Leinster hurling U20 round-up: Kilkenny beat Galway in extra-time epic

Cian Byrne inspires Wexford to single-point victory over Dublin

Kilkenny 1-28 Galway 1-27 (After Extra-Time)

Kilkenny advanced to the Leinster Under-20 Hurling Championship final after they edged an extra-time epic with Galway in Tullamore.

Kilkenny centre-back Joe Fitzpatrick settled the last-four tie with an expertly taken point from distance in the 83rd minute.

Galway came into the game as the defending Leinster champions and after defeating the Cats in the previous two provincial campaigns, expectation was high and for long periods it looked likely that they’d seal a Leinster final spot against Wexford.


Liam Collins was their star in attack and despite missing two second-half penalties, he still finished with 12 points in total and if it wasn’t for Billy Drennan’s brilliance on the other side where he finished with 17 pointed efforts, he may have taken all the headlines.

The two main score-getters were the main stars on show and they cancelled each out as the game went into extra-time with Drennan equalising on the cusp of full-time.

Like in normal time Galway appeared to be on track for a final appearance when their bench scored 1-5 in the first period of extra time where Reuben Davitt netted the opening goal of the game.

Kilkenny came back again though with Gearoid Dunne striking a shot past Darragh Walsh in the Galway goal as Derek Lyng’s team went three points clear.

Galway hit the following three points to level up the game once more until Fitzpatrick settled the tie in the Cats favour with a booming score from distance.

Kilkenny: A Tallis; N Rowe, B Reid, S Purcell; J Fitzpatrick (0-2), P Moylan, P Langton; K Doyle, A Hickey; T Clifford (0-3), D Walsh, P McDonald; B Drennan (0-17, 0-14f, 0-2 65's), G Dunne (1-0), H Shine (0-2). Subs- I Byrne (0-1) for Dunne (38), T Dunne (0-1) for Shine (42), J Doyle (0-2) for Walsh (54), E O'Brien for Langton (57), J Walsh for Hickey (67), G Dunne for McDonald (70),

Galway: D Walsh; A Nolan, E Lawless, M Walsh; S O'Hanlon, I McGlynn, J Cooney (0-1, 0-1f); L Leen, A Conaire (0-3); D Hanniffy (0-2), S McDonagh (0-1), D McLoughlin (0-1); L Collins (0-12, 0-6f, 0-1 65), K Hanrahan, G Thomas. Subs- C Molloy (0-2) for McDonagh (29), T Leen (0-1) for L Leen (47), R Davitt (1-1) for Hanniffy (48), D Davoren (0-2) for McLoughlin (50), S Morgan for Cunningham (60), D McLoughlin for Hanrahan (67), P Burke for O'Hanlon (68), L Leen foor Conaire (74).

Referee: Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly)

Wexford 1-15 Dublin 1-14

Not for the first time Cian Byrne proved how invaluable he is to his side as his personal tally of 0-10 inspired Wexford to a single-point victory over a gallant Dublin outfit in this thrilling Leinster Under-20 hurling championship semi-final at Chadwicks Wexford Park yesterday afternoon.

Byrne’s haul included 0-2 from play but it was his accuracy from frees that punished every indiscretion in the visitors defence as he emerged with a 100 per cent record in what was an exceptional display of free-taking.

After James O’Brien had pointed Dublin in front inside two minutes, Byrne followed with two quickfire points, one free along with a 65 to edge his side in front. There were certainly plenty of positives through the opening exchanges with Brandon Saunders bringing the sides level with a pointed free.

There was very little change through the second quarter as Byrne continued to fire over the points, to go alongside a long-range effort from Cian Molloy, while Cian O Cathasaigh and Dara Purcell points kept Dublin very much in contention as the homeside led 0-7 to 0-6 at the break.

What a different story the second half turned out to be as both sides increased the tempo of their game leading to some thrilling exchanges. Wexford enjoyed the ideal start on the resumption with Byrne extending their lead through a pointed free, while in the 32nd minute, Shamey O’Hagan cut inside the defence and picked out full-forward Jack Redmond, who found the net with a clinical finish, leaving them leading 1-8 to 0-6.

But Dublin were not for wilting as team captain and centre-back David Crowe fired over two long-range points while in the 42nd minute Purcell found the net from close in to reduce the deficit, 1-10 to 1-8.

While Wexford managed to extend into a 1-15 to 1-12 lead entering the closing stages, Dublin through points from a James O’Brien free and another from sub Tom Gleeson left the minimum separating the sides. But Wexford, with both Cian Molloy and Kyle Scallan outstanding in defence, held firm in the closing minutes to deny Dublin an opportunity of even bringing the game to extra time.

Wexford: Cian Byrne; Eoin Ryan, Kyle Scallan, A J Remond; Joe Barrett (0-1), Cian Molloy (0-1), Conor Foley; Darragh Carley (0-1), Luke Kavanagh; Richie Lawlor; Corey Byrne Dunbar, Shamey O'Hagan; David Codd, Jack Redmond (1-1, 0-1 free), Cian Byrne (0-10, 0-7 frees, 0-1, '65). Subs: Tomas Kinsella (0-1) for Lawlor (45), Cormac Walsh for Codd (59).

Dublin: Eoin O’Connor; Andrew Keegan, Paddy Doyle, Luke O Lochlainn; Joe Flanagan, David Crowe (0-2), Colm Walsh; Cian O Cathasaigh (0-1), Sean Gallagher; James O’Brien (0-4, 0-2 frees), Ben McSweeney, Diarmuid O Dullaing (0-1); Dara Purcell (1-2), Brendan Scanlon (0-2, 0-2 frees), Charlie Keher. Subs: Brian Dunne for Gallagher (36), Mark Murphy for Scanlon (48), Tom Gleeson (0-2) for Keher (50); Fionn Rock for O Lochlainn (56).