Nice and Snappy – Matt Browne

Kilkenny v Galway - GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final

9 September 2012; Joe Canning, Galway, scores the last minute equalizing point against Kilkenny, to force a replay to be played on September 30th. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kilkenny v Galway, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE


On this All-Ireland Hurling Final week, we are taking a look back at some of the personal favourite pictures of our photographers from finals past. Today it’s the turn of Matt Browne.

One of my favourite pictures from an All-Ireland hurling final is of the pressure free that Joe Canning took in the drawn final in 2013 between Kilkenny and Galway.

Deep into injury-time Galway’s Davy Glennon was awarded a free by referee Barry Kelly, after taking a big hit from Kilkenny’s Jackie Tyrell as he raced towards the ’45 at the Hill 16 end.

When the referee called the free I positioned myself up the sideline to try and get the best picture I could of it – as I think the best free-taking pictures are taken from behind the player so you can see what he is seeing and the target ahead.

With thirty seconds of added time remaining Canning stood over the free, very close to the sideline. The entire Hogan Stand packed with spectators, and both backroom staff and substitutes behind all eyes on him, the pressure on his shoulders must have been huge – especially after missing an earlier, easier chance to draw the match.

But he belted it straight over the bar, high over the hurls of the trio of Kilkenny players, Jackie Tyrell, TJ Reid and Michael Fennelly, standing in his way.

He showed impressive composure and confidence to get that free as many players would have been shook at missing the other chance.

And after the poc out the referee blew the full-time whistle and the game went to a replay, which was won by Kilkenny.