2015 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final

2015 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final
Event 2015 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
Date 6 September 2015
Venue Croke Park, Dublin
Man of the Match Michael Fennelly[1]
Referee James Owens (Wexford)
Weather Cloudy
14 °C (57 °F)[2]

The 2015 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, the 128th event of its kind and the culmination of the 2015 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, was played at Croke Park in Dublin on 6 September 2015. Kilkenny retained their title beating Galway by 1-22 to 1-18.[3][4] The win was the 36th All-Ireland title for Kilkenny and the 11th under Brian Cody.[5][6][7]

The final was shown live in Ireland on RTÉ One as part of The Sunday Game live programme, presented by Michael Lyster from Croke Park, with studio analysis from Cyril Farrell, Henry Shefflin and Anthony Daly. Match commentary was provided by Ger Canning with analysis by Michael Duignan. The game was also shown live on Sky Sports, presented by Rachel Wyse and Brian Carney with studio analysis from J. J. Delaney, Ollie Canning and Jamesie O'Connor.

The match was the third most-watched event on Irish television in 2015, with an average audience of 739,600.[8]

For the first time since 2011, the final did not go into a replay.


This was the 41st championship meeting between the two sides, with Kilkenny dominating the series with 29 victories. Galway had beaten Kilkenny on 9 occasions while there have been two drawn games. In their most recent meeting Kilkenny defeated Galway by 1-25 to 2-15 in the 2015 Leinster final on 5 July.[9]

The two sides had previously played six times in All-Ireland finals, with Kilkenny once again dominating by winning four of the previous deciders (1975, 1979, 1993, 2012). Galway's lone All-Ireland defeat of Kilkenny came in 1987, while there has been one drawn decider.[10]

Kilkenny were hoping to retain their All-Ireland crown and claim an 8th All-Ireland title in ten years. Victory would also ensure an 11th All-Ireland title under the management of Brian Cody and a 36th All-Ireland title over all. Galway were hoping to win their first All-Ireland title since 1988.[11]

Kilkenny were favorites to win the match, priced at 1/2 with Paddy Power, with Galway priced at 2/1 and the draw at 9/1. If the match was a draw it would be the fourth year in a row that the match would have finished in a draw.[12]

Route to the Final



21 June 2015
Leinster Semi-Final
Kilkenny 5-25 – 0-16 Wexford Nowlan Park
Attendance: 19,134
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork)
G Aylward (3-5), TJ Reid (1-7), R Hogan (1-5), E Larkin (0-3), J Power (0-2), C Buckley (0-1), M Fennelly (0-1), JJ Farrell (0-1). Report I Byrne (0-11), L Óg McGovern (0-2), D Redmond (0-2), A Shore (0-1).

5 July 2015
Leinster Final
Galway 2-15 – 1-25 Kilkenny Croke Park
Attendance: 32,954
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath)
J Canning (1-8, 7f), J Flynn (1-0), C Donnellan (0-3), J Glynn (0-1), C Mannion (0-1), D Burke (0-1), F Moore (0-1). Report TJ Reid (1-9, one '65, 5f), R Hogan (0-4), E Larkin (0-4), G Aylward (0-3), C Fennelly (0-2), W Walsh (0-2), C Fogarty (0-1).

9 August 2015
All-Ireland Semi-Final
Kilkenny 1-21 – 0-18 Waterford Croke Park
Attendance: 41,112
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)
T. J. Reid (1-9, 0-6 frees), R Hogan (0-5), G Aylward (0-4), C Buckley, E Larkin, M Fennelly (0-1 each). Report M Shanahan (0-9, 6 frees, 1 65), C Dunford (0-4), A Gleeson (1 sideline) (0-3), S Bennett, K Moran (0-1 each).


31 May 2015
Leinster Quarter-Final
Dublin 0-20 – 1-17 Galway Croke Park
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath)
D Treacy (0-11, 8 frees, 2 65s); M Schutte, D Sutcliffe (0-3 each); L Rushe (0-2); J McCaffrey (0-1). Report J Canning (0-6, 4 frees, 1 65); J Cooney (1-0); C Donnellan, C Mannion (0-3 each); J Flynn, A Harte (0-2 each); A Smith (0-1 each).

6 June 2015
Leinster Quarter-Final Replay
Galway 5-19 – 1-18 Dublin O'Connor Park
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)
C Mannion 3-3, J Canning 2-3, J Flynn 0-9 (7f), A Harte, A Smith, C Donnellan and P Brehony 0-1 each. Report P Ryan 0-7 (3f, 3 65s), E Dillon 1-1, D O’Connell and D Treacy (1f) 0-2 each, S Lambert (f), R O’Dwyer, L Rushe, D Sutcliffe, M Schutte and C Boland 0-1 each.

