Electric Ireland Leinster MHC: Kilkenny defeat spirited Offaly
Electric Ireland Leinster MHC Semi-Final
KILKENNY 0-24 OFFALY 2-13
By Kevin Egan at Bord Na Mona O’Connor Park
Kilkenny’s greater scoring power eventually came to the fore against a resolute and committed Offaly outfit with captain Conor Kelly and centre forward Ciarán Brennan leading the way from frees and from play respectively for Richie Mulrooney’s side.
The first half was hugely entertaining and saw Offaly take a 1-10 to 0-11 lead into the dressing room, their goal scored from close range by Ciarán Teehan.
Cathal Kiely swung over a superb sideline ball and Dara Maher added two points from long range as the home supporters started to dream of an upset win after a superb second quarter.
Brennan was the shining light for the visitors as he fired over an array of points from all sorts of angles, while he also was unlucky to have a goal disallowed for square ball after he got a touch to Cian Kenny’s dropping ball.
Thoughts of a shock home triumph receded after half time, however, as Kilkenny completely took over with their half back line in imperious form, dominating the Offaly puckout.
Eight second half wides prevented them from putting real distance between the sides at any stage while a scrappy DJ McLoughlin goal revived a flagging Faithful county side just when it looked as if the Cats were about to go out of reach, but Kilkenny continued to monopolise primary possession and with a good supply of ball going into their forwards at all times, they continued to add scores with ease, with Cian Kenny, Eoin Guilfoyle and Jack Doyle adding late scores to seal the win.
Scorers for Kilkenny: Conor Kelly 0-12 (10fs), Ciarán Brennan 0-5, Eoin Guilfoyle and Cian Kenny 0-2 each, Darragh Maher, George Murphy and Jack Doyle 0-1 each.
Scorers for Offaly: Cathal Kiely 0-6 (4fs, 1 sideline), Ciarán Teehan and DJ McLoughlin 1-1 each, Cathal Donoghue and Dara Maher 0-2 each, Cillian Sampson 0-1 (f).
KILKENNY: Jason Brennan; Jamie Young, Pádraig Dempsey, Jamie Harkin; Pádraic Moylan, Shane Staunton, Harry Walsh; Conor Kelly, Cillian Rudkins; Darragh Maher, Ciarán Brennan, Cian Kenny; Eoin Guilfoyle, George Murphy, Jack Buggy.
Subs: Cathal O’Leary for Moylan (HT), Jack Doyle for Buggy (45), Chris Korff for Rudkins (55), Killian Hogan for Murphy (59).
OFFALY: Stephen Loughnane; Aaron Brazil, Aaron Flanagan, Luke Nolan; Bill Egan, Dara Maher, Luke Egan; Evan Houlihan, Andrew Walsh; Cathal Kiely, Cillian Sampson, Cathal Donoghue; Ciarán Teehan, DJ McLoughlin, Danny Flanagan.
Subs: Shane Mulrooney for Nolan (43), Mark Dillon for Walsh (48), Jack Screeney for Donoghue (59)
REFEREE: Chris Mooney (Dublin).