Moment of Richie Hogan genius inspires Kilkenny to a classic Kilkenny victory 1 week ago

Moment of Richie Hogan genius inspires Kilkenny to a classic Kilkenny victory

Kilkenny 2-20 Galway 0-24

They said he was past it.

32 years of age, his best days were behind him. Not on Richie Hogan's barney.

When Brian Cody called on his trusted lieutenant, Kilkenny were in a spot of bother. A point down with twenty five minutes to play, it wasn't that Galway were out of sight, more so that Kilkenny just weren't firing.

Walter Walsh and Colin Fennelly between them, had hardly burnt a ball. TJ Reid could only watch on, as Galway men caught balls over his head. When would you ever see the likes? Three of their marquee men taken out of the game, that would be enough to beat most teams. Galway were hurling up a storm too.

But Kilkenny aren't like most teams.

While TJ and co. were quiet, young Eoin Cody was leading like his life depended on it, giving Sean Loftus and then Shane Cooney a torrid time of it. Martin Keoghan too, was dominating from his centre forward position, his tireless running and sharp eye ensuring that no matter how well Joe Canning and Cathal Mannion hurled, that Galway were never out of sight. That Kilkenny were still in this game.

The game ebbed and flowed but Galway took the upper hand, as Brian Concannon scored the point that his performance deserved to put the Tribesmen five up and heading for home.

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But Kilkenny were still in the game. And Richie Hogan was on the prowl. Within a minute, they turned the five point deficit into a one point lead and while TJ's goal was good, Richie's was a spiritual awakening.

It was Richie Hogan, hurling like it was 2014 again, hurling like he was born with a hurl in his hand. A flick, and don't you dare call it a fluke flick, brought it away from Daithi Burke and into his path. The little maestro anticipated Eanna Murphy's next move to guide it past him, before he turned his body to flick it over his shoulder.

It was as good and as clever a goal as you could ever be lucky enough to see.

Galway don't die down, and David Burke and the phenomenal Joe Canning put them two up once again. But Kilkenny were inspired, they weren't to be denied as the maestro himself hit two more points, before the sharp Niall Brassil set up Mossy Keoghan for the winner.

After four years in the wilderness, Kilkenny are back in their familiar Leinster throne.