Cathal Noonan/INPHO
Narrow win

Lee Chin stars as Leinster squeeze through to hurling inter-provincial final

Leinster survive, despite the loss of Kilkenny star Colin Fennelly to a red card.

Leinster 1-14
Connacht 1-12

Jackie Cahill reports from MacDonagh Park, Nenagh

LEINSTER HAD KILKENNY ace Colin Fennelly sent off on a straight red card but still managed to squeeze past Connacht by two points in this afternoon’s inter-provincial hurling semi-final in Nenagh.

Fennelly was dismissed midway through the second half for an off-the-ball incident with Paul Killeen – but Ciarán Hetherton’s Leinster advanced to a final with Munster or Ulster.

Wexford’s Lee Chin was the star turn for Leinster, collecting 1-4 from play, in a repeat of the final pairing from two years ago.

The apathy surrounding a tournament that failed to go ahead last year was starkly illustrated by the dismal attendance present at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh, estimated at less than 100 people.

And the fare in the first half rarely rose above the mundane, with Leinster 1-7 to 1-2 ahead at half-time.

Indeed, there were more wides than scores before the break, Leinster registering nine to Connacht’s seven. When the dust settled, the sides had racked up as many wides as scores between them – 28.

There were some decent goal chances at both ends that either flashed wide or ended up in the side-netting but two green flags were raised in the first half.

The first of them was the opening score of the game – Chin taking a pass from Kilkenny’s Colin Fennelly before crashing a fine shot past James Skehill in the fifth minute.

Leinster were five points clear – 1-2 to 0-0 – before a Connacht team comprised of all Galway players opened its account in the 13th minute, Conor Cooney on target with a free.

Five minutes later, Joseph Cooney poked home a goal for Connacht to keep them in contention but Leinster hit four of the five points approaching half-time to open up a significant interval lead.

Connacht battled back to level at 1-8 apiece and looked good for victory when Leinster went down to 14 men.

But with Chin excellent, Leinster kicked on for the win as subs Ryan O’Dwyer, Gerry Keegan and Martin Kavanagh, with the final point of the game at the death, made contributions to the scoreboard.

There was a lengthy stoppage at the end of the game when O’Dwyer and Matthew Keating collided but after almost ten minutes of stoppage time was played, Leinster held out, Carlow ace Kavanagh firing over the insurance score.

Scorers for Leinster: Lee Chin 1-4, Shane Dooley 0-3f, Chris Crummey, Sean Ryan, Walter Walsh, Colin Fennelly, Martin Kavanagh, Gerry Keegan & Ryan O’Dwyer 0-1 each.

Scorers for Connacht: Joseph Cooney 1-0, Conor Cooney (3f) & Niall Burke (1f) 0-3 each, Cathal Mannion, Jason Flynn (sl), David Burke, Aidan Harte, James Skehill (f) & Paul Flaherty 0-1 each.


1. James Dempsey (Offaly)

26. Matthew Whelan (Laois)
3. Tommy Doyle (Westmeath)
4. Liam Ryan (Wexford)

5. Pádraig Walsh (Kilkenny)
6. Kieran Joyce (Kilkenny)
7. Chris Crummey (Dublin)

8. Conor Fogarty (Kilkenny)
9. Seán Ryan (Offaly)

10. Walter Walsh (Kilkenny)
11. Lee Chin (Wexford)
12. Charles Dwyer (Laois)

13. Shane Dooley (Offaly)
17. Eamon Dillon (Dublin)
15. Colin Fennelly (Kilkenny)


25. Ryan O’Dwyer (Dublin) for Dillon (h.t.)
22. Gerry Keegan (Kildare) for Dwyer (38)
21. Martin Kavanagh (Carlow) for Dooley (38)
24. Dennis Murphy (Carlow) for O’Dwyer (60).

Connacht (Galway unless stated)

1. James Skehill

2. Matt Donohue
3. Paul Killeen
4. John Hanbury

5. Gearóid McInerney
6. Pádraig Mannion
7. Mike Conneely

8. Johnny Coen
9. David Burke

10. Shane Maloney
11. Joseph Cooney
12. Conor Cooney

13. Brian Molloy
23. Cathal Mannion
15. Jason Flynn


14. Niall Burke for Molloy (39)
22. Davy Glennon for Flynn (39)
20. Aidan Harte for Coen (40)
18. Cathal Freeman (Mayo) for C Cooney (44)
24. Pádraig Brehony for Donohue (47)
26. Paul Flaherty for Killeen (50)
25. Matthew Keating for D Burke (55)
17. Jason Kilkenny (Roscommon) for McInerney (57)
19. Cathal Dolan (Roscommon) for Maloney (57)
21. Sean McInerney for Keating (60)

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)

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