Kilkenny begin Walsh Cup campaign with win over DCU

Youth steps in as Brian Cody’s side are currently on a team holiday to San Diego

Kilkenny’s Adrian Burke is put under pressure by Aaron Murphy of DCU during their Walsh Cup Round 1 match at  Dunmore, Kilkenny. Photograph: Inpho

Kilkenny’s Adrian Burke is put under pressure by Aaron Murphy of DCU during their Walsh Cup Round 1 match at Dunmore, Kilkenny. Photograph: Inpho

 

Kilkenny 0-21 DCU 0-12

A young Kilkenny side made a winning start to the county’s Walsh Cup campaign as they showed their claws against DCU.

Despite missing all their household names – Brian Cody’s side are currently on a team holiday to San Diego – the 15 picked by under-21 manager Eddie Brennan proved too strong for the Students at the MW Hire Centre in Dunmore.

Two Kevin Farrell frees had the Cats up and running. Those scores were cancelled out by DCU duo Peter Hogan (free) and Pádraig Foley but that was the first and only time the sides were level.

Fired on by Farrell, who hit five first-half frees, Kilkenny pressed on. They were 0-6 to 0-3 ahead after 20 minutes, Seán Buggy getting their opening score from play.

Hogan did narrow the gap but four unanswered points from under-21 captain Pat Lyng, John Donnelly, Buggy and under-21 vice-captain Richie Leahy gave Kilkenny a six-point lead at the break (0-11 to 0-5).

Kilkenny surge

Kilkenny continued to surge forward after the restart. With Tommy Walsh now on frees they continued to pick off points, Walsh converting two placed balls while substitute James Bergin also got in on the act, pushing Kilkenny 10 points clear by the 50th minute (0-17 to 0-7).

DCU rallied after that, Peter Hogan sniping a pair of points, but the big score the Students needed never came. They had a chance to force their waxy back into the game when Patrick Curran played Murphy through on goal, but his 59th minute shot was well saved by netminder Darren Brennan.

That was DCU’s only chance as Kilkenny slammed the door shut. Buggy, Bergin and substitute Adrian Burke rounded off a good night for the Cats by grabbing the last three points of the game, leaving Kilkenny in a good position ahead of their Abbottstown meeting with Antrim on January 15th, a game which should see the return of their more experienced players.

KILKENNY - D Brennan; K Mullen, E Cody, M Cody; C Browne, J Cleere, T Walsh (0-2, frees); O Walsh, R Leahy (0-2); K Farrell (0-5, frees), P Lyng (0-2), S Murphy; S Buggy (0-3), J Donnelly (0-1), C Hennessy. Subs: K Crowley for Fleming; J Bergin (0-4, 0-2 frees) for C Hennessy; S O’Farrell (0-1) for K Farrell; A Burke (0-1) for R Leahy; N Mullan for S Murphy.

DCU - R Gillen; A Maddock, S McCaw, P O’Dea; G Bailey, P Foley (0-1), L Fahey; R McBride (0-1), AJ Murphy; J Byrne, P Curran, P Kelly; D Staunton, K Doyle, P Hogan (0-7, 0-6 frees). Subs: D Brennan for A Maddock; J O’Connor (0-2)for P Kelly; A Murphy for G Bailey; E McHugh (0-1) for D Staunton. Referee - J Heffernan (Wexford

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