Under-21 hurling round-up: Kilkenny see off the Dubs
Meanwhile, Wexford and Carlow advanced while there was a thriller in Mullingar
Kilkenny’s Conor Doheny and Jason Cleere with Eoghan McHugh of Dublin. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Kilkenny 0-21 Dublin 0-16
Kilkenny banished the memory of last year when they sent champions Dublin crashing out of the under-21 hurling championship.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Cats, who needed a late brace from sub John Donnelly to settle their nerves, but they were always a step ahead of the Dubs at Nowlan Park.
Kilkenny had been seven points clear going into the final quarter, but four in a row from Colin Currie (2), Donal Burke and Rian McBride saw Dublin force their way back into the reckoning. Jake Donnelly (2) and fellow sub James Bergin halted Dublin’s charge, but the Cats needed a fine diving save from goalkeeper Darren Brennan to keep comfortably ahead in the end.
The sides struggled to find true scoring form in the first half, posting a number of wides between them. When they settled down the game turned into a battle between Alan Murphy for Kilkenny and Currie in the Dublin blue. Currie won the duel in the opening half, grabbing five points (four frees and a 65) but with man of the match Billy Ryan (2) and Liam Blanchfield firing over scores, the Cats had a 0-9 to 0-7 lead at the interval, an advantage they would not lose.
KILKENNY: D. Brennan; M. Cody, C. Delaney, R. Bergin; C. Doheny, J. Cleere, T. Walsh (0-1); H. Lawlor, S. Morrissey (0-1); P. Lyng, S. Walsh (0-2), J. Walsh (0-1); A. Murphy (0-7, 0-6 frees), L. Blanchfield (0-1), B. Ryan (0-5).
Subs: J. Donnelly (0-2) for L. Blanchfield; L. Scanlon for P. Lyng; J. Bergin (0-1) for S. Walsh; D. Mullen for C. Doheny; C. Hennessy for J. Walsh.
DUBLIN: J. Treacy; D. Gray, S. Barrett, J. O’Neill; C. Hendricken, J. Malone, P. O’Dea; B. Bolger, D. Burke (0-1); E. Conroy (0-1), F. Whitely (0-1), C. Burke; C. Currie (0-9, 0-6 frees, 0-1 65), R. McBride (0-3), P. Crummey.
Subs: E McHugh for C. Burke; C. O’Sullivan (0-1) for P. Crummey; C. Sammon for D. Gray; J. McGuirk for Bolger; C. Dowling for C. Hendricken.
Referee: P. Murphy (Carlow).
Wexford 4-21 Offaly 2-8
Wexford turned in a storming final quarter to eventually ease their way past Offaly at Innovate Wexford Park.
Offaly opened with an early flourish resulting in an excellent Oisin Kelly goal after just three minutes. Wexford gradually settled into the game hitting back with five unanswered points through Joe Coleman (2) Rory O’Connor, Cathal Dunbar and Stephen O’Gorman to lead 0-5 to 1-0 after 11 minutes.
Both sides were enjoying moments of supremacy with Conor Freeman pointing an Offaly free, but at the end of the opening quarter a fine goal from Stephen O’Gorman edged Wexford into a 1-5 to 1-1 lead.
With Wexford leading 1-6 to 1-3, Offaly hauled themselves right back into the game when Liam Langton beat keeper Darragh Hughes to a high ball before finishing into the net
The same player then added a quick point to leave the midlanders leading 2-4 to 1-6. It was Wexford who finished the half strongly as O’Gorman, Coleman, Dunbar and Harry O’Connor picked off point to leave them holding a 1-10 to 2-4 interval lead.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw little separate the sides with Wexford leading 1-12 to 2-7, but thereafter the Offaly challenge faded as Wexford went on to take total control and goals from Stephen O’Gorman and Cathal Dunbar extended their side’s lead.
With Offaly now fading from the game it was Wexford who closed it out with a goal and a point from substitute Darragh Pepper to run out the most comfortable of winners.
Scorers – Wexford: C Dunbar (1sl) 1-8, S O’Gorman 2-2, D Pepper 1-2, R White, J Coleman (2f) 0-3 each, R O’Connor 0-2, H O’Connor 0-1. Offaly: L Langton, O Kelly 1-1 each, C Freeman 0-4 frees, C Kiely, C Cleary 0-1 each.
