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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Two goals from Ryan helps ease 14-man Kilkenny to victory over Dublin

The Cats welcomed Mattie Kenny’s side to Nowlan Park.

Billy Ryan in action for Kilkenny.
Billy Ryan in action for Kilkenny.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Kilkenny 3-21

Dublin 0-18

Brendan Graham reports from Nowlan Park

TWO GOALS FROM corner forward Billy Ryan saw Kilkenny ease to an impressive 3-21 to 0-18 victory over a sluggish Dublin side in Nolan Park this afternoon. Space was extremely hard to come by from the opening whistle of the game, with both sides hassling with a sharp hunger for every ball.

The first exchange of scores came after five minutes with frees from Oisin O’Rorke and Alan Murphy getting both sides off the mark. There was a real urgency from Dublin’s forward line early on and a weaving run from Danny Sutcliffe past Conor Delaney gave O’Rorke another routine free to give Dublin a 0-2 to 0-1 lead after eight minutes.

Despite the early concession of two soft frees, Kilkenny’s hunger and work rate was exceptional off the ball and their persistent harrying and pressure was rewarded on eleven minutes with Ger Aylward too quick for O’Donnell before burying the sliothar past Nolan in the Dublin goal from fourteen metres.

That score gave Kilkenny the lead for the first time, with the scoreline reading 1-1 to 0-2.

Aylward’s goal resulted in a much more relaxed and natural performance from the Kilkenny forward’s for the remainder of the half. By no means shooting the lights out but their first touch and creation of space and scores seemed to come far easier for them once they breached Nolan’s goal for the first time in the game.

Kilkenny’s Conor Fogarty and Alan Murphy were linking up well in midfield and were the real driving force behind the control Brian Cody’s side took of the game as the first half progressed.

ger-aylward-scores-a-goal Ger Aylward scoring a goal for Kilkenny. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Seven points between them in the first half contributed hugely to the home sides first half tally of 2-10 and Mattie Kenny will have been disappointed with Dublin’s output in terms of scores in the opening thirty five minutes with their end product not matching their work rate at all.

Oisin O’Rorke, Dublin’s best player in the first half was keeping his side in the game with a combination of frees and fine individual points leaving Dublin trailing 1-6 to 0-6 with ten minutes remaining in the opening half.

With Dublin tipping away and doing their best to stay with Kilkenny, corner forward Billy Ryan dealt a real body blow to Kenny’s side, easing past Eoghan O’Donnell, luring Nolan out from the goal before nestling the sliothar into the corner of the goal.

Kilkenny were taking control of the match and extended their lead, 2-6 to 0-6.

Dublin weren’t playing badly but were struggling to match Kilkenny’s savage work rate and hunger and the steady momentum Cody’s side were building.

A red card for Kilkenny’s Richie Leahy following a high frontal tackle on Danny Sutcliffe with half-time edging closer threatened to put a sudden half to the dangerous momentum that the Cats were building but to their credit they continued to snuff out any real Dublin threat in front of goal and went in at the break leading 2-10 to 0-10.

Despite being reduced to fourteen men midway through the first half, Kilkenny will have been much the happier side heading for the dressing room at half time. Trailing by six points at half time, Dublin needed a quick fire start to the second half and got just that with two points in quick succession from the impressive Sean Moran and Eamonn Dillon reducing the deficit by two.

Knocking over points was never going to be enough for the Boys in Blue on an afternoon where Kilkenny were in the mood for green flags in the air.

Despite enjoying the benefit and supposed space of an extra man for the duration of the second half, Dublin never got their performance going to the standard of the hosts and for any spectators tuning in late to the match they would be forgiven for assuming it was Kilkenny with the full fifteen.

mattie-kenny-and-brian-cody-at-the-end-of-the-game Mattie Kenny and Brian Cody at full-time. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Brian Cody will have been extremely satisfied by how his side kicked on in the second-half with no let up at all coming from his side.

Another encouraging take from the game will have been the overall spread of scores throughout the team including two fine scores from the impressive Paddy Deegan in the second-half. As the half progressed and Kilkenny’s hold on the game tightened, Cody emptied his bench with the knowledge that he would have plenty of young hurlers eager to get out on the field and attempt to put themselves into contention for the next day with the games coming thick and fast over the coming weeks.

In what turned out to be his last contribution of the afternoon, an ambitious long range effort from Billy Ryan somehow found the back of the net to give him his second goal of the afternoon and extend Kilkenny’s lead again.

Dublin to their credit never allowed their heads to drop despite the game looking well beyond their reach from an early enough stage in the second half.

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Kilkenny finished with a flourish with late points from Kilkenny substitutes Martin Keoghan and Luke Scanlon ensuring the home crowd went home happy having witnessed a hugely impressive Kilkenny performance.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Alan Murphy (0-8, 7f), Billy Ryan (2-0), Ger Aylward (1-0), Paddy Deegan (0-2), Conor Fogarty (0-2), Walter Walsh (0-2), Niall Brassil (0-2) John Donnelly (0-1), Martin Keoghan (0-1), Luke Scanlon (0-1), Michael Carey (0-1), Bill Sheehan (0-1)

Scorers for Dublin: Oisin O’Rorke (0-6, 4f), Sean Moran (0-4,3f)Ronan Hayes (0-2), Eamonn Dillon (0-2), Danny Sutcliffe (0-1), Chris Crummey (0-1), Rian McBride (0-1), Tomas Connolly (0-1)


1. Eoin Murphy ( Glenmore)

2. Ciaran Wallace ( Erin’s Own)
3. Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels)
4. Conor Delaney ( Erin’s Own)

5. Michael Cody ( Dunnamaggin)
6. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
7. Michael Carey (Young Irelands)

8. Conor Fogarty ( Erin’s Own)
9. Alan Murphy ( Glenmore)

10. John Donnelly (Thomastown)
11. Walter Walsh ( Tullogher-Rosbercon)
12. Richie Leahy ( Rower-Inistioge)

13. Billy Ryan ( Graigue-Ballycallan)
14. Ger Aylward ( Glenmore)
15. Niall Brassil ( James Stephens)

Martin Keoghan for Ger Aylward (45min)
James Maher for Alan Murphy (52min)
Tommy Walsh for Michael Cody (56min)
Bill Sheehan for Billy Ryan (60min)


1. Alan Nolan (St Brigid’s)

2. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf)
3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille)
4. James Madden (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

5. Chris Crummey ( Lucan Sarsfields)
6. Daire Gray (Whitehall Colmcille)
20. Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala)

8. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes)
9. Rian McBride (St. Vincents)

10. Tomas Connolly (St Vincents)
11. Danny Sutcliffe (St Jude’s)
12. Ronan Hayes ( Kilmacud Crokes)

13. Cian Boland ( St. Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh)
14. Oisin O’Rorke ( Kilmacud Crokes)
15. Eamonn Dillon ( Naomh Fionbarra)

Sean Moran for Fergal Whitely (31min)
Mark Schutte for Cian Boland (40min)
Lorcan McMullan for Tomas Connolly (57min)
John Hetherton for Rian McBride (65min)

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About the author:

Brendan Graham

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