Cork prevail in tit-for-tat clash with Kilkenny

Rebels finally pull clear in injury-time after absorbing contest at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Kilkenny’s Ollie Walsh and Tim O’Mahony of Cork clash. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Kilkenny’s Ollie Walsh and Tim O’Mahony of Cork clash. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Cork 1-24 Kilkenny 0-24

The sides were level on 13 different occasions before Cork eventually prevailed against Kilkenny in the opening round of the Allianz HL at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening.

In many ways, it was typical league fare - some quality moments - not least the 11 points Conor Lehane scored for Cork - some rustiness and overall a good workout for both teams.

Cork had a dream start in front of the attendance of 16,189 as Robbie O’Flynn’s point was followed by a goal for Shane Kingston, set up by Darragh Fitzgibbon’s surging run from deep.

As is so often the case, Kilkenny’s response was strong and they were level within a matter of minutes, thanks to points from Pat Lyng, captain Cillian Buckley (two) and the impressive Richie Reid.

From there, the sides traded blows for much of the rest of the half, a trio of Kilkenny points followed by the same from the home side. The best goal chance fell to the visitors as Walter Walsh set up Conor Martin, but Patrick Collins - a replacement for Anthony Nash, who opted against playing two games in the one day - saved well from point-blank range.

At the other end, Alan Cadogan drew a good save from Eoin Murphy, the resultant point tying the game at 1-6 to 0-9 before Conor Lehane’s third put Cork in front again.

Kilkenny’s Cillian Buckley is stretchered off in the second half. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Kilkenny’s Cillian Buckley is stretchered off in the second half. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

After Kilkenny seized the upper hand again - goalkeeper Murphy with long-range frees - Cork had a good spell coming up to half-time as Lehane, O’Flynn and corner-back Colm Spillane all scored to put them 1-11 to 0-13 in front, but Kilkenny had the lead at the break thanks to scores from Reid and Alan Murphy.

Reid’s third got the Cats off to a good start in the second half, but sub Luke Meade, captain Séamus Harnedy and Lehane turned the game once more. Kilkenny refused to give in and Alan Murphy’s fifth point levelled at 1-15 to 0-18 but when Cork scored four of the next five, including a lovely on from Fitzgibbon, they were three in front.

That was eradicated once more as Kilkenny full-back Pádraig Walsh, sub TJ Reid and Walter Walsh all pointed, but the visitors suffered the loss of captain Buckley, necessitating eight minutes of injury time, in which Cork finally pulled clear.

Lehane brought his tally to 11 while sub Jack O’Connor and Harnedy both pointed as the win was secured.

Cork: P Collins; S O’Donoghue, E Cadogan, C Spillane (0-1); C Joyce, T O’Mahony, M Ellis (0-1); D Fitzgibbon (0-1), B Lawton; R O’Flynn (0-2), C Lehane (0-11, 9f), D Kearney (0-1); A Cadogan (0-1), S Harnedy (0-3), S Kingston (1-1). Subs: L Meade (0-1) for Lawton (27), M Cahalane for O’Flynn (57), R O’Shea for Kearney (58-61, blood), J O’Connor (0-1) for Cadogan (62).

Kilkenny: E Murphy (0-2f); J Holden, P Walsh (0-1), P Deegan; C O’Shea, J Lyng, C Buckley (0-3); C Fogarty (0-1), J Maher (0-1); M Keoghan (0-1), R Reid (0-3), P Lyng (0-1); A Murphy (0-5, 3f), W Walsh (0-2), C Martin (0-1). Subs: J Donnelly for Martin, TJ Reid (0-3) for Keoghan (both 44), L Blanchfield for Alan Murphy (49), R Leahy for Maher (57), E Morrissey for Buckley (65).

Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary).

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