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Joe Canning recalls ‘stupid remark’ about Henry Shefflin before 2012 decider

Joe Canning

Joe Canning has recalled a “stupid remark” he made about Henry Shefflin before the All-Ireland Hurling final replay between Galway and Kilkenny in 2012.

The 2012 All-Ireland Hurling final needed to be replayed after Canning scored a last-gasp equalising point from a free near the sideline, with Galway and Kilkenny to meet again three weeks later.

Canning found himself at the centre of attention before taking to the field again however, as he said that Shefflin’s conduct with the referee in the first final wasn’t sportsmanlike, a comment which naturally made headlines.

Speaking on TG4’s Laochra Gael, Canning believes that his comment motivated Kilkenny and that he expected his team mates were not happy about his remark.

Joe Canning on his comment about Henry Shefflin.

“I made a remark, a stupid enough remark obviously, about Henry not being sportsmanlike,” Canning started.

“In my next sentence, I said, ‘But we need to be more like them.’ Whatever way you want to look at it, I was actually complimenting them in a way that we needed to be like Henry and Kilkenny if we were to win the next day.

“I remember waking up the following morning and my phone was going mad. I was going, ‘What the fuck is happening here? What did I say yesterday?’

“Automatically I was like, ‘Oh, the boys are going to kill me now.’ Mam and Dad got a letter from Kilkenny that they burnt and never showed me, which is worse for me, I’d rather me see it and not them.”

The Cats dominated the replay.

Whether or not Canning’s comment actually spurred Kilkenny on cannot be said, although Galway were well beaten in the replay as Shefflin and co. claimed an 11-point victory.

Canning would eventually achieve All-Ireland glory with Galway in 2017, at which stage Shefflin had retired from inter-county hurling, having lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup on 10 occasions.

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