All-Ireland MHC final: McDonagh stars as Galway ease to three-in-a-row

August 18, 2019

Kilkenny's Zach Bay Hammond attempts to hook Galway's Sean McDonagh. ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

Galway 3-14

Kilkenny 0-12

Two goals from man of the match Sean McDonagh and another from Ruben Davitt helped Galway to a third successive All-Ireland minor hurling final victory at Kilkenny's expense in Croke Park.

McDonagh's first goal from a penalty on the stroke of half-time proved a key moment as Brian Hanley's men took a 2-6 to 0-7 lead into the break. And there was no way back for Kilkenny after McDonagh, who finished with 2-8 to his credit, fired home his second major in the 47th minute to secure the Irish Press Cup and Galway's first ever three-in-a-row in the minor grade and 13th title in all.

It was a case of deja vu for Kilkenny who also lost to the Tribesmen in the quarter-finals as well as in last year's final. Galway will go in search of an All-Ireland minor double on September 1 when their footballers take on Cork in the Tom Markham Cup decider. 

With midfielder Alex Connaire driving them on, the winners were never headed after Davitt raised their first green flag in the eighth minute after getting in behind the Kilkenny defence. McDonagh converted three frees which Connare had won before the latter's point left Galway six points ahead, 1-9 to 0-6, coming up to half-time.

Connaire then set up Greg Thomas for a penalty which centre forward McDonagh dispatched to give the Westerners' a five-point cushion at the interval.

Galway captain Ian McGlynn lifts the Irish Press Cup. ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

Despite free-taker Billy Drennan registering six points for the Cats, they couldn't get close to the winners in the second half. Galway resumed with five unanswered points, including three from McDonagh, as they doubled their lead to 10. 

Davitt, Thomas and Tiernan Killeen also chipped in with scores before McDonagh capped a marvellous individual performance with his second major 13 minutes from the end. Galway could afford the luxury of 13 wides as they cruised to a 13-point victory.

Galway - M Egan; A Nolan, E Lawless, C Brennan; E Collins, I McGlynn, J Cooney; L Leen, A Connaire (0-1); T Killeen (0-2), S McDonagh (2-8, 0-6f, 1-0pen, 0-1'65), C Cunningham; R Davitt (1-2), S Morgan, G Thomas (0-1). Subs: G Lee for C Cunningham, S O'Hanlon for S Morgan, E Davoren for E Collins, C Molloy for R Davitt, N Glynn for G Thomas.

Kilkenny - A Tallis; B Reid, W Halpin, T Roche; P McDonald (0-1), P Moylan, Z Bay Hammond; L Moore (0-1), J Aylward; P Blanchfield, T Clifford (0-1), C O'Sullivan (0-2); B Drennan (0-6, 5f), J Doyle, I Byrne. Subs: D Walsh for P Blanchfield, A Hickey for J Aylward, B Wheeler (0-1) for I Byrne, A Murphy for B Drennan.

Referee - P Murphy.

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