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Kilkenny concede 4 goals but still defeat Offaly in Leinster SHC

Colin Egan and Joe Bergin hit early goals for Ollie Baker’s side.

Kilkenny's Colin Fennelly with Offaly's David Kenny and Dermot Mooney.
Kilkenny's Colin Fennelly with Offaly's David Kenny and Dermot Mooney.
Image: INPHO/Ken Sutton.

Kilkenny 0-26
Offaly 4-9

KILKENNY SURVIVED A real first half scare to book their place in the Leinster SHC semi-finals.

Ollie Baker’s Offaly made a dashing bid to cause a shock in front of 8,237 spectators in Tullamore, but Kilkenny recovered from the initial aerial bombardment to advance to the penultimate stage of the provincial competition.

There was plenty of early drama at O’Connor Park as Offaly’s direct approach stunned the All Ireland Champions’ in the opening quarter.

Moving the sliotar quickly inside Offaly bagged two goals in the first 13 minutes to disturb a Kilkenny outfit, who are missing talisman Henry Shefflin.

Another crucial Kilkenny contributor Jackie Tyrell was forced off injured in the sixth minute by which time Offaly had already netted once.

That strike came in the first minute when Colin Egan reacted smartly to slam a smashing goal past Eoin Murphy.

Three points on the spin from Eoin Larkin (2) and Richie Hogan had Kilkenny back on terms, but a Chris McDonald effort was followed by a Joe Bergin major.

A blistering shot from Bergin rattled the Kilkenny net and though Offaly were injected with confidence Eoin Larkin has been sharp from dead balls for the Cats, who surprisingly trailed 2-6 to 0-11 at the interval.

But Kilkenny seized the initiative after the restart reeling off five points without reply and suddenly Offaly were in bother. Larkin was sharp from frees, while TJ Reid, Richie Power (2), and Lester Ryan also split the uprights.

Shane Dooley drilled over a 43rd minute free, but two Larkin frees either side of a splendid Tommy Walsh score had Kilkenny 0-19 to 2-7 in front. Another Dooley free was a brief interruption as Brian Hogan, Larkin, and Richie Hogan nudged Kilkenny eight clear with 13 minutes remaining.

By then Offaly were busily seeking to put a respectable gloss on the final scoreline as their sterling start was rendered insufficient. Egan clipped a point and then in the 63rd minute substitute Dan Currams wriggled away to stitch a goal as the deficit was trimmed to four.

Hogan, Power, and replacements Matthew Ruth and Walter Walsh stretched Kilkenny’s advantage again before a last gasp consolation goal from Bergin.

Offaly’s David Kenny and Kilkenny’s Colin Fennelly in a tussle
Pic: INPHO/Ken Sutton

Scorers for Kilkenny: Eoin Larkin 0-11 (10fs, 165), Richie Power 0-4 (1f), Richie Hogan 0-3, TJ Reid 0-1, Colin Fennelly 0-1, Richie Hogan 0-1, Lester Ryan 0-1, Brian Hogan 0-1, Matthew Ruth 0-1, Walter Walsh 0-1, Aidan Fogarty 0-1.
Scorers for Offaly: Shane Dooley 0-5 (5fs, 165), Joe Bergin 2-0, Colin Egan 1-2, Dan Currams 1-0, Brian Carroll 0-1, Chris McDonald 0-1.

KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy (Glenmore); Paul Murphy (Danesfort), JJ Delaney (Fenians), Jackie Tyrrell (James Stephens); Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan), Brian Hogan (O’Loughlin Gaels), Kieran Joyce (Rower-Inistioge); Lester Ryan (Clara), Michael Rice (Carrickshock), TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks),  Richie Power (Carrickshock), Eoin Larkin (James Stephens); Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks), Richie Hogan (Danesfort), Aidan Fogarty (Emeralds).

Subs: Conor Fogarty (Erins Own) for Tyrell (6 mins), Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon) for Fogarty (34 mins), Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro) for Reid (57 mins), Matthew Ruth (James Stephens) for Larkin (57 mins), Paddy Hogan (Danesfort) for Rice (59 mins).

OFFALY: James Dempsey (Kinnitty); Chris McDonald (Brosna Gaels),David Kenny (Belmont), Kevin Brady (Coolderry); Rory Hanniffy (Birr), Ger Healion (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Cathal Parlon (Coolderry); Conor Mahon (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Dermot Mooney (Seir Kieran); Colin Egan (Belmont), Brian Carroll (Coolderry), Ciaran Slevin (Kilcormac/Killoughey); Shane Dooley (Tullamore), Joe Bergin (Seir Kieran), Sean Cleary (Shinrone).

Subs: Dan Currams (Kilcormac/Killoughey) for Cleary (36 mins), Paul Cleary (Birr) for Kenny (42-47 mins), Derek Molloy (Shamrocks) for Mahon (44 mins), Tomas Carroll (Seir Kieran) for Slevin (52 mins), Sean Ryan (Shinrone) for Brady (52 mins).

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)

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