Sharman tucks away winner

 

Avidly supported Kilkenny College, the all-Ireland Schools champions, retained the Leinster Senior Cup at Grange Road yesterday, but they needed extra time to shake off Sandford Park's challenge in an absorbing final.

Gary Sharman tucked away the only goal following a short corner with five minutes to spare as Kilkenny piled on the pressure. Generally, they attacked with greater gusto, particularly through midfield impetus from Derek O'Gorman and Hugh Kelly.

Indeed, Kelly might well have decided the issue during the second half but he was foiled by several sturdy saves by Murrough Connellan, while Gavin Bourke also narrowly failed to score as Stephen Findlater inspired Sandford's rearguard action.

While Sandford had attacked promisingly at the start, notably through Gary Ryan, little was yielded by the Kilkenny defence, though Stephen Thompson and his cohorts had also to withstand several menacing surges later on by Maurice Elliott and Amir Alipour.

Kilkenny College: S Ellis; P Pearson, G Greene, S Thompson, G Walshe; E Bryan, D O'Gorman (capt), H Kelly; G Sharman, G Bourke, W O'Donnell. Sub: J Lazenby.

Sandford Park: M Connellan; P Doak, S Findlater (capt), H Cashell, P Harvey; G Ryan, R Gormley, P Good; E Grant, A Alipour, S BlakeKnox. Sub: M Elliott.

Umpires: J Girdham, A Groves