This was John Power’s day as a Kilkenny ‘development team’ boosted by a few regulars overcame a battling Westmeath side in their Walsh Cup semi-final on Sunday.
Power’s four points in the final six minutes plus another, from Ger Aylward were enough to see Kilkenny home despite being reduced to 14 men after 41 minutes due to the sending off of Eamon Walsh as a result of two yellows.
Power’s earlier goal some 30 seconds after the restart helped the Cats to a 1-15 to 0-7 lead but that aside Westmeath can be proud of their battling performance which saw them reduce the deficit to two points at one stage thanks mainly to frees from Brendan Murtagh plus other points from Cormac Boyle,Andrew Mitchell and Dan Carty.
Kilkenny development Manager, Richie Mulrooney, had good reason to be happy with his charges particularly in the way they started the game – and again at the end. They were simply much too strong for Westmeath especially in the opening 20 minutes or so.
No doubt at all though but Walsh’s sending off had a big effect on proceedings thereafter as the Westmeath men gradually fought their way back into the game. When the need was greatest though the Cats responded to the challenge, none more so than John Power.
Next up, the Cats meet Galway in next Sunday’s final. A great match in store for Walsh Cup followers and Kilkenny will need to show further improvement if they are to win this one.
Kilkenny marksmen : J Power 1-8 (6fs), M Bergin 0-4, G Aylward 0-3, P O’Flynn, C Buckley, M Aylward 0-2 each, L Harney, P Walsh 0-1 each.
Westmeath scorers : B Murtagh 1-10 (1-8fs), A Mitchell 0-3 (0-1f), D Fennell, C Boyle, D Carty 0-1 each.