The minors of Kilkenny and Dublin met in this afternoon’s Croke Park curtain-raiser. Here’s how it happened in HQ.
COULD KILKENNY RETAIN their Leinster minor hurling title? Or would Pat Fanning’s Dubs get their hands on the Hanrahan Cup for the third time in four seasons?
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Good afternoon and welcome to Croke Park where Leinster minor hurling champions Kilkenny take on Dublin in this afternoon’s curtain-raiser. Throw-in is at 2pm and we’ll have minute-by-minute updates of all the action.
If you’re looking for weather updates, we can provide those too. The rain over Jones’s Road has eased off a little bit in the last few minutes but the grey clouds are still hovering so it looks like we could be in for a greasy aul’ afternoon, to use the technical term.
Here’s the Dublin team as named earlier this week:
1. Jonathan Treacy (Na Fianna)
2. Mark McCallion (Kilmacud Crokes)
3. Shane Barrett (capt, Na Fianna)
4. Dara Butler (Kilmacud Crokes)
5. Shane Howard (Fingallians)
6. Jake Malone (Cuala)
7. Paul O’Dea (Na Fianna)
8. Rian McBride (St Vincent’s)
9. Donal Burke (Na Fianna)
10. Seán Gray (Whitehall Colmcille)
11. Eoghan McHugh (Na Fianna)
12. Eoghan Conroy (St Maur’s)
13. Sean Ryan (Na Fianna)
14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
15. Chris Bennett (Faughs)
Here’s the Kilkenny team:
1. Darren Brennan (St Lachtain’s)
2. Cathal McGrath (John Locke’s)
3. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own)
4. Conor Doheny (Dicksboro)
17. Pat Lyng (Rower-Instioge)
6. Jason Cleere (Bennetsbridge)
7. Darragh Joyce (capt, Rower-Instioge)
8. Conor Browne (James Stephens)
9. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens)
10. Sean Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)
11. Ross Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels)
12. Billy Ryan (Graigue Ballycallan)
13. Ronan Corcoran (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
14. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
15. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
THROW IN: We’re underway with the Dubs shooting into the Hill 16 end in this first half.
2 mins – A wide apiece at both ends to get us started; Luke Scanlon off target for Kilkenny.
4 mins – Sean Gray tries his luck with a long free for Dublin but it’s left and wide. Still waiting for our first score — but we’ve had three Dublin wides to one for Kilkenny.
Dublin 0-1 Kilkenny 0-0 — 6 mins: Great work by Con Callaghan who comes deep to collect the ball and fires in the ball to Eoghan McHugh who is fouled. Sean Gray points an easy free to open the scoring.
Dublin 0-1 Kilkenny 0-1 — 8 mins: Dubs captain Shane Barrett does well to get his hurl across and deny Liam Blanchfield. Alan Murphy points the 65 without too much trouble.
Kilkenny 0-2 Dublin 0-1 — 9 mins: Nice work by Blanchfield who finds Ronan Corcoran to point.
GOAL FOR KILKENNY! Kilkenny 1-2 Dublin 0-1 — 10 mins: Superb work by Liam Blanchfield who uses his pace and then shrugs off the tackle of Jake Malone before rolling the ball past Treacy in the Dublin goal.
Kilkenny 1-3 Dublin 0-1 –11 mins: Murphy gets his first point of the day from play.
12 mins – Another dangerous passage from Kilkenny as Conor Browne tries to skip in on goal. Dubs keeper Jonathan Treacy is brave to block Ronan Corcoran.
15 mins – Rian McBride has a chance to get Dublin on the board with a 65 but drops it short.
16 mins – Con O’Callaghan bears down on the Kilkenny goal but he runs out of space and his ground stroke is straight at keeper Darren Brennan.
Kilkenny 1-4 Dublin 0-1 — 18 mins: Ross Butler shakes off Dublin corner-back Dara Butler and points to stretch Kilkenny’s lead to six.
Kilkenny 1-5 Dublin 0-1 — 19 mins: Another brilliantly taken free by Alan Murphy who points from out near the 65 line.
Kilkenny 1-5 Dublin 0-2 — 21 mins: Seán Gray points his second free of the day for Dublin. That’s their first score in 15 minutes.
Kilkenny 1-6 Dublin 0-3 — 23 mins: Beautiful score by Rian McBride who skates down the right wing before pointing. Conor Browne responds immediately to keep Kilkenny’s lead at six.
GOAL FOR DUBLIN! Kilkenny 1-6 Dublin 1-3 — 25 mins: Seán Ryan gets Dublin back into the game. Fine work again by McBride in midfield as he goes on a solo run before feeding his corner-forward. Ryan’s first shot is saved by Brennan but he rockets the second attempt in.
Kilkenny 1-9 Dublin 1-3 — 27 mins: Brilliant by Kilkenny who cancel out that goal with three points in quick succession — two from Alan Murphy and one from Liam Blanchfield.
