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5-star Kilkenny secure first All-Ireland Intermediate title in 6 years

Having been beaten in three finals since their 2010 win, Pat O’Grady’s side made up for lost time.

Kilkenny flags (file pic).
Kilkenny flags (file pic).
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championship Final
Kilkenny 5-16 Clare 1-16

KILKENNY POWERED TO their first All-Ireland Intermediate title in six years in Thurles this evening after a first-half goalfest against Clare.

Having been beaten in three finals since their 2010 win, Pat O’Grady’s side made up for lost time with a confident display in front of a crowd of 1,401 to secure their fourth-ever title at the grade.

The damage was ultimately done in the opening half when the entire Kilkenny full-forward line of Billy Ryan, Nicky Cleere and John Walsh raided for goals in a six-minute period to take full control of the tie.

Clare had started brightly with Ryan Taylor’s 10th-minute goal settling them into a 1-2 to 0-0 lead.

However, once Nicky Cleere scrambled the ball to the net three minutes later, the Cats eased through the gears as John Walsh produced a superb aerial flick past goalkeeper Daniel Vaughan before Billy Ryan completed their purple patch in the 19th minute to snatch a 3-1 to 1-4 advantage.

A fourth goal just before the break through Luke Scanlon halted any Clare fightback on their way to a 4-5 to 1-7 interval lead.

Clare inevitably hit back on the restart but despite the best efforts of Jason McCarthy and captain Shane McGrath who would finish with 10 points, they were unable to eat into Kilkenny’s cushion, with Ryan and Walsh particularly accurate.

Despite being reduced to 14 following a second yellow for Evan Cody, Walsh would duly finish the victory in injury-time with Kilkenny’s fifth goal to cap off a memorable display.

Scorers for Kilkenny: John Walsh 2-2; Billy Ryan, Nicky Cleere (4f), 1-4 each; Luke Scanlon 1-2; Alan Murphy 0-2 (2f); Jack Langton, Sean Morrissey 0-1 each

Scorers for Clare: Shane McGrath 0-10 (8f); Kevin Hehir 0-3; Ryan Taylor 1-0; Jason McCarthy 0-2; Danny Russell 0-1

Clare
1. Daniel Vaughan (Tulla)
2. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)
3. Eoin Quirke (Whitegate)
4. Ciaran Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills)
5. Aidan McGuane (Kilmaley)
6. Shane Taylor (Broadford)
7. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
8. David Conroy (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
9. Kevin Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona)
10. Oisin Donnellan (Feakle)
11. Shane McGrath (Feakle)
12. Daragh Corry (Tulla)
13. Danny Russell (Éire Óg)
14. Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley)
15. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin)

Subs:
18. Dara Walsh (Éire Óg) for Taylor (2, inj)
17. Eoin Enright (Kilmaley) for Hayes (HT)
21. Paraic O’Loughlin (Clonlara) for Donnellan (40)

Kilkenny
1. Aaron Duggan (Dicksboro)
2. Evan Cody (Dicksboro)
3. Tom Aylward (Mullinavat)
4. Luke Hickey (James Stephens)
5. Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge)
6. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own)
7. Jeoff Brennan (St Patrick’s)
8. Jack Langton (Clara)
9. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens)
10. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
11. Conor Tobin (Fenians)
12. Richy Leahy (Rower Inistioge)
13. Billy Ryan (Graigue Ballycallan)
14. Nicky Cleere (Bennettsbridge)
15. John Walsh (Mullinavat)

Subs:
21. Sean Morrissey (Bennettsbridge) for Tobin (45)
19. Jack McGrath (James Stephens) for Leahy (54)
22. Shane Donnelly (St Lachtain’s) for Murphy (60)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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