20 June 2015
Leinster Semi-Final
Galway 3-28 – 1-14 Laois O'Connor Park
Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary)
J Canning: 1-15 (0-9f, 0-2 ‘65), D Glennon 1-2, J Coen 1-0, P Mannion, A Smith, David Burke, N Healy 0-2 each, J Hanbury, C Mannion, P Brehony 0-1 each . Report Z Keenan 0-5 (3f, 2’65), S Maher 1-1, P Purcell 0-3, P Whelan 0-2, J Campion, T Fitzgerald, C Dwyer 0-1 each.

5 July 2015
Leinster Final
Galway 2-15 – 1-25 Kilkenny Croke Park
Attendance: 32,954
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath)
J Canning (1-8, 7f), J Flynn (1-0), C Donnellan (0-3), J Glynn (0-1), C Mannion (0-1), D Burke (0-1), F Moore (0-1). Report TJ Reid (1-9, one '65, 5f), R Hogan (0-4), E Larkin (0-4), G Aylward (0-3), C Fennelly (0-2), W Walsh (0-2), C Fogarty (0-1).

26 July 2015
All-Ireland Quarter-Final
Galway 2-28 – 0-22 Cork Semple Stadium
Referee: J Ownes (Wexford)
C Mannion (0-7); J Glynn, C Whelan (1-2 each); J Canning (0-5, 2 frees, 1 sideline, 1 65); J Flynn (0-3); A Harte (0-2); David Burke, C Donnellan (0-2 each); A Smith, J Cooney, N Healy (0-1 each). Report P Horgan (0-9, 6 frees, 1 65); C Lehane, S Harnedy (0-3 each); D Kearney (0-2); C Murphy, B Lawton, P O'Sullivan, A Cadogan, A Walsh (0-1 each).

16 August 2015
All-Ireland Semi-Final
Tipperary 3-16 - 0-26 Galway Croke Park
Attendance: 58,495
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath)
Seamus Callanan (3-9, 0-3 frees, 0-1 penalty, 0-1 '65); John O'Dwyer (0-2, 0-1 free); Jason Forde, Brendan Maher, Patrick Maher, Conor O'Mahony, Noel McGrath (0-1) Report Joe Canning (0-10, 0-6 frees, 0-1 '65, 0-1 sideline); Cathal Mannion (0-5); Jason Flynn (0-5, 0-2 frees); David Burke, Conor Whelan (0-2); Shane Moloney, Andy Smith (0-1)


Jubilee team

The Cork All-Ireland-winning team of 1990, who won the title following a 5-15 to 2-21 defeat of Galway, were the jubilee team that were presented to the crowd before the final.


With a stadium capacity of 82,300, the 32 individual county boards will receive 60,000 tickets. Schools and third level colleges will get 2,500 tickets, while season ticket holders will be entitled to 5,500 tickets. 1,000 tickets will be given to overseas clubs. The Camogie, Ladies' Football, Handball and Rounders Associations are each allocated about 200 tickets, as are the jubilee teams and mini-7s which play at half-time.

Galway's ticket allocation is expected to be around 7,000 as the county is contesting both the senior and minor All-Ireland finals. 5,000 tickets will go to Kilkenny as it is a smaller county with fewer clubs, while another 1,000 will be given to clubs in Tipperary due to their participation in the All-Ireland minor final.

The tickets that will be allocated to the participating counties will be divided among the clubs. Senior hurling clubs will get the biggest allocation while intermediate and junior clubs will also get a smaller share. Football clubs will receive a lower percentage. The allocation will be based on the number of members and the number of teams in each club.

The match was shown live on a big sceen at Eyre Square in Galway.[14]

Related events

The 2015 All-Ireland Minor Hurling Final between Galway and Tipperary was played as a curtain-raiser to the senior final.[15] Galway won the game on a 4-13 to 1-16 scoreline.[16]



On 24 August 2015 the officials were chosen for the final by the GAA, led by Wexford referee James Owens. His umpires on the day were James Dunbar, John Clarke, David Owens (Askamore) and Ian Plunkett (Marshalstown). Tipperary’s Johnny Ryan was the standby referee. The other linesman was James McGrath (Westmeath) and the sideline official was Owen Elliott (Antrim). Owens has also refereed the 2007 All-Ireland minor final, the 2008 All-Ireland under-21 final and the 2015 All-Ireland club final.[17][18]

Team News

Both Kilkenny and Galway named unchanged sides for final.[19] Jackie Tyrrell and Richie Power both returned to the Kilkenny squad after recovering from injury.[20]


Joe Canning got the first score of the game from a close-range free after two minutes. Johnny Coen blocked a goal-bound shot from Walter Walsh after four minutes with the scores level at two points each. In the fourteenth minute with Galway leading by two points, Walter Walsh burst in from the right and hand passed to TJ Reid who shot low into the back of the net to put Kilkeeny into a one-point lead. After twenty three minutes, Joe Canning pointed another free to put Galway back in front by one.[21] Jason Flynn then pointed a free from long range to increase the lead to two points a minute later. Jason Flynn got his third point of the game in the twenty eighth minute to put four between the sides. With a minute to half time, a dangerous high foul by Johnny Coen on Colin Fennelly earned him a yellow card when most people including all members of the Sunday Game panel expected a red card. Half-time score was Kilkenny 1-8 Galway 0-14.[22] The first score of the second half came after four minutes with Conor Fogarty scoring from a free. TJ Reid then scored with another free and then a sixty five to level the scores. David Collins then got a point to put Galway back in front before Richie Hogan again got the equalizer. After forty nine minutes, Conor Whelan with the help of HawkEye put just one point between the sides with a shot from a very tight angle on the right. With six minutes to go Colin Fennelly pointed after Joe Canning had earlier missed from a free to put Kilkenny four points in front. Conor Whelan missed a goal chance for Galway with four minutes to go when his weak shot went low passed the left post. Colin Fennelly then got a second point to put five between them with two minutes to go. Two quick points from Michael Fennelly and Walter Walsh put seven between them before Joe Canning scored a goal with a low shot to the net from a free for the final score of the game. The final score is Kilkenny 1-22 Galway 1-18.[23][24]


6 September 2015
Kilkenny 1-22 - 1-18 Galway
TJ Reid (1-7, 0-5 frees, 0-2 65s); R Hogan, E Larkin, G Aylward, C Fennelly, M Fennelly, W Walsh (0-2 each); J Coen (own point), C Fogarty, P Walsh (0-1 each). Report J Canning (1-8, 1-5 frees); J Flynn (0-4, 3 frees); C Whelan, D Collins (0-2 each); C Donnellan, David Burke (0-1 each).
Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 82,300
Referee: James Owens (Wexford)
1 Eoin Murphy
2 Paul Murphy
3 Joey Holden (Captain)
4 Shane Prendergast
5 Pádraig Walsh
6 Kieran Joyce
7 Cillian Buckley
8 Michael Fennelly
9 Conor Fogarty
10 Colin Fennelly
11 Richie Hogan
12 T. J. Reid
13 Ger Aylward
14 Walter Walsh
15 Eoin Larkin
Substitutes Used:
24 Richie Power for R. Hogan (60 mins)
23 John Power for G. Aylward (62 mins)
Unused Substitutes:
16 Richie Reid
17 Jackie Tyrrell
18 Rob Lennon
19 Michael Walsh
20 Diarmuid Cody
21 Lester Ryan
22 Joe Lyng
25 Jonjo Farrell
26 Matthew Ruth
Brian Cody
1 Colm Callanan
2 Johnny Coen
3 John Hanbury
4 Pádraic Mannion
5 Aidan Harte
6 Iarla Tannian
7 Daithí Burke
8 Andy Smith (Playing Captain)
9 David Burke
10 Conor Whelan
11 Cyril Donnellan
12 Jonathan Glynn
13 Jason Flynn
14 Joe Canning
15 Cathal Mannion
Substitutes Used:
22 David Collins (Captain) for A. Harte (24 mins)
21 Conor Cooney for A. Smith (56 mins)
20 Greg Lally for C. Donnellan (64 mins)
23 Shane Moloney for J. Flynn (65 mins)
Unused Substitutes:
16 James Skehil
17 Fergal Moore
18 Paul Killeen
19 Gearóid McInerney
24 Niall Healy
25 Joseph Cooney
26 Brian Molloy
Anthony Cunningham


Kilkenny manager Brian Cody was happy with the second-half performance from his players after trailing by three points, speaking to RTÉ Sport he said "In the first-half, Galway were outstanding, They really hit us, they really knocked us back in different ways and we struggled to get into our rhythm. We went in at half-time three points down and that’s not a bad position to be in and I thought the second-half response from our players was magnificent. I thought the relentless spirit, attitude and hurling that they showed was top class and it was a hard fought victory, there’s no doubt about that. “[25][26] Colin Fennelly revealed that a half-time speech from Jackie Tyrrell provided Kilkenny with the inspiration they needed in the second-half, saying "“Jackie Tyrrell at half-time, the speech he made was absolutely amazing, Jackie may have only one or two years left maybe and young lads hearing that coming on, it’s amazing. His speech at half-time was absolutely unbelievable, He spoke. Richie Power spoke and Michael Fennelly spoke and they’re probably the three senior lads of the team and whatever they said went through to us and we came out in the second-half and did the business."[27][28]

