Conor McKenna reports from O’Moore Park
KILKENNY EXITED THE All-Ireland U20 Championship following a six-point loss to Cork in the semi-final in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.
The Rebel County were excellent at times in this game and they will face Tipperary or Wexford in the first ever All-Ireland U20 Hurling Final.
Tommy O’Connell was outstanding for Denis Ring’s side scoring 1-10 over the course of the game, in what was a very good individual performance from the Midleton hurler.
Cork had a great start to the game, scoring the first four points to give themselves an early lead, with O’Connell (2), Brian Turnbull and Shane O’Regan accounting for the scores.
Kilkenny settled however and responded with three points of their own courtesy of Eoin Cody and Niall Brassil (2) to reduce the deficit to one.
O’Connell then registered the games opening goal, although his initial effort appeared to be saved by the Kilkenny goalkeeper, but the ball hit the post and went over the line, as the umpire raised his green flag.
Cork’s Brian Roche and Kilkenny’s Adrian Mullen at O’Moore Park.
Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO
It was tit for tat after the goal, with both sides cancelling each other out, but three successive Kilkenny points just before the interval left one point between the teams at half-time, with the scoreboard reading 1-6 to 0-8 in favour of Cork.
Cork were the better team in the second half, though Kilkenny took the lead just after half time after scores from Conor Heary and Cody.
O’Connell scored the next two points to turn a one-point deficit into a one-point lead, but a free from Cody levelled proceedings.
O’Connell again added two further points, before a free from Cody reduced the gap to one, but Cork registered the next five points to increase their lead to six.
The Rebel’s held on for a six-point victory and will face the winners of tomorrow’s semi-final between Tipperary and Wexford in the final, while Kilkenny’s season ends after this defeat.
Scorers for Cork: T O’Connell 1-10 (6f, 2 “65s”), B Turnbull 0-2 (2f), R Walsh 0-2, S O’Regan 0-1, S Kennefick 0-1.
Scorers for Kilkenny: E Cody 0-6 (5f), N Brassil 0-4 (2f), A Brennan 0-1, E Shefflin 0-1, C Heary 0-1.
1. Ger Collins (Ballinhassig)
2. Conor O’Callaghan (Dromtarrife)
3. James Keating (Kildorrery)
4. Eoin Roche (Bride Rovers)
6. Sean O’Leary Hayes (Midleton)
5. Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s)
7. Robert Downey (Glen Rovers)
of the team
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9. Daire Connery (Na Piarsaigh)
8. Ryan Walsh (Kanturk)
12. Tommy O’Connell (Midleton)
19. Brian Roche (Bride Rovers)
10. Sean Twomey (Courcey Rovers)
13. Brian Turnbull (Douglas)
14. Shane O’Regan (Watergrasshill)
24. Padraig Power (Blarney)
22. Simon Kennefick (Glen Rovers) for Connery (42)
23. Evan Sheehan (Na Piarsaigh) for Power (45)
21. Barry Murphy (Castlelyons) for O’Regan (60 + 1)
11. Craig Hanifin (Na Piarsaigh) for Twomey (60 + 3)
18. Jamie Copps (Ballyhea) for O’Callaghan (60 + 6).
1. Dean Mason (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
2. James Brennan (Naomh Éanna)
3. Conor Flynn (Graigue Ballycallan)
4. Mikey Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels)
7. David Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
6. Michael Carey (Young Irelands)
5. Conor Heary (O’Loughlin Gaels)
8. Conor Murphy (Bennettsbridge)
9. Evan Shefflin (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
14. Aaron Brennan (Graigue Ballycallan)
10. Eoin O’Shea (O’Loughlin Gaels)
13. Seán Ryan (Graigue Ballycallan)
11. Niall Brassil (James Stephens)
15. Eoin Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
21. Stephen Donnelly (Thomastown) for A Brennan (h-t)
22. Ciaran Brennan (Bennettsbridge) for Ryan (41)
20. Jordan Molloy (O’Loughlin Gaels) for Murphy (45)
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).
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