Kilkenny's Jason Cleere challenges Westmeath's Michael Daly. Oisin Keniry/INPHO
Cats In Control

Kilkenny avoid another shock in Mullingar as they finish strongly to see off battling Westmeath

Alan Murphy hit 1-8 for the winners.

Kilkenny 1-21
Westmeath 1-11

THERE WAS TO be no repeat of last year’s shock result but Kilkenny still had to endure a tough examination before emerging from TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar tonight with a place in the Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U21 hurling final.

A ten-point margin at the end flattered Eddie Brennan’s side as they were only three points ahead with three minutes left on the clock of this semi-final clash.

But Kilkenny hit 1-4 without reply in the closing stages to push ahead as Alan Murphy finally breached the Westmeath rearguard to drill a shot to the net.

Kilkenny were good value for their eventual victory, stepping it up in the second half after they trailed 1-7 to 0-9 at the interval.

Westmeath hit the net in the 18th minute when corner-forward James Goonery whipped a rebound to the net after Shane Clavin was initially denied by goalkeeper Darren Brennan.

In the second half Westmeath struggled for scores yet their goalkeeper Sean Maher pulled off a string of superb saves to keep them in the hunt.

They were still in contention when they trailed 0-14 to 1-10 at the third-quarter mark but Kilkenny finally made their dominance pay off on the scoreboard.

Murphy finished with 1-8 to his credit while man-of-the-match John Donnelly, Sean Morrissey, Pat Lyng and Richie Leahy all made major impressions as well on the scoreboard.

Killian Doyle and Niall Mitchell were the main sources of scoring inspiration for Westmeath.


Scorers for Kilkenny: Alan Murphy 1-8 (0-8f), John Donnelly, Sean Morrissey 0-3 each, Pat Lyng, Richie Leahy 0-2 each, Liam Blanchfield, Luke Scanlon, Eoin Kenny 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: Killian Doyle 0-8 (0-6f), James Goonery 1-0, Niall Mitchell 0-3 (0-1 sideline).


1. Darren Brennan (St Lachtain’s)

2. Michael Cody (Dunnamaggin)
3. Conor Delaney (Erins Own)
4. James Burke (Thomastown)

5. Conor Doheny (Dicksboro)
6. Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge)
7. Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan)

8. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens)
9. Pat Lyng (Rower-Inistioge)

10. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
11. John Donnelly (Thomastown)
12. Sean Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)

13. Shane Walsh (Tullaroan)
14. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
15. Billy Ryan (Graigue-Ballycallan)


Darren Mullen for Doheny (half-time)
Richie Leahy for Shane Walsh (half-time)
Eoin Kenny for Blanchfield (43)
Ryan Bergin for Burke (57)
Conor Hennessy for Donnelly (61)


1. Sean Maher (Castletown Geoghegan)

2. Sean Quinn (Raharney)
3. Conor Shaw (Brownstown)
4. Darren Giles (Raharney)

5. Naoise McKenna (Castletown Geoghegan)
6. Darragh Egerton (Clonkill)
7. Joe Rabbitte (Castlepollard)

8. Michael Daly (Lough Lene Gaels)
9. Shane Clavin (Castletown Geoghegan)

10. Darragh Clinton (Delvin)
11. Killian Doyle (Raharney)
12. Niall Mitchell (Clonkill)

13. James Goonery (Raharney)
14. Jack Galvin (Cullion)
15. Ciaran Doyle (Raharney)


Darren Finn for Rabbit (46)
Johnny Bermingham for Goonery (57)
Adam Loughlin for Clinton (61)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)

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