Galway manager Anthony Cunningham speaking to RTÉ Sport after the game said "Unfortunately we came out second-best there in the second-half, having had a nice lead there at half-time, Congratulations to Kilkenny, they were the better team there in the second-half. We just had a few unforced errors there really; we only returned 1-4 in the second-half, But no fault to any of our players. They gave it some, some effort, it was some battle there. A few unforced errors there in the second-half, maybe a couple of decisions went against us at the start of the second-half. Kilkenny, with all their experience and their guile and their craft, a tremendous team, they punished us."[29]

Nicky English writing in the Irish Times was impressed by how Kilkenny performed in the second-half saying "Whatever Cody said at half- time worked because Kilkenny came out a different team. They’d reorganised themselves and they came back out and dictated the pace from the word go. They closed the gap straight away and got into the lead and were well on top in all areas. They closed down the space that Galway had been able to create in the full-forward line and Galway were reduced to scraps."[30]

Cyril Farrell writing in the Irish Independent called it a tough defeat for Galway to take especially after a great first half in which they took the game to Kilkenny saying "Unfortunately for Galway, Cody's team got the upper hand in those vital early stages of the second half and drove on to dominate the match. The problem was they were up against a team managed by the greatest hurling manager in the game's history and we knew that Kilkenny would come out with all guns blazing in the first ten to 15 minutes of the second half."[31]

Highlights of the final were shown on The Sunday Game programme which aired at 9:30pm that night on RTÉ Two and was presented by Des Cahill with analysis from Donal Óg Cusack, Liam Sheedy, and Ger Loughnane. On the man of the match award shortlist were Michael Fennelly, T. J. Reid and David Burke, with Michael Fennelly winning the award which was presented by GAA president Aogan O' Fearghail at the City West hotel in Dublin.

Trophy Presentation

Kilkenny captain Joey Holden accepted the Liam MacCarthy Cup from GAA president Aogan O' Fearghail in the Hogan Stand.


The Kilkenny team returned home on the 7 September were the homecoming event was held at Nowlan Park in Kikenny City at 5.45pm where up to 12,000 people attended.[32] The team arrived at Kilkenny Castle before boarding an open-top bus for the journey to Nowlan Park.[33]


  1. "Do you agree with The Sunday Game's man-of-the-match selection?". The 42. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  2. Met Eireann: Daily Data 06/09/15
  3. "2015 Fixtures and Results". GAA.ie. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  4. "Kilkenny v Galway recap: Relive all the action from the All-Ireland hurling final". Irish Mirror. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  5. "All so very familiar as Cody's crew sink Tribesmen". Irish Independent. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  6. "Henry Shefflin: You just have to hold your hands up and say Kilkenny are the best". Irish Independent. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  7. "Kilkenny 1-22 Galway 1-18: Cats crowned All-Ireland champions after brilliant second-half performance". Irish Mirror. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  8. "All-Ireland Football Final the most-watched show on Irish television so far this year". The 42. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
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  10. "'Big 3' and high fives to haunt Galway?". Irish Independent. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  11. "Victory would set us up for a number of years - Cunningham". Irish Independent. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  12. "Kilkenny v Galway 6 September 2015". Paddypower.ie. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  13. "Kilkenny v Galway: Paths to the final". RTÉ Sport. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  14. "Galway's Eyre Square will be hopping for Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final". The 42. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  15. "All-Ireland MHC semi-final: Tipp young guns shoot down Dubs". Hogan Stand. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  16. "Galway's minors win All-Ireland title with devastating goal-fest in second half". Irish Examiner. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  17. Verney, Michael (24 August 2015). "James Owens realises 'lifetime goal' to be named All-Ireland hurling final referee". Irish Independent. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  18. Moran, Seán (24 August 2015). "Wexford's James Owens to referee All-Ireland hurling final". Irish Times. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  19. "Galway remain unchanged for Croker date with destiny". Irish Examiner. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  20. "Kilkenny and Galway unchanged for final". Irish Independent. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  21. "All-Ireland SHC final: consummate Cats roar to 36th crown". Hogan Stand. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  22. "All-Ireland SHC final: as it happened". The 42. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  23. "5 talking points as Kilkenny celebrate again and Galway's wait goes on". The 42. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  24. "Statistical breakdown". GAA.ie. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  25. "Reaction: Cody delighted by second-half display". Hogan Stand. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  26. "Kilkenny boss hails response to injuries". Irish Independent. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  27. "Tyrrell speech motivated us, says Fennelly". Hogan Stand. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  28. "Jackie Tyrrell: Inspirational speech 'from the heart'". Irish Examiner. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  29. "Cunningham laments 'unforced errors and a couple of decisions' after second-half collapse". The 42. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  30. "Galway can't handle intensity of Kilkenny pressure cooker". Irish Times. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  31. "Cyril Farrell: Galway wounded by defeat but can build on positives for 2016". Irish Independent. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  32. "Kilkenny homecoming: Cody sows seeds for next year's season". Irish Examiner. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  33. "'31 counties were against us' says Brian Cody as Cats celebrate". Irish Independent. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
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