Dublin crowned Leinster minor hurling champions after thrilling 13-goal final against Kilkenny

The Dubs came out on top in a memorable decider in Portlaoise.

inpho_01393693 Dublin celebrate after beating Kilkenny in the 2018 Leinster minor hurling final. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Dublin 6-19
Kilkenny 7-12

Steven Miller reports from Portlaoise

THE MINOR HURLING championship changed from U18 to U17 this year but rarely has the old competition seen a Leinster final quite like it.

Dublin and Kilkenny scored 13 goals between them in a remarkable game in O’Moore Park with Dublin recovering from a poor start to clinch their 16th provincial title and fourth in eight years.

Sixteen-year-old Luke Swan was the official man-of-the-match, the big Dublin full-forward turning in an outstanding performance to finish with 3-1. It was the second time this year that the Castleknock youngster registered that tally but in the opening round group game he was on the losing side.

This time he helped inspire Dublin in a game that was played in sweltering heat and delayed by 30 minutes, after the Dubs were delayed because of an accident on the motorway.

Liam Dunne was also excellent for the winners with 2-6, while midfielders Donal Leavy and Darragh Power, and centre-back Alex O’Neill, were also outstanding.

Eoin Carney and George Murphy Dublin's Eoin Carney and George Murphy of Kilkenny battle for possession. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

It was Kilkenny who actually got off to the dream start, two goals in 60 seconds from George Murphy and Killian Hogan having them 2-3 to 0-2 up after just six minutes.

But Dublin hit back with three goals of their own in quick succession, one each from Swan, Dunne and Conor Murray to be 3-2 to 2-4 ahead after nine minutes. It was scarcely believable stuff.

And it continued in that manner until half-time, with Kilkenny regaining the lead thanks to goals from Cian Kenny in the 19th minute and a kicked Cathal O’Leary effort just before half-time.

At the break Kilkenny led 4-8 to 3-10. In total in that manic opening half, 15 players were on the scoresheet and all except five points were from play.

The second half got off to an electric start too. Within a minute of the resumption Swan had his second goal after being set up by Dunne. A minute later Dunne had his second too. For the first time it put a bit of daylight between the sides, Dublin now five in front.

A cracking strike from Conor Kelly helped Kilkenny reduce the deficit to one but Swan completed his hat-trick moments later and Dublin began to completely get on top.

Luke Swan celebrates scoring a goal Dublin's Luke Swan celebrates after scoring a goal. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Dunne and Dara Purcell added a selection of frees and, as the game entered injury time, they were 10 points up. Conor Kelly and sub Jack Buggy got late goals for Kilkenny and while it was too late to reel Dublin in, it completed a stunning contest.

Dublin now go forward to the All Ireland semi-final in August while Kilkenny go into a three-team group with Galway and the beaten Munster finalists (Limerick or Tipperary) to decide who else makes it into the last four.

Scorers for Dublin: Liam Dunne 2-6 (0-5 frees); Luke Swan 3-1; Conor Murray 1-2; Dara Purcell 0-5 (0-3 frees); Ciaran Foley 0-3; Donal Leavy 0-1 and Pearce Christie 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Conor Kelly 2-3 (0-3 frees); Cathal O’Leary 1-2; Cian Kenny and George Murphy 1-1 each; Killian Hogan and Jack Buggy 1-0 each; Darragh Maher and Ciaran Brennan 0-2 each; Eoin Guilfoyle 0-1


Jack Lambert (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

Kevin Byrne (Clontarf)
Ciaran Hogan (St Jude’s)
Finn Murphy (Naomh Olaf)

Eoin Carney (Erins Isle)
Alex O’Neill (Round Towers, Clondalkin)
Ian O hEithir (Ballinteer St John’s)

Donal Leavy (Naomh Olaf)
Darragh Power (Fingallians)

Conor Murray (Castleknock)
Pearce Christie (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
Ciaran Foley (Naomh Olaf)

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

Liam Dunne (Raheny)
Luke Swan (Castleknock)
Dara Purcell (Kilmacud Crokes)


Colm Walsh (Lucan Sarsfields) for Hogan (22)
Seamus Fenton (Ballinteer St John’s) for Murray (43)
Aaron O’Toole (Kilmacud Crokes) for Christie (53)


Jason Brennan (Young Irelands)

Jamie Young (O’Loughlin Gaels)
Padraig Dempsey (Mullinavat)
Jamie Harkin (Bennetsbridge)

Cillian Rudkin (Barrow Rangers)
Shane Staunton (Clara)
Harry Walsh (Dunamaggin)

Darragh Maher (St Lachtain’s)
Conor Kelly (O’Loughlin Gaels)

Cathal O’Leary (St Lachtain’s)
Ciaran Brennan (Bennetsbridge)
Cian Kenny (James Stephens)

Killian Hogan (Mooncoin)
George Murphy (Rower-Inistioge)
Eoin Guilfoyle (James Stephens)


Padraic Moylan (Dicksboro) for Walsh (HT)
Jack Buggy (Erins Own) for Hogan (43)
Jack Morrissey (St Patrick’s) for Guilfoyle (45)
Jack Doyle (Windgap) for O’Leary (52)
Dylan Crehan (Dunamaggin) for Harkin (60)

Referee: Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly)

McManus and McCarthy hit 1-5 as Monaghan move one win away from Super 8s

Antrim hurlers see off Kildare in the game neither side wanted to play

About the author:

Steven Miller

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel