Leinster Hurling Final
Kilkenny 4-17 1-15 Dublin, 4pm Croke Park
It was a easy win for Kilkenny against a very average Dublin team this afternoon in Croke Park. The Dubs really got a lesson in clinical finishing from Henry Shefflin who had a man of the match performance.
70+2 Henry hits another free for the cats.
70min Paul Ryan gets a point form a free, three minutes injury time to be played.
67min Another point for Kilkenny.
66min Conal Keaney gets his first point of the day.
65min Henry Shefflin extends the lead to eleven.
64min Another goal chance for Dublin is spurned.
62min Paul Ryan looked to be in for a goal, but its well defended.
61min Shocking play by Conal Keaney.
60min Riche Hogan leaves Kilkenny ten ahead.
58min Michael Rice gets a really nice goal for Kilkenny.
56min Another free for Dublin. Paul Ryan gets a goal.
54min Free for Dublin, Paul Ryan hits it over.
52min Stunning save by Dublin keeper form Eoin Larkin.
50min Paul Ryan gets his seventh point of the day.
49min Riche Hogan hits a point for Kilkenny
47min Another point from Dublin.
46min Maurice O’Brien gets hits a nice point for Dublin.
45min King Henry makes it a 1-07 on the day.
44min Paul Ryan hits a free over for Dublin.
42min Great goal from Henry, thats game over.
41min King Henry hits Kilkenny’s first wide of the second half.
40min Yellow card for Michael Fennelly, Paul Ryan gets the dubs first point of the second half.
39min King Henry leaves the cats ten up.
38min Goal chance for Dublin is missed.
36min Second half underway.
Half time Amazingly Dublin have had 49% of the possession.
35+4 Brian Hogan leaves Kilkenny nine up at half time.
35+3 Oisin Gough is booked and King Henry leave the cats eight points up.
35+1 Poor play from Dublin defence, King Henry gets a point from play.
35min Wide from Alan McCrabbe hits a sideline cut wide.
34min Looked to be a goal for Dublin but its cleared off the line, Paul Ryan brings Dublin back to six.
31min Eoin Larkin makes 1-01 on the day for him.
29min Great free from Paul Ryan from inside his own half.
28min Poor wide from Paul Ryan.
27min Its getting very fired up, ill be amazed if we end with 30 players on the pitch.
24min Paul Ryan brings Dublin back to seven down form a free.
24min King Henry hits the score over the black spot.
23min Liam Rushe is booked for Dublin
22min Alan McCrabbe gets a point for Dublin.
21min Colin Fennelly gets the cats second goal.
20min Easy point for Michael Rice.
19min Conor McCormack for Dublin.
18min It already looks like Dublin need a goal.
17min Poor wide from Michael Fennelly.
16min Dublin second wide from Conal Keaney
15min Richie Power gives Dublin a five point lead.
14min Really poor wide from Conor McCormack for Dublin.
12min Nice point from Alan McCrabbe for Dublin.
11min Kilkenny get the first goal of the match from Eoin Larkin
10min Dublin get their first score from a free from Paul Ryan.
9min Henry hits Kilkennys third wide in a row.
8min TJ Reid hits the cats second wide.
7min Eoin Larkin hits Kilkenny’s first wide.
6min Henry Shefflin makes it three points to no score.
4min Nice point from play by Michael Rice for the cats.
4min Henry Shefflin gets the first score of the game from a free.
2min First wide for Dublin who have the wind in the first half.
0min National Anthem being played, we will be starting in about three min.
Kilkenny: David Herity; Noel Hickey, JJ Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell; Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan (capt), Paul Murphy; Michael Fennelly, Michael Rice; TJ Reid, Richie Power, Eoin Larkin; Colin Fennelly, Henry Shefflin, Richie Hogan.
Subs: PJ Ryan, Michael Kavanagh, John Dalton, Paddy Hogan, James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick, Eddie Brennan, Conor Fogarty, Kieran Joyce, Richie Doyle, John Mulhall, Mathew Ruth
Dublin: Gary Maguire; Niall Corcoran, Peter Kelly, Oisin Gough; John McCaffrey (capt), Joey Boland, Shane Durkin; Liam Rushe, Alan McCrabbe; Simon Lambert, Conal Keaney, Conor McCormack; David O’Callaghan, Paul Ryan, Peadar Carton.
Subs: Alan Nolan, Michael Carton, David Curtin, Cian McBride, Maurice O’Brien, Declan O’Dwyer, Daire Plunkett, Liam Ryan, Shane Ryan, Paul Schutte.
Dublin come face to face with the hurling might of Kilkenny this Sunday afternoon with the Leinster SHC championship on the line at Croke Park throw in 4.00pm. For Dublin it is their chance to show that their defeat of Kilkenny in the league was no fluke while the cats will want to show the hurling world that their is life and fight left in this Kilkenny team.
That defeat of Kilkenny in Croke Park earlier on in the campaign would have filled the Dublin hurlers and their supporters with the belief and confidence that they can finally challenge the likes of Kilkenny on a regular basis.
Anthony Daly has brought about huge change in Dublin hurling over the past number of years and a Leinster title, after the heartbreak of 2009, would be richly deserved for what he has given hurling in the capital.
The one worry for Daly coming into Sunday is that Dublin will be without several of their key players while Kilkenny welcome back Henry Shefflin, Tommy Walsh, Richie Power, Michael Fennelly and goalkeeper PJ Ryan who were all missing from that league defeat.
Yet Dublin will arguably have the greater momentum on Sunday. Wins over Offaly and Galway in the previous rounds giving them every chance of securing their first Leinster title since 1961. Daly knows however that league form and will count for little come 4.00pm on Sunday.
“We have parked the league,” Daly said. “Kilkenny seemed to use it to find a few lads, like we did last year, and take whatever comes from it but they finished top of the group! We played better on the day in the league final and we were really ready for it.
“We’ve gone from strength to strength and a belief has surged through the team all year.
“The way other lads have stepped up to the plate has been fantastic. The likes of Paul Ryan, Darragh Plunkett and Conor McCormack coming in off club hurling.
“But all that counts is what happens for that hour and a half after four o’clock on Sunday.”
For Kilkenny Sunday will be about making a statement and re-establishing themselves at the team to beat in the All Ireland Hurling Championship this season. Having lost out on their “drive for five” to Tipperary in the All Ireland final last September fans and pundits alike wondered aloud if the best days of this Kilkenny side were over.
Brian Cody’s men will be keen to silence any doubters on Sunday. Defeat doesn’t sit well with any Kilkenny side and the fear from a Dublin perspective is that Kilkenny will be so focused on beating Dublin that it could be too much for Anthony Daly’s men.
The return of Shefflin is a massive boost for Kilkenny. So much has already been said about the influence he has on the side and they are a weaker team without his presence. Having him in the side will lift the rest of the Kilkenny panel who will be eager to right what happened in the league.
An eleven point win against Wexford at the semi-final stage showed that Kilkenny haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. The real acid test will come this Sunday. How they respond will define this and the coming seasons.
In many ways Dublin have to win on Sunday. They have to win to have something tangible to show that they have made progression over the last few years. Beating Kilkenny in the league is fine but beating them in a final is another, greater challenge.
While Dublin have to win Kilkenny need to win. Everything that Kilkenny stands for is winning hurling championships. That defeat to Tipp last September will have cut deep and left scars. On Sunday Kilkenny can heal some of the scars left by that defeat by claiming their 68th Leinster title on the path to redemption later in the summer.
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