WEXFORD: D Hughes; C Firman, D Byrne, M O’Brien; B Quigley, A Maddock, G Molloy; D Barden, R White; H O’Connor, R O’Connor, J Coleman; C Dunbar, S O’Gorman, D Codd.
Subs: J O’Connor for Barden (ht), C Moore for O’Brien 938), D Pepper for Codd (50), J Doyle for Coleman (55), O Foley for R O’Connor (58)
OFFALY: E Cahill; D Watkins, D O’Toole, P Delaney; B Conneely, E Parlon, C Molloy; C Kiely, P Guinan; C Freeman, O Kelly, C Cleary; L Langton, E Callaghan, R Hughes.
Subs: K Nugent for Callaghan (38), J Murray for Langton (55), E Carroll for Molloy (55), B Loughnane for Hughes (57).
Referee: P Burke (Kilkenny).
Carlow 1-21 Kildare 2-14
Carlow outscored Kildare by 0-6 to 0-2 in the final quarter to eventually pull clear of Kildare in Newbridge.
Kevin McDonald’s deflected free in the 24th minute had given then a four point lead at 1-8 to 0-7 but Jack Sheridan replied instantly with a goal of his own and the teams were tied at 1-9 each at half time.
Carlow scored the first four points after the restart but again Sheridan got his team back in the game when he found the net from a 20 metre free.
The sides were still level with 11 minutes to go before McDonald’s fifth free of the game sparked a run of four Carlow points in three minutes and that proved to be the winning of the game, despite a brilliant personal tally of 2-9 for Kildare’s Sheridan.
Scorers – Carlow: K McDonald 1-6 (1-5fs), C Nolan 0-5 (1f), C Tracey 0-4, O Roberts 0-2, J Murphy 0-1, G Coady 0-1f, G Lawlor 0-1. Kildare: J Sheridan 2-9 (1-7fs), E O’Hehir 0-3fs, S Lawlor 0-1, D Brereton 0-1
CARLOW: D Jordan; A Casey, D Tobin, P Coughlan, G Lawlor, E Redmond, A Dunne; G Coady, K McDonald; J Murphy, S Brennan, O Roberts, C Treacy, C Nolan, S Whelan. Subs: A Amond for Brennan; 45; P Connors for Roberts; 53; J Wall for Coughlan, 55; D Grennan for Murphy, 60.
KILDARE: J Keane; C Gormley, K Maher, D Brereton, D Greene, C Gordon, F Bass; S Lawlor, C Dervan; A Kelly, E O’Hehir, M Gainey, C Dowling, A Kelliher, J Sheridan. Sub: M Melia for Gainey, h/t; Odhran Loughran for Dowling, 46; R Guilfoyle for Gormley, 55; E Nolan for Greene, 55.
Referee: G Quilty (Kilkenny).
Westmeath 1-20 Laois 0-21 (AET)
Westmeath came back from the dead to win a thrilling encounter in Mullingar.
Laois looked the livelier team in a poor first half and were well worth their five-point lead at the break (0-9 to 0-4).
Four converted frees from Killian Doyle between the 33rd and 37th minutes reduced the deficit to the bare minimum, but Laois responded well and they looked certain to win when six points ahead with just over five minutes left.
However, Ciaran Doyle’s injury-time goal and a last-gasp point from influential sub Darragh Clinton earned Westmeath a dramatic draw (1-13 to 0-16).
Two fine points from Killian Doyle early in extra-time put Westmeath into a lead they never looked likely to relinquish.
WESTMEATH: S Maher; S Quinn, C Shaw, N McKenna; J Rabbitte, D Giles, D Egerton; S Clavin (0-1), M Daly (0-1); A Loughlin, K Doyle (0-10, six frees), J Galvin; J Goonery (0-2), P Lynam (0-1), C Doyle (1-3). Subs: D Clinton (0-2) for Loughlin (43), J Bermingham for Daly (43), R Gillen for Rabbitte (57), N Mitchell for Lynam (e/t, 16).
LAOIS: P Simms; D Hartnett, L Bergin, L Cleere; E Killeen, L O’Connell, R Mullaney; J Kelly, A Corby (0-3); S Downey (0-1), J Lennon (0-1), B Corby (0-3); M Kavanagh (0-10, six frees, one ‘65’), E Lyons, A Dunphy (0-3, two frees). Subs: M Dowling for Lyons (34), P McCane for Kavanagh (49), K Bergin for B Corby (49), B Corby for Lennon (e/t, 7), M Kavanagh for McCane (e/t, 12).
Referee: K Brady (Louth).