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Cody's brilliant goal helps DJ Carey's Kilkenny past Galway and into Leinster U20 final

The Cats now face Wexford in a south-east derby decider.

Eoin Cody hit Kilkenny's all-important goal.
Eoin Cody hit Kilkenny's all-important goal.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Kilkenny 1-19

Galway 1-15

Kevin Egan reports from Bord na Móna O’Connor Park

A CONTEST THAT never really caught fire ended with Kilkenny overpowering a youthful Galway side in Tullamore this evening, meaning that this year’s Leinster U20 final will be a south-east derby between the Cats and Wexford.

With All-Ireland minor titles on the board in 2017 and 2018, the question for the 3,095 supporters who travelled to Bord na Móna O’Connor Park was if these players were ready to bring their talent through to the next level.

The answer was decisive, as they ran into a roadblock in the form of DJ Carey’s Kilkenny side. The Cats were far more efficient on the ball, powerful under the puckouts and they quickly established a firm foothold in the game, shooting seven points unanswered between the 11th and 20th minute to build a commanding 0-9 to 0-4 lead against the wind.

Two Kennedy frees and a wonderful score from John Fleming out of the shadow of the stand made it 0-11 to 0-7 at half time, and Galway would have felt that if they could get any second half momentum, they might yet mount a charge.

Due to a large number of stoppages, momentum for either side was hard got in the second half, and when some hurling got going, it was Kilkenny who were the more impressive side.

Darach Fahy had made one superb save to deny Aaron Brennan eight minutes into the second half but he could do nothing to prevent Eoin Cody raising a green flag after the Ballyhale man soared high to claim a puckout and then burst past his marker with an explosion of power and pace, and that score more than any other was critical.

Kilkenny kept Galway at arm’s length, aided by two excellent saves from Dean Mason, until Seán Neary goaled from 20 metres to finally give the Galway contingent in the crowd something to shout about with four minutes of normal time remaining.

Within 30 seconds however, Kilkenny had their reply – Cody found Seán Ryan with a good cross-field pass and Ryan slotted his third point from a tight angle to push the gap back out to six. Galway did muster up three further points but Kilkenny always had control, tacking on late scores of their own from Brassil and Cody to guarantee their win.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Niall Brassil 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Eoin Cody 1-3, Seán Ryan 0-3, Stephen Donnelly & Conor Heary 0-2 each, Adrian Mullen & Aaron Brennan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Mark Kennedy 0-7f, Seán Neary 1-0, Conor Walsh & Dean Reilly 0-2 each, Diarmuid Kilcommins, Daniel Loftus, John Fleming & Donal Mannion 0-1 each.

Conor Flynn and Mikey Butler with Mark Kennedy Kilkenny's Conor Flynn and Mikey Butler with Mark Kennedy of Galway. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Kilkenny

1. Dean Mason (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

4. Mikey Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels)
19. James Brennan (Naomh Éanna)
3. Conor Flynn (Graigue Ballycallan)

5. Conor Heary (O’Loughlin Gaels)
6. Michael Carey (Young Irelands)
7. David Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)

9. Evan Shefflin (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
10. Eoin O’Shea (O’Loughlin Gaels)

14. Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
11. Niall Brassil (James Stephens)
21. Aaron Brennan (Graigue Ballycallan)

23. Seán Ryan (Graigue Ballycallan)
15. Eoin Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
13. Stephen Donnelly (Thomastown)

Subs

18. Conor Murphy (Bennettsbridge) for J Brennan (33)
22. Ciarán Brennan (Bennettsbridge) for Cody (50, temp)
22. Ciarán Brennan (Bennettsbridge) for A Brennan (52)
12. James Bergin (Clara) for Shefflin (59)
8. John Dowd (Erin’s Own) for Mullen (60+3)

Galway

1. Darach Fahy (Ardrahan)

4. Caimín Killeen (Loughrea)
3. Mark Gill (Castlegar)
2. Darren Morrissey (Sarsfields)

7. Daniel Loftus (Turloughmore)
6. TJ Brennan (Clarinbridge)
5. Ronan Glennon (Mullagh)

8. Seán Neary (Castlegar)
9. Conor Caulfield (Kilconieran)

10. Diarmuid Kilcommins (Annaghdown)
11. Conor Walsh (Turloughmore)
12. Shane Ryan (Clarinbridge)

15. Sean Bleahene (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
14. John Fleming (Meelick-Eyrecourt)
13. Mark Kennedy (Clarinbridge)

Subs

17. Sam McArdle for Morrissey (HT)
22. Donal Mannion for Ryan (39)
20. Cillian Lawless for Kilcommins (43)
21. Dean Reilly for Bleahene (49)
24. Ben Moran (Tynagh-Abbey/Duniry) for Caulfield (56)

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)

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About the author:

Kevin Egan

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