St Kieran’s see off Templemore to reach another Croke Cup final
The Kilkenny college are still in pursuit of three in a row after this nine-point victory
The St Kieran’s team celebrate at the final whistle of last year’s Croke Cup final. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
St Kieran’s (Kilkenny) 2-16 Our Lady’s Templemore (Tipperary) 0-13
Holders and competition specialists St Kieran’s are within touching distance of a 21st Croke Cup crown after goals from Colum Prendiville and Joe Cuddihy proved crucial in Saturday’s semi-final victory over Our Lady’s Templemore.
St Kieran’s, chasing three-in-a-row, will meet Ardscoil Rís in the final but they had to work hard before seeing off the stiff challenge of beaten Harty Cup finalists Templemore.
Nine points was the margin between the sides at full-time but Templemore, on three occasions, were within two of the Leinster champions in the second half.
St Kieran’s hitman Adrian Mullen also saw a penalty midway through the second half brilliantly saved by Jack Kennedy but the goal they were looking for arrived with eight minutes left, as Cuddihy finished off a superb offload from Seán Carey, son of Kilkenny legend DJ.
That goal handed St Kieran’s a 2-13 to 0-12 lead and they were ten points ahead approaching the finish before winning pulling up.
At the break, St Kieran’s were 1-9 to 0-8 clear as Templemore managed just one point from play in the first half.
St Kieran’s had the ideal start, leading by 1-1 to 0-0 within two minutes as towering centre forward Prendiville scored the early goal.
ST KIERAN’S: D Phelan; C Byrne, T Walsh, E Carroll; M Cody (0-1), D Mullen, M Kenny; M Keoghan, E Delaney (0-1); J Connolly (0-1), C Prendiville (1-3), A Mullen (0-7, 6f); S Carey (0-1), J Cuddihy (1-1), E Moylan (0-1).
Subs: V Costello for E Delaney (60), N Delaney for Byrne (60).
OUR LADY’S TEMPLEMORE: J Kennedy; E Ryan, D Ryan, C O’Meara; P Cadell, K Hassett, T Murphy; B McGrath (0-5, 3f, 1 65), N Quinlan; S Nolan (0-1), L Fairbrother (0-1), R McCormack; J Bergin (0-3f), J Kelly (0-2), D O’Shea (0-1).
Subs: A O’Meara for O’Shea (54), P Bergin for J Bergin (54).
Referee: J Keane (Galway)