Fintan O’Toole reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh
CORK’S HURLERS SAMPLED Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the first time since the extensive refurbishment tonight and got their time in the stadium off to a winning start against Kilkenny.
16,189 fans watched on as an entertaining encounter unfolded with Shane Kingston’s early goal proving the difference on the scoreboard at the final whistle as new boss John Meyler saw his team have three points to spare.
Kilkenny were ahead by a narrow margin, 0-15 to 1-11, at the midway mark but it was evenly contested stuff and the prospect of a draw looked real when Walter Walsh lobbed over a superb score to bring Kilkenny level at 1-19 to 0-22.
But Cork generated a forceful finish to the game with points from Conor Lehane, Jack O’Connor and Shane Kingston pushing them ahead by three.
TJ Reid and Lehane swapped frees before a Conor Fogarty score deep into injury-time left Kilkenny adrift by two. Captain Seamus Harnedy stepped up to apply the finishing touch to Cork’s victory when he clipped over the last point of the night.
Captain Cillian Buckley, who went off injured late on, hit 0-3 for Kilkenny while the experienced TJ Reid and Walter Walsh also supplied scores. Youngsters Alan Murphy and Richie Reid hit 0-8 between them for the Cats.
For Cork there was a 0-10 haul for Conor Lehane with Harnedy and Robbie O’Flynn also contributing key points. New defenders Tim O’Mahony and Sean O’Donoghue both showed up well.
Scorers for Cork: Conor Lehane 0-10 (0-8f), Shane Kingston 1-1, Seamus Harnedy 0-3, Robbie O’Flynn 0-2, Mark Ellis, Colm Spillane, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Alan Cadogan, Luke Meade, Jack O’Connor 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny: Alan Murphy 0-5 (0-4f), Richie Reid, TJ Reid (0-3f), Cillian Buckley 0-3 each, Eoin Murphy (0-2f), Walter Walsh 0-2 each, Padraig Walsh, Conor Fogarty, James Maher, Martin Keoghan, Pat Lyng, Conor Martin 0-1 each.
16. Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig)
7. Sean O’Donoghue (Inniscarra)
3. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas)
4. Colm Spillane (Castlelyons)
5. Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh)
6. Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum)
22. Mark Ellis (Millstreet)
8. Darragh FItzgibbon (Charleville)
18. Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields)
10. Robbie O’Flynn (Erins Own)
11. Conor Lehane (Midleton)
12. Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr)
13. Alan Cadogan (Douglas)
14. Seamus Harnedy (St Ita’s — captain)
15. Shane Kingston (Douglas)
20. Luke Meade (Newcestown) for Lawton (27)
24. Michael Cahalane (Bandon) for O’Flynn (57)
1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)
2. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
3. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
4. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
5. Conor O’Shea (Clara)
6. Joe Lyng (Rower-Inistioge)
7. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro – captain)
8. Conor Fogarty (Erins Own)
22. James Maher (St Lachtain’s)
10. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan)
11. Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. Pat Lyng (Rower-Inistioge)
13. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
14. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
15. Conor Martin (Emeralds)
23. John Donnelly (Thomastown) for Martin (43)
24. Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks) for Keoghan (43)
25. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge) for Alan Murphy (50)
9. Richie Leahy (Rower-Inistioge) for Maher (57)
17. Enda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge) for Buckley (inj) (65)
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)
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