Sport Hurling

Monday 23 January 2017

Clifford goal ends hopes of Portumna revival

Kilkenny CBS 3-15

Portumna CS 1-8

Published 19/03/2012 | 05:00

KILKENNY CBS scored a flattering 13-point victory over Portumna Community School at the Ragg to set up a Croke Cup final showdown with Nenagh CBS.

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Beaten Leinster finalists this year, Kilkenny have responded well to their narrow provincial loss against neighbours and close rivals St Kieran's and now find themselves just 60 minutes away from a second All-Ireland success.

Kilkenny have won the Croke Cup just once before, in 1981, and were runners-up in 2007, 1983 and 1970.

But they will start as favourites against Nenagh on Saturday, March 31, on the back of an ultimately convincing win against a Portumna side that finished with 14 players after corner-back Sean Neylon was dismissed for a second bookable offence in stoppage-time.

Mentor Seamus Dwyer reflected: "They've done it themselves. There's no bother getting up for an All-Ireland quarter-final and semi-final. It wasn't too hard at all."

Kilkenny led by 1-7 to 1-2 at half-time and were never unduly troubled in ideal conditions.

But they needed a fortuitous Mason Clifford goal with five minutes remaining to kill off a Portumna revival that had cut a nine-point deficit in the second half back to five.

Scorers -- Kilkenny CBS: C Doyle 0-9 (7f), K Kenny 2-1, M Clifford 1-1, D Sheehan, P Campion, D Bolger, P Delahunty 0-1 each. Portumna CS: P Killeen 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), J Starr, R O'Meara (1f) 0-2 each, D Daly 0-1.

KILKENNY CBS -- D Holohan; S Cassin, E Cody, C McGrath; N Mullins, O McGrath, R Fitzpatrick; D Sheehan, J Langton; K Kenny, M Clifford, E Fennelly; S Cuddihy, C Doyle, P Campion.

Subs: D Bolger for Cuddihy (42), P Delahunty for Campion (44), R Buckley for Fennelly (53), L Scanlon for Clifford (57), JP Treacy for Sheehan (58).

PORTUMNA CS -- M Fahy; S Neylon, P Muldoon, S Tuohy; C Kelly, P Killeen, O Royston; J Starr, C Barry; D Daly, O Treacy, C Burke; N Maloney, A Hogan, R O'Meara. Subs: J Downey for Hogan (25), L Fahy for Maloney (38).

Ref -- F Horgan (Tipperary).

Irish Independent

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