Byrne brace seals deal as CBS retain provincial crown
Kilkenny CBS 2-13 St Kieran's College 0-13
Beaten All-Ireland finalists of the last two years, Kilkenny CBS got one over their neighbours and great rivals St Kieran's College to retain their provincial title at Nowlan Park.
CBS tore into the opposition from the start, and two goals from full-forward Jamie Byrne during the opening half proved vital in the end.
The high, almost fanatical, work-rate of the winners from the off pressurised Kieran's into making mistakes and conceding scores.
JP Treacy won some powerful ball for CBS during the first half and with free-taker Andrew Gaffney punishing the opposition at every turn, the losers were in trouble almost from the off.
The double goal blast from Byrne, the second in the 29th minute when he booted the ball home from the edge of the square, carried CBS into a commanding interval lead of 2-8 to 0-5.
St Kieran's, who lost centre-forward Sean Morrissey to illness before the start, looked a bit flat.
St Kieran's opened strongly in the second half, and backed by the breeze, it looked like they might get back into the match. They opened with a quick brace of points from Robbie Donnelly to lift their spirits.
However, they conceded the next point to Jamie Byrne before Donnelly posted a reply. CBS didn't flinch.
With Paddy Deegan, Treacy and Niall Mullins driving them on, they maintained their position with a well-converted free from Gaffney.
They improved their position when Treacy added a score in the 40th minute to leave it 2-11 to 0-8.
Kieran's hit back with points from Liam Blanchfield, James Maher and Donnelly to get into their best position of the half when the deficit was down to five points (2-11 to 0-12).
CBS simply kept plugging away. A foul on Robbie Buckley gifted Gaffney another point from a free in the 51st minute, and although Kieran's won the closing exchanges two points to one, it was not enough to save the day.
The winners go through to the All-Ireland semi-finals, while St Kieran's have a quarter-final engagement next weekend.
SCORERS - Kilkenny CBS: J Byrne 2-1, A Gaffney 0-7 (3fs, 2 '65s'), JP Treacy 0-2, L Scanlon, R Buckley, R Murphy 0-1 each. St Kieran's College: R Donnelly 0-7 (4fs, 1 '65'), B Cody 0-3, J Maher, L Blanchfield, B Ryan 0-1 each.
KILKENNY CBS – D Holohan; K Galvin, C McGrath, C Doheny; G Bryan, E Cody, P Deegan; N Mullins, JP Treacy; H Lawlor, L Scanlon, A Gaffney; R Buckley, J Byrne, R Murphy. Subs: D Bolger for Cody (52), M McWey for Murphy (57).
ST KIERAN'S COLLEGE – J Barcoe; T Walsh, E Walsh, J. Cleere; D Mullen, J Maher, J Keoghan; K Blanchfield, J Byrne; L Blanchfield, D O'Connor, N Walsh; R Donnelly, B Ryan, B Cody. Subs: M Cody for Keoghan (h-t), J Haines for N Walsh (h-t), P White for E Walsh (43), R Lahart for Ryan (43), T O'Dwyer for O'Connor (47).
REF – J McGrath (Westmeath)