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Kilkenny beat Limerick to win 21st All-Ireland MHC title

The opening act at Croke Park didn’t disappoint this afternoon.

John Walsh celebrates his second goal.
John Walsh celebrates his second goal.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Kilkenny 2-17

Limerick 0-19

JOHN WALSH WAS the hero for Kilkenny today as they won the Irish Press Cup for the 21st time following a four point victory over Limerick in the All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship final.

The Mullinavat forward’s class was to prove the difference between two evenly matched sides in Croke Park, his two second-half goals helping Kilkenny win their first title at this level since 2010.

In a closely fought first half, both sides traded points without ever really establishing dominance. Walsh (0-5) and Alan Murphy (0-4) were the main threats for the Cats while Ronan and Cian Lynch were tormentors in chief for the Shannonsiders.

However, just as it looked like the sides would head into half-time level, crucial points from Murphy and Walsh gave Kilkenny a two point lead – 0-12 to 0-10 – at the break and it was one they would never relinquish.

Pat Hoban’s men had raced into a four point lead before Limerick opened their second half account. However, with just one point in it, Peter Casey had a chance to score the game’s first goal but his effort was saved by Darren Brennan in the Kilkenny goal.

The Cats would not make the same mistake when their goal chance came, Walsh storming onto a loose ball, controlling with his feet and stabbing the ball past Eoghan McNamara and into the net.

Limerick continued to pluck away but the game was over as a contest when Walsh took advantage of a brilliant assist from Murphy to bring his personal total to 2-5.

Though Brian Ryan’s charges reduced the gap to four at the end, they could never find the goal they needed and so it’s Kilkenny who are the 2014 All-Ireland Minor Hurling champions.

Scorers for Kilkenny: John Walsh 2-5, Alan Murphy 0-6 (0-5f), Ronan Corcoran 0-3, Liam Blanchfield 0-2, Luke Scanlon 0-1.
Scorers for Limerick: Ronan Lynch 0-9 (0-8f), Cian Lynch 0-3, Tom Morrissey 0-2 and Barry Nash 0-2 and Seamus Flanagan 0-2, Barry Murphy 0-1.

KILKENNY
1. Darren Brennan (St Lachtain’s)

2. Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan)
3. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own)
4. Cathal McGrath (John Locke’s)

5.Pat Lyng (Rower-Instioge)
6. Jason Cleere (Bennetsbridge)
7. Darragh Joyce (capt, Rower-Instioge)

8. Conor Browne (James Stephens)
9. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens)

10. Sean Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)
11. Ross Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels)
12. Ronan Corcoran (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

13. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
14. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge).
15. John Walsh (Mullinavat)

Subs: 18. Billy Ryan (Graigue Ballycallan) for Butler (HT), 22. Eoin Kenny (Slieverue) for Browne (38), 23. Andrew Gaffney (Dicksboro) for Corcoran (59).

LIMERICK
1. Eoghan McNamara (Doon)

2. Sean Finn (Bruff)
3. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)
4. Lorcan Lyons (Monaleen)

5. Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen)
6. Andrew La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen)
7. Conor Byrnes (Murroe-Boher)

8. Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh)
9. Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock)

10. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
11. Barry Nash (South Liberties)
12. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon)

13. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
14. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
15. Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh)

Subs: 18. Conor Fitzgerald for Conor Byrnes (16), 17. Edward Doyle (Monaleen) for Fitzgerald (HT), 19. Jamie Porter (Monaleen) for Lyons (HT), 21. Barry Murphy (Doon) for Grimes (54),

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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Steve O'Rourke

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