As Cork and Galway prepare to do battle this Sunday, we take a trip down memory lane to Thurles in 2008, where a 19-year-old Joe Canning delivered one of the best individual displays seen on a hurling field.
2008 was Joe Canning’s first year in a Galway jersey and in spite of the fact that they made an early championship exit, Canning claimed a first All-Star and the coveted Young Hurler of The Year award.
Canning’s debut season will be remembered for his individual performance agains Cork in round three of the qualifiers. Galway lost the game on a scoreline of 2-15 to 0-23. However, the Portumna man managed to rack up a staggering tally of 2-12, with sensational scores coming from frees, a penalty, a sideline cut and many superb points from play as well.
Canning gave both Diarmuid ‘The Rock’ O’Sullivan and John Gardiner torrid times in defence as the teenager racked up score after score.
All 2-12 of Canning’s scores can be seen below:
In a year where the Portumna man has rediscovered his best form, Galway will be hoping for another ‘Joe Show’ come 4 p.m on Sunday afternoon.
Canning has amassed a staggering 4-32 so far this year, with 4-09 of that tally coming from open play. His goal in this year’s Leinster final will go down in the history books as one of the best displays of balance, power and skill.
The main difference between now and 2008 is that Canning has much more support up front. The likes of Cathal Mannion and Jason Flynn have really come of age this summer and will look to compliment Canning in the scoring stakes come Sunday.
With Cork the opposition and Thurles again the venue, Joe will look to deliver another massive performance and lift the Tribesmen in to an All-Ireland semi-final.
Seán Ó Murchú, Pundit Arena