Division 1A HL: Kilkenny edge out Cork in thrilling contest

The Cats booked their spot in the hurling league semi-finals this afternoon.

 Kilkenny's Jackie Tyrrell and Conor Fogarty chase after Stephen Moylan of Cork.
Kilkenny's Jackie Tyrrell and Conor Fogarty chase after Stephen Moylan of Cork.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Kilkenny 0-20
Cork 2-12

KILKENNY delighted the home fans in Nowlan Park this afternoon by booking a Division 1 hurling league semi-final spot with a two-point victory over Cork.

Brian Cody’s side held off a strong challenge from the Rebels after Conor Lehane’s injury-time goal had left just the minimum between the teams.

But an inspirational long-range point by Michael Fennelly sealed Kilkenny’s success and their place in the knockout stages.

The result caps a brilliant revival by the Cats this spring after they had suffered defeats in their opening league ties against Galway and Tipperary.

Yet they erased any relegation fears by winning their last three games of the league campaign and now face Galway at the semi-final stage in a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland decider.

In a fiercely-contested tie today Kilkenny had to cope with a bright start by Cork as they moved 0-4 to 0-1 ahead when impressive attacker Stephen Moylan pointed and Daniel Kearney’s fine effort in the 25th minute sent the Rebels 0-7 to 0-3 clear.

Kilkenny had also suffered the setback of seeing Richie Hogan’s first-half penalty effort blocked by the Cork rearguard.

However Kilkenny hit back before the break and late scores by Eoin Larkin and Colin Fennelly ensured the teams were tied at 0-7 apiece at the midway mark.

Cork got off to a terrific start in the second-half and made a decisive breakthrough when Luke O’Farrell rifled the ball to the back of the net after the hard-working Moylan created the opening.

O’Farrell added a point soon after in the 47th minute to send Cork clear by 1-11 to 0-11 but then Kilkenny took over in key areas with the Fennelly brothers, Colin and Michael, Richie Hogan and substitute Richie Power all impressing.

They strung together five points on the trot and Power was content to opt for a point from a penalty after Colin Fennelly had been hauled down.

Patrick Horgan cut the gap to the minimum, 0-16 to 1-12, from a free before points from Hogan, Power and Colin Fennelly stretched Kilkenny’s advantage once more.

There was late drama when Lehane raised a green flag yet Kilkenny held on for the honours.

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Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh and Patrick Cronin of Cork
Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Scorers for Kilkenny: Eoin Larkin 0-6 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Richie Hogan, Colin Fennelly 0-4 each, Richie Power 0-3 (0-1 pen), Tommy Walsh, Lester Ryan, Michael Fennelly 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Conor Lehane 1-3, Luke O’Farrell 1-1, Patrick Horgan 0-3 (0-3f), Paudie O’Sullivan, Stephen Moylan 0-2 each, Daniel Kearney 0-1.

KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy (Glenmore); Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own), JJ Delaney (Fenians), Jackie Tyrell (James Stephens); Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan), Brian Hogan (O’Loughlin Gaels), Kieran Joyce (Rower Inistoge); Lester Ryan (Clara), Michael Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks); Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon), Eoin Larkin (James Stephens), Richie Hogan (Danesfort); Ger Aylward (Glenmore), Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks), Aidan Fogarty (Emeralds).

Subs: Richie Power (Carrickshock) for Aylward (27).

CORK: Anthony Nash (Kanturk); Killian Murphy (Erins Own), Brian Murphy (Bride Rovers), Conor O’Sullivan (Sarsfields); Lorcán McLoughlin (Kanturk), Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), Stephen White (Ballygarvan); Danial Kearney (Sarsfields), Patrick Cronin (Bishopstown); Conor Lehane (Midleton), Cian McCarthy (Sarsfields), Paudie O’Sullivan (Cloyne); Stephen Moylan (Douglas), Luke O’Farrell (Midleton), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers).

Subs: Michael Cussen (Sarsfields) for McCarthy (52), Colm Spillane (Castlelyons) for Kearney (65).

Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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