behind early when Kelly crashed home a goal in just the fourth minute. 

He showed great strength to hold off his marker John Hanbury and finish low into Colm Callanan’s goal but Galway retained their composure and hit their stride.

Points from Padraic Mannion, Cathal Mannion, Conor Whelan and then Conor Cooney saw them take the lead for the first time in the seventh minute.

Galway scored nine points from play by the 20th minute, and then Canning tapped over his first free three minutes later. Galway were still pilfering chances in front of goal and Niall Burke and Jason Flynn were among those guilty of missing opportunities.

Galway ended the first-half with seven wides and but crucially Canning was central to everything – he scored five points, with four coming courtesy of frees in the opening half.

Shane Dooley was keeping Offaly within range, he landed six points in the opening 35 minutes, but Galway were too good and the surging runs of half-backs Aidan Harte and Padraic Mannion were doing massive damage.

Galway were 0-16 to 1-06 ahead at the break and a couple of early Whelan points put Galway completely out in the clear.

Offaly still only had two scorers, with Dooley adding a point but their opponents sailed through the gears. James Dempsey pulled off a fantastic save to deny Shane Maloney in the 50th minute.

But Galway were utterly dominant and when Maloney scored his third point to give them a 0-24 to 1-07 lead in the 51st minute. 

Whelan and Niall Burke extended their lead further in the latter stages and Offaly had no answer as they finished with just four different scorers on the day – Galway had nine.

Galway: C Callanan; A Tuohy, Daithi Burke, J Hansbury; P Mannion (0-02), G McInerney, A Harte (0-03); J Coen (0-02), David Burke; J Flynn, J Canning (0-07, 0-06f), N Burke (0-05); C Whelan (0-07), C Mannion (0-02), C Cooney (0-01).

Subs: S Maloney (0-04) for C Mannion (24), M Donohue for P Mannion (55), S Loftus for Tuohy (58), E Burke for Canning (61), P Brehony for David Burke (62).

Offaly: J Dempsey; B Conneely, D Shortt, E Grogan; S Ryan, S Gardiner, D King; P Murphy, S Kinsella; P Guinan, J Bergin, E Nolan (0-01); S Cleary, S Dooley (0-09, 0-05f, 0-01 65), O Kelly (1-00).

Subs: L Langton (0-01) for Cleary (42), P Camon for Ryan (52), S Quirke for Guinan (54), D Doughan for Murphy (61), J Mulrooney for Kinsella (63).

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).