With temperatures tipping 29 degrees in Tullamore on Tuesday evening, Kilkenny bowed out of the Leinster U20 hurling championship, once more at the semi-final stages and again at the hands of Galway.
The Tribesmen were the far better side in the first half, starting with pace and the breeze and leading by 0-05 to 0-01 inside the first ten minutes.
By the time the water break hit with temperatures rising on the field, last year’s beaten Leinster finalists were a further three points clear.
Peter McDonald got Kilkenny’s first point of the game three minutes in but Galway would keep them off the scoreboard for the next 20 minutes before Eon Guilfoyle pointed from a free.
While Kilkenny were chasing shadows, Galway was stacking up the scores and nailed their 14th of the half to go in at the break 1-13 to 0-03.
With Tomas Dunne on for Padraig Dempsey at the break, Kilkenny needed a strong second-half start and finally managed to get out of first gear.
Eoin Guilfoyle, CIan Kenny and Aidan Tallis all got on the scoresheet within five minutes of the restart to begin chipping away at Galway’s lead.
Galmoy’s Billy Drennan, named on the Minor Hurling Team of the Year for 2020 earlier Tuesday, came on for Jack Morrissey early in the second to help Kilkenny’s attacking cause which would see Tomas Dunne grab a goal following a penalty save approaching the water break and Eoin Guilfoyle tack on another three points for his account.
BGE Leinster U-20 Semi-Final
Full Time Kilkenny: 1-13(16)
Galway: 1-18(21) . Brave 2nd half showing but Galway deserved winners.
— Kilkenny GAA (@KilkennyCLG) July 20, 2021
Kilkenny managed to cut the gap to four points with four minutes left but several goal opportunities failed to produce major scores late in proceedings, leaving Galway heading to next week’s final on a scoreline of 1-18 to 1-13.
In Tuesday’s other game, Dublin overcame Offaly 2-15 to 1-15 to set up a repeat of last year’s final.