A STRONG start to the second half helped 14-man Thomastown (Kilkenny) book their place in the final.
Thomastown side were quick off the mark after the break, hitting Kildorrery (Cork) for a swift 1-3 that saw them take a decisive lead at a blustery Cashel.
The sides were all square at half-time (2-5 to 1-8). Kildorrery levelled with a 28th-minute goal from Andrew O'Brien.
That score was half of a double-whammy Thomastown suffered, as their goalkeeper Dylan Walsh was red-carded for an off-the-ball incident with forward Eamonn O'Connor.
Despite the disadvantage, Thomastown charged on. Three points from Michael Donnelly pushed them ahead and when Thomas O'Hanrahan swept home a goal in the 37th minute (3-8 to 1-8) they were on their way.
SCORERS – Thomastown: M Donnelly 0-9 (5f, 1 '65'), J Farrell 1-4, S Waugh, T O'Hanrahan 1-0 each, D Waugh 0-1. Kildorrery: P O'Brien 0-7 (6f); A O'Brien 1-1; D Kelly 0-2; W Fouhy, J McCarthy, C O Baoill 0-1 each.
Thomastown – Dylan Walsh; S Mahony, S Lanigan, B Murphy; B Whelan, P O'Hanrahan, R O'Hara; Dessie Walsh, D Lanigan; D Burke, M Donnelly, S Waugh; T O'Hanrahan, M Mahony, J Farrell. Subs: D McGarry for Mahony (29), D Waugh for D Burke (44), A Burke for T O'Hanrahan (58).
Kildorrery – J McEniry; N Kelly, S Fitzgerald, C O Baoill; J Howard, M Walsh, M Lillis; J McCarthy, R McEniry; E O'Connor, P O'Brien, W Fouhy; D Kelly, A O'Brien, F Stapleton. Subs: L Kelly for Howard (48), S Kelly for McCarthy (52), J Walsh for O Baoil ( 60).
Ref – C Browne (Galway).