Late goal gives Kilkenny dramatic win over Dublin in Leinster U21 hurling thriller

Parnell Park was the venue for tonight’s clash.

Dublin and Kilkenny are in action tonight.
Dublin and Kilkenny are in action tonight.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Kilkenny 4-12
Dublin 2-16

Fintan O’Toole reports from Parnell Park

A LATE GOAL from midfielder Mark Mansfield handed Kilkenny a dramatic victory over Dublin in tonight’s Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U21 hurling quarter-final in Parnell Park.

Mansfield arrowed in a shot from distance that deceived Dublin goalkeeper Sean Brennan just two minutes from the finish.

The unfortunate Brennan looked to be caught by the sun as the ball travelled towards him and he also collided with the upright which prevented him from keeping the shot out.

That score pushed Kilkenny ahead by two points and into the lead for the first time in the game. They defended tenaciously in the closing minutes to repel Dublin and clinch a victory that looked improbable for long stages.

Kilkenny trailed by five points after the opening quarter, by two points at the interval and were down by six points approaching the final quarter.

But they hung in there and an ability to plunder goals, three in the closing quarter, proved crucial in steering Brian Ryan’s charges towards a Leinster semi-final tie with Carlow on 24 June in Nowlan Park.

Sean Brennan consoled by Cian OÕCallaghan after the game Dublin goalkeeper Sean Brennan is consoled by teammate Cian O'Callaghan after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Backed by the elements Dublin got off to a cracking start thanks to superb goal in the 5th minute by Sean Treacy. He finished crisply to the net after being placed by Fiontán McGibb.

Treacy, a younger brother of Dublin senior David, caught the eye in the opening quarter as he struck 1-3 in all and helped Dublin race into a 1-6 to 1-1 lead by the 15th minute.

Sean Treacy celebrates scoring's sides opening goal with Cian Boland Dublin's Sean Treacy celebrates scorning his goal with Cian Boland. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

AJ Murphy also struck over an exquisite sideline cut for Dublin but Kilkenny didn’t lose all hope largely thanks to a powerful shot to the net in the 10th minute from corner-forward Chris Bolger.

Kilkenny grew into the game in the second quarter with Liam Blanchfield, Mark Mansfield and Willie Brennan all striking points from play while Conor Martin’s accuracy from placed balls was also evident.

Dublin were in front by four points when the excellent Paul Winters raised a white flag in the 23rd minute but poor shooting let them down as they struck 11 wides in the opening-half.

Fiontan McGibb and James Maher Dublin's Fiontan McGibb and Kilkenny's James Maher Source: James Crombie/INPHO

It was 1-8 to 1-6 in Dublin’s favour at the break but Kilkenny quickly wiped out that advantage early in the second-half with two quick points. Back came Dublin again to forge a 1-12 to 1-9 lead and Cian Boland, who was outstanding in the second-half, drove forward for an excellent 43rd minute goal after great work from Colm Cronin.

Kilkenny’s réponse to that goal was decisive with James Maher netting at the other end. Then Kilkenny goalkeeper Darren Brennan did his bit for the Cats cause with a stunning penalty save from opposite netminder Brennan although Fiontan McGibb did point the rebound.

Brian Cody Kilkenny senior boss Brian Cody. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Kilkenny got a third goal soon after courtesy of wing-forward Ciaran Ryan after a fine delivery from Chris Bolger. That left it 2-14 to 3-10 in Dublin’s favour before they stretched clear again thanks to points from Boland and Oisin O’Rorke.

Liam Hickey arrowed over a free and then Brennan produced a fantastic save to tip a Bolger close-range drive over the bar. At that juncture Dublin were hanging on to a 2-16 to 3-12 advantage before they were rocked by Mansfield’s late strike.

Mark Mansfield scores the winning goal Mark Mansfield's match winning goal for Kilkenny Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Kilkenny: Mark Mansfield 1-2, Conor Martin 0-5 (0-4f), James Maher, Chris Bolger 1-1 each, Ciaran Ryan 1-0, Liam Blanchfield, Liam Hickey (0-1f), Willie Brennan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Sean Treacy (0-1f), Cian Boland 1-3 each, Paul Winters 0-5 (0-2f), Fiontan McGibb, Oisin O’Rorke 0-2 each, AJ Murphy 0-1 (0-1 sideline)

Paul Winters dejected after the game Dublin's Paul Winters dejected after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO


1. Darren Brennan (St. Lachtain’s)

2. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own)
3. Cíaran Wallace (Erin’s Own)
4. Evan Cody (Dicksboro) (Capt.)

5. Jason Cleere (Bennettstbridge)
6. Diarmuid Cody (James Stephens)
7. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
9. Mark Mansfield (Mullinavat)
10. Cíaran Ryan (Rower/Inistioge)

8. James Maher (St. Lachtains)
11. Willie Brennan (Fenians)
12. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)

13. Liam Hickey (St.Lachtain’s)
14. Conor Martin (Emeralds)
15. Chris Bolger (Clara)

20. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens) for Martin (44)
18. Enda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge) for Cody (46)
21. Tom Phelan (Conahy Shamrocks) for Blanchfield (55)

Jason Cleere with an eye injury Kilkenny's Jason Cleere receives treatment for an eye injury. Source: James Crombie/INPHO


1. Seán Brennan (Cuala)

4. James Madden (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
3. Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala)
7. Seán McClelland (Lucan Sarsfields)

6. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille)
5. Shane Barrett (Na Fianna)
2. Cian Mac Gabhann (Kilmacud Crokes)

10. Paul Winters (St Brigid’s)
9. Jake Malone (Cuala)

14. Colm Cronin (Cuala)
13. Fiontán McGibb (Setanta)
8. Cian Boland (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh)

15. Oisin O’Rorke (Kilmacud Crokes)
11. Seán Treacy (Cuala)
12. AJ Murphy (Na Fianna)

18. Robert Murphy (Kilmacud Crokes) for MacGabhann (inj) (33)
20. Eoin McLaughlin (St Judes) for O’Donnell (36)
22. Colm Ó Néill (Ballyboden St-Enda’s) for AJ Murphy (45)
21. Fionn O Riann Broin (St Judes) for Treacy (50)

Referee: Michael Murtagh (Westmeath)

We’ll know tomorrow whether the Dublin-Galway hurling replay will be televised

‘He’s a genius when it comes to the game and breaking it down’ – Jim the pundit

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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