Conor McKenna reports from Tullamore
KILKENNY ADVANCED TO the Bord Na Móna Walsh Cup final, after a 1-20 to 3-11 victory against a gallant Offaly side, in what was a great game of hurling played out in O’Connor Park this afternoon.
It was Kevin Martin’s Offaly side who opened the scoring, with Thomas Geraghty’s effort in the opening minute, which was followed up with a free from Offaly goalkeeper Eoin Cahill.
Kilkenny responded with two points of their own, before Offaly forward Conor Mahon got the game’s first goal, to give his side a three point advantage.
The Kilcormac/Killoughey star made an excellent catch from Shane Kinsella’s pass before kicking the ball to the back of the net.
Kilkenny got their first goal in the 30th minute, when a very questionable free from Alan Murphy dropped short and it was Ger Malone who reacted quickest, to finish home from close range.
John Donnelly added a point for Kilkenny on the stroke of half time to leave the scoreboard reading Offaly ahead 1-10 to 1-9.
Kilkenny registered the first four points of the second half to take the lead for the first time, but Offaly responded with an excellent penalty from Shane Dooley after the same player was fouled to level the teams once again.
Kilkenny pushed on with further scores, before the Faithful found the net again, with Shane Kinsella getting on the end of Liam Langton’s high ball and burying home to leave only a point between the sides.
Alan Murphy replied for Kilkenny with two crucial scores, to ensure Brian Cody’s side held on for a narrow three point victory.
Scorers for Kilkenny: Alan Murphy 0-7 (0-6f), Richie Reid 0-5, Richie Leahy 0-3, Ger Malone 1-0, John Donnelly 0-2, John Walsh, Bill Sheehan and Conor Martin 0-1 each.
Scorers for Offaly: Shane Kinsella 1-3, Shane Dooley 1-1 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Eoin Cahill 0-3 (0-3f), Conor Mahon 1-0, Thomas Geraghty 0-2, Oisin Kelly (0-1f), Liam Langton 0-1 each.
1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)
2. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
3. Robert Lennon (Bennettsbridge)
4. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
5. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
6. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)
7. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
17. Conor O’Shea (Clara)
9. Ger Malone (Mullinavat)
10. John Donnelly (Thomastown)
11. Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. Richie Leahy (Rower Inistioge)
13. Bill Sheehan (Dicksboro)
24. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
15. John Walsh (Mullinavat)
18. Enda Morrisey (Bennettsbridge) for Malone (HT)
22. Conor Martin (Emeralds) for Walsh (HT)
19. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own) for Lennon (48)
23. Pat Lyng (Rover Inistioge) for Leahy (53)
21. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan) for Sheehan (62)
1. Eoin Cahill (Birr)
2. Thomas Spain (Brosna Gaels)
6. Dermot Shortt (St. Rynagh’s)
4. Ben Conneely (St. Rynagh’s)
5. Patrick Delaney (Kinnitty)
22. Pat Camon (St. Rynagh’s)
7. Jordan Quinn (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
8. David King (Coolderry)
9. Thomas Geraghty (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
10. Oisin Kelly (Belmont)
11. Shane Kinsella (Kinnitty)
12. Colin Egan (Belmont)
13. Colm Gath (Drumcullen)
14. Conor Mahon (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
21. Liam Langton (Clodiagh Gaels)
17. Shane Dooley (Tullamore) for Egan (HT)
23. Dan Doughan (Shinrone) for Shortt (51)
19. Ciaran Cleary (Shinrone) for Gath (54)
20. Conor Molloy (Coolderry) for Geraghty (57)
24. Patrick Rigney (Kinnitty) for Delaney (64)
12. Colin Egan (Belmont) for Mahon (67 B/S)
14. Conor Mahon (Kilcormac/Killoughey) (69 B/S reversal)
Referee: Gearoid McGrath (Dublin)
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