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Allianz HL D1: Kilkenny battle past Cork to reach Final

Paddy Deegan of Kilkenny in action against Rob Downey of Cork during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi Final match between Kilkenny and Cork at UMPC Nowlan Park in Kilkenny.

Paddy Deegan of Kilkenny in action against Rob Downey of Cork during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi Final match between Kilkenny and Cork at UMPC Nowlan Park in Kilkenny.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1 semi-final


By Robert Cribbin at UPMC Nowlan Park

Kilkenny set up a repeat All-Ireland Final clash against Limerick in the Allianz League Division 1 decider when running out convincing winners over Cork in UPMC Nowlan Park.

With Billy Drennan on fine scoring form in registering 1-13, the Cats led from the outset in a dominant display against a Cork side that never really found the flow that saw them pick up five wins from five in the Division 1A section of the league.

Cork did finish the game with 14 men when Robert Downey was given a straight red card for his part in a melee that also saw Timmy Clifford, Paddy Deegan and Tommy O'Connell booked but overall Kilkenny were certainly the better side on the day.

As well as Drennan, the winners had big displays from Martin Keoghan who netted a goal in the first half while John Donnelly and the returning Huw Lawlor and Mikey Butler all stood out for the winners.

Cork were always chasing and they were three points down within five minutes of the start with Drennan and Richie Hogan finding their range for Kilkenny.

Hogan's effort from play came only seconds into the game but along with Shane Barrett scoring for Cork, those two efforts were the only ones from play in the first quarter.

As a result Drennan and Shane Kingston converted any placed balls that came their way as Kilkenny led by double scores (0-8 to 0-4).

Kingston and Conor Cahalane then narrowed the deficit to two points before Kilkenny struck the game's opening goal via Martin Keoghan in the 23rd minute.

The sides then went point for point for the rest of the half with a pair of scores from John Donnelly and Shane Kingston bringing an end to a rather disappointing half of hurling that had Kilkenny ahead by three.

It remained score for score until Billy Drennan broke clear in the 41st minute and in the process of shooting for goal, he was fouled by Damien Cahalane for a penalty that was expertly dispatched by the talented youngster himself.

Cork lost Eoin Downey to a straight red card a couple of minutes later and while they did rally briefly upon the introduction of the experienced Patrick Horgan, Pat Ryan's team never really threatened to usurb the Cats.

While Drennan scored every free or 65 he stood over, the Kilkenny corner forward also added a late point from play and with fellow Under 20 star Gearoid Dunne also getting his name on the scoresheet, Derek Lyng's men ran out impressive 2-22 to 0-22 winners.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Billy Drennan 1-13 (8f, 4 65's), Martin Keoghan 1-0, Alan Murphy 0-2, John Donnelly 0-2, Conor Fogarty 0-1, Timmy Clifford 0-1, Richie Hogan 0-1, Cian Kenny 0-1, Gearoid Dunne 0-1

Scorers for Cork- Shane Kingston 0-9 (8f), Patrick Horgan 0-3, (3f), Shane Barrett 0-3, Conor Cahalane 0-2, Padraig Power 0-2, Robert Downey 0-1, Tim O'Mahony 0-1, Jack O'Connor 0-1

KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy; Mikey Butler, Tommy Walsh, Padraig Walsh; Darragh Corcoran, Huw Lawlor, David Blanchfield; Conor Fogarty, Alan Murphy; Richie Hogan, John Donnelly, Paddy Deegan; Billy Drennan, Martin Keoghan, Timmy Clifford. Subs: Cian Kenny for Hogan (50); Gearoid Dunne for Clifford (59); Niall Brennan for A. Murphy (68); Conor Delaney for Corcoran (70); Evan Cody for Butler (73).

CORK: Patrick Collins; Niall O'Leary, Eoin Downey, Damien Cahalane; Tommy O'Connell, Ciaran Joyce, Robert Downey; Brian Roche, Ethan Twomey; Conor Cahalane, Conor Lehane, Shane Barrett; Shane Kingston, Padraig Power, Jack O'Connor. Subs: Tim O’Mahony for Twomey (50), Patrick Horgan for O’Connor ( 50); Ger Millerick for C. Cahalane (53); Brian Hayes for Power (67).

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)