With many of the challenges to Tipp and Kilkenny holding out for a hero over the past few years, Galway have been in need of a second.
Joe Canning is arguably the outstanding hurler of his generation - and undoubtedly the best without an All-Ireland - and Galway have long since known that the further he drifts toward the middle of the field, the greater his influence. But here's the rub: who wears 14 in his redeployment?
Today, Conor Cooney was that man, and he responded by eclipsing Joe altogether. The first-half was notable for bypassing the full-forward lines altogether, as both sides went toe-to-toe, and point-by-point. Cooney, however, got himself involved, winning a host of possession in spite of the populating of the Wexford defence with surplus sweepers.
Most important, however, was his scoring: 0-08 in all, with the timing of two of these scores critical. He nailed a superb point from play after Wexford's missed penalty, as belief seeped from Davy's team. Then, when they rattled in 1-1, it was Cooney who stepped up again to stem the Wexford momentum, along with Canning.
Wexford didn't give up against Tipp or Kilkenny when they had setbacks. Aren't here either. Conor Cooney though
— Shane Stapleton (@ShaneSaint) July 2, 2017
Galway 0-16 Wexford 0-12 (43 mins) #GalvWex Ah Conor Cooney you legend, another from play
— Tribesmen GAA (@TribesmenGAA) July 2, 2017
Conor Cooney is some operator some pair of wrists on him
— Shane (@ShaneH1525) July 2, 2017
He was unsurprisingly Man of the Match, as Galway now go in hunt of the Holy Grail.