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Electric Ireland Leinster MHC: Kilkenny and Dublin to contest final

Action from the Electric Ireland Leinster MHC semi-final between Dublin and Wexford. Photo by Greg Franzoni.

Action from the Electric Ireland Leinster MHC semi-final between Dublin and Wexford. Photo by Greg Franzoni.

Electric Ireland Leinster MHC semi-final



It was the most popular pairing of the 2010s, when six of the ten Electric Ireland Leinster MHC finals saw Kilkenny take on Dublin. That partnership will be renewed next weekend after Kilkenny and Dublin overcame Galway and Wexford in very different fashions over the weekend.

Dublin were first into action, playing host to Wexford at Parnell Park yesterday afternoon, and after conceding the first two scores for Seán O’Brien and Kevin O’Mahony, a scrambled goal from Darragh Kilduff helped them to lead by four points midway through the first half.

After pushing on with scores from Killian Costello and Rory Flannery, Wexford gave themselves a lifeline with a goal from O’Brien, and a second green flag from Darren Rossiter meant that they led by 2-5 to 1-7 at half time.

The Model County still held a narrow edge by the three quarter mark but Dublin powered through the final quarter, with Flannery bringing his total to 0-9 while Kilduff and Senan Bolger also fired points from play to make it 1-17 to 2-10 at the long whistle.

Kilkenny’s finish was even more devastating, as they tacked on 2-3 in the last five minutes to give the final score in Tullamore today a deceptively one-sided look at 4-18 to 1-12 in favour of Niall Bergin’s troops.

Two goals each from inside forwards Jake Mullen and Ollie O’Donovan will be seen as the crucial scores that put real distance between themselves and Galway, but the Connacht county’s inaccuracy was also a huge factor, as the Tribesmen racked up 18 wides over the course of the hour’s action.

The westerners started and finished the first half well, with Brian Callanan flicking the sliotar over from close range and Ronan Cahalan firing an excellent point to help them to lead by 0-3 to 0-1, but Kilkenny took over from there, with Mullen’s aerial power and O’Donovan’s effervescence and energy to the fore.

The cats shot eight of the next nine points, before Galway again rallied before half time. Ciarán Leen was on target three times in the half and he could have had a goal too, but at 0-10 each, the contest looked finely poised.

Then Mullen plucked a high delivery from Eoin Brennan out of the sky and slammed the ball to the net with the first play of the second half, and while Galway got the next two points, it was one way traffic after that.

Kilkenny outscored Galway by 3-8 to Cillian Roche’s solitary goal through the remainder of the game with Oisín Henderson and David Barcoe playing key roles in setting up two of the second half goals.