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JOE CANNING picked up the Opel sponsored GAA/GPA All-Stars' Hurler of the month award for August - but the Galway star has been warned he's handed Kilkenny the initiative for the All-Ireland final replay.

Canning's 11 point haul in the All-Ireland semi-final against Cork earned him the monthly prize while, last Sunday, his controversial last minute free earned Galway another shot at the Liam McCarthy Cup on September 30. p

But Kilkenny legend Eddie Keher says he was "extremely surprised" to hear Canning's accusation that Henry Shefflin indulged in unsportsmanlike behaviour and claims it has boosted the Cats' chances.

And Keher (inset) added that Canning's claim that JJ Delaney was critical of Shefflin's decision to take a point from a late free will not force a wedge between the two Kilkenny stars.

"I can guarantee there will be no rift between Henry and JJ," said Keher. "Joe Canning's comments will galvanise Kilkenny for the replay.

"I'm extremely surprised at what Joe Canning said. Henry Shefflin is the greatest hurler of all time, he's a most sporting player and he's competitive, like all of us."

Meanwhile Jason Sherlock was involved in a variety of sports at a high level - Gaelic Football, soccer and basketball - and admits that everyone is affected by mind games to an extent.

"What's a mind game? Anything that people take in, I suppose, is classified as a mind game," said Sherlock.

"B pea "But it's about performing and as sports people you're always told to control the controllables, that's why you're advised to try to stay away from certain things, media and all that, or talking to families in the build-up to games.

"That's only natural. But no, ultimately, it's all about performance on the day - physicality, skill, the mind, tactics - it's all about getting the balance on the day."

However, Sherlock is reluctant to comment on the motivations behind Canning's comments.

The Opel sponsored GAA/ GPA Footballer of the Month award for August has gone to Donegal's three-time All-Star Karl Lacey, who is preparing for the All-Ireland final against Mayo in nine days' time. Lacey earned the award for his display in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork - his 100th game for his county.


AWARD Lacey & Canning with Ray Finlay of Opel yesterday
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Sep 14, 2012
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