While Galway bask in the glory of winning their first All-Ireland senior hurling title since 1988, Joe Canning’s wonder point in the semi-final against Tipperary is set to live in eternal memory after it won the Irish Independent Magic Sports Moment of 2017.
That moment when the sides were level at 0-21 to 1-18, a Canning free dropped short but Tipperary’s attempted defence only found Johnny Coen on the right flank.
The Loughrea midfielder kept his cool near the Cusack Stand sideline surrounded by blue and yellow jerseys before picking out his Portumna colleague. And with little room to maneuver, Canning sent the sliothar over the crossbar to put the Tribesmen into the decider.
(Youtube Video – Darragh Creaven)
The Irish Independent Sportstar Awards took place in the Croke Park Hotel on Wednesday, December 20th with over 300 guests and Canning’s wonder score was considered the top sporting moment.
Irish Racehorse Trainer Aidan O’Brien took home the title of Sportstar of the Year after his world record breaking season on the track. Cuala and Dublin dual star Con O’Callaghan was named Young Sportstar of the Year, and the 21-year-old also picked up the accolade for Team of the Year alongside his Dublin Senior Men’s Football Panel teammates.
Irish sporting icon Sonia O’Sullivan was inducted into the Irish Independent Hall of Fame and Canning, who also won the Galway Bay FM hurler of the year gong, received the award for Magic Sports Moment.
— Independent Sport (@IndoSport) December 20, 2017
Canning’s point was well touted and former Clare and Galway manager Ger Loughnane went for that score when speaking on The Buzz Sports Show on buzz.ie.
“I think when people look back on it  in ten or 20 years’ time everyone will pick out the Joe Canning point in the All-Ireland semi-final, because first of all it was the game of the year,” said Loughnane, who gave Canning his Galway senior debut in 2008, to presenter David Coughlan.
“Secondly, I remember looking on from the lower end of Croke Park and watching Joe as he took the free which levelled the game before that.
“Seeing him ambling out towards midfield and you’re just saying to yourself ‘why isn’t somebody marking him?’
“All I was doing was watching the crowd in Hill 16 and that corner of the Cusack Stand, you always know from their reaction whether the ball is on target or not.
“Then when the ball flew over the bar you just said to yourself, ‘how did he do that?’
“It typified Joe Canning, that epic game. I know you had the chance with Bubbles O’Dwyer but it would have spoiled it if that had of went over I think, for the neutral anyway.”