Kilkenny 1-9 Dublin 1-4 — 29 mins: Wonderful fielding and acceleration by Eoghan McHugh to launch a Dublin attack. His pass to Con O’Callaghan is a little overcooked but the Cuala man still points.
30 mins – Great chance for Dublin as Chris Bennett gets the better of Cathal McGrath and powers towards goal. The Dublin man goes down inside the large parallelogram but the referee waves away appeals for a penalty.
HALF TIME: Kilkenny 1-9 Dublin 1-5
Gray points an easy free to end the half with Dublin just four points in arrears.
While the Artane Band belt out Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory below me, here are the scorers from that first half:
Scorers for Kilkenny: Alan Murphy 0-5 (1f, 1 65), Liam Blanchfield 1-1, Ronan Corcoran, Ross Butler, Conor Browne 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin: Sean Ryan 1-0, Sean Gray 0-3 (3f), Rian McBride, Con O’Callaghan 0-1 each.
SECOND HALF: We’re up and running again for the second half. It’s after getting very dark all of a sudden.
Kilkenny 1-10 Dublin 1-5 — 31 mins: Alan Murphy resumes where he left off at the end of the first half and points another free.
Kilkenny 1-11 Dublin 1-5 — 33 mins: Murphy points a monster free from all of 70 yards. Between himself and Liam Blanchfield, Dublin’s defenders have had their hands full this afternoon.
Kilkenny 1-13 Dublin 1-5 — 35 mins: It looks like this one is quickly slipping away from Dublin. Murphy adds another from play and then Sean Morrissey gets his first of the day.
It could have been even better for Kilkenny but Treacy was alert and made a smart save to deny Blanchfield his second goal.
Kilkenny 1-14 Dublin 1-6 — 36 mins: Eoghan McHugh gets Dublin’s first point of the second half but Blanchfield is in superb form and points into the Hill 16 end.
Kilkenny 1-15 Dublin 1-6 — 39 mins: Alan Murphy sizes up a free in the shadow of the Cusack Stand and points a gem. This is a free-taking exhibition.
Kilkenny 1-16 Dublin 1-6 — 40 mins: This game is done and dusted, it seems. Dublin are a step or two off the pace but even if they weren’t, Kilkenny are playing some great hurling. Sean Morrissey booms over a monster point.
GOAL FOR KILKENNY! Kilkenny 2-16 Dublin 1-6 — 43 mins: Kilkenny are salting Dublin’s wounds here and again, it’s Alan Murphy and Liam Blanchfield who combine. It’s Murphy’s ball in, Blanchfield is left one-on-one with his marker and he skins him before firing the ball low across Jonathan Treacy. No chance for the Dublin keeper.
Kilkenny 2-17 Dublin 1-7 — 46 mins: Blanchfield points again to take his total to 2-3 for the afternoon.
Rian McBride has been one of Dublin’s better performers today and he does really well to win a free, which Chris Bennett points.
Kilkenny 2-17 Dublin 1-8 — 48 mins: Bennett has a free and a chance to go for goal but he points it. Kilkenny’s lead is 12 now.
50 mins – That’s a rarity; Alan Murphy has missed a free. It’s unlikely to matter in the final reckoning though.
Kilkenny 2-18 Dublin 1-9 — 53 mins: Magnificent score by Ronan Corcoran and at the other end, Eoin Ó Conghaile tacks on another consolation for the Dubs.
PENALTY FOR DUBLIN! Great take by Sean Ryan and he’s brought down. Can Dublin make a dent in Kilkenny’s lead?
SAVED! Keeper Jonathan Treacy comes all the way up to take it but it’s flicked around the post by defender John Walsh on the line.
Kilkenny 2-18 Dublin 1-10 — 56 mins: Ó Conghaile points another. He’s done really well since coming on.
It’s all gone a little bit flat here but that’s to be expected. Kilkenny are comfortable winners.
Kilkenny 2-19 Dublin 1-10 — 59 mins: Kilkenny sub John Walsh sends over a fine score. Twelve points the difference as we head into additional time.
GOAL FOR DUBLIN! Kilkenny 2-19 Dublin 2-10 — 60+1 mins: Wonderful ground stroke by Eoin Ó Conghaile and Darren Brennan has no chance to stop it.
FULL TIME: Kilkenny 2-19 Dublin 2-10
So that’s it from the curtain-raiser in Croke Park. Kilkenny were simply too hot for Dublin to handle and the nine-point margin at the final whistle is by no means flattering.
Between them, the superb Alan Murphy and Liam Blanchfield combined for a whopping 2-12 of Kilkenny’s 2-19 total. A phenomenal return from the two Kilkenny forwards.
That’s it from us for now as Darragh Joyce lifts the Hanrahan Cup. We’ll be back shortly ahead of the senior decider which, you suspect, won’t be quite as one-sided.