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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 26 January, 2020

Major entertainment as Kilkenny’s minors overcome Clare

There is some consolation for Kilkenny, as the county’s minors beat Clare by two points in a classic minor match.

Kilkenny's Pat O'Carroll and Luke Harney tackle Cathal Malone of Clare
Kilkenny's Pat O'Carroll and Luke Harney tackle Cathal Malone of Clare
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

THE MINOR CURTAIN-RAISER is often seen as a mere amusement before the senior match – but to consider today’s All-Ireland Minor Hurling final a similar side-event would be a major discredit.

Ahead of today’s senior decider, Kilkenny’s minors grabbed the Cats’ only title of the day – but only just. The Cats ran out 2-10 to 0-14 winners, but met massive resistance from a Clare side that had their measure – and more – for massive chunks of the game.

Two goals from corner-forward Michael Brennan – albeit with the second tapped in by a substitute – were the difference in the game, but Clare responded admirably and had never allowed Kilkenny to settle in a massively entertaining encounter.

Indeed, the Banner had led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time and looked every inch the champions-in-waiting. John Power, the younger brother of Kilkenny senior forward Richie, even had a penalty saved – giving every impression that it was not to be Kilkenny’s day.

The Cats were able to dig deep and find the same kind of resilience and fortitude that the county’s sides are known for, however, and Brennan’s two goals – the second to put the sides level for the first time in the game with fifteen minutes to go – gave Kilkenny the chance they needed.

Buoyed by Brennan’s goals, further points came from Kevin Kelly and Ger Aylward as Kilkenny secured enough of a cushion to survive the frantic closing stages.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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