Counsel depart from race for Leinster title
A 23RD-MINUTE Luke Scanlon goal proved the turning point as it inspired Kilkenny C.B.S. to an eventual eight-point victory over Good Counsel (New Ross) in this Leinster Colleges Senior hurling 'A' championship semi-final at Thomastown on Saturday last.
Very little had separated the sides up to this point as both were striving for scores. But Scanlon's first-time stroke after a high free had broken on the 14-metre line handed the initiative to the Kilkenny side which they refused to relinquish for the remainder of the game.
A feature of the teams was the fact that 25 of the starting 30 came from Kilkenny, with just four from Wexford and one player from Carlow. With the C.B.S. side now going on to meet St. Kieran's in the final, it shows the strength of Minor hurling on Noreside.
After Kevin Kenny had pointed Kilkenny C.B.S. in front inside the opening minute, Good Counsel showed a positive response with points from James Doyle and a John Walsh free. The sides were still deadlocked (0-3 each) after eleven minutes before Kilkenny C.B.S. through the accuracy of free-taker Paddy Cahill edged into a 0-6 to 0-4 lead.
The game's only goal arrived in the 23rd minute. Robbie Fitzpatrick drove a huge free to the 14-metre line and Luke Scanlon responded quickest to fire first-time to the net, leaving his side leading by 1-6 to 0-4. Good Counsel finished the half strongly with points from a John Walsh free and a fine individual effort from wing-back Paudie Barden, leaving the eventual winners ahead by 1-6 to 0-6 at the interval.
Good Counsel raised the tempo of their game on the resumption but inaccuracy from both frees and play saw four scoreable chances go abegging before John Walsh with a pointed free after 36 minutes reduced the deficit to two points (1-6 to 0-7).
But that was as good as it got for the Barrowsiders as Kilkenny C.B.S. went on to take the initiative for the closing 20 minutes as they added eight points to their opponents' two, and it was only two excellent saves from 'keeper Jack Dunne that denied them further goals.
Eleven minutes from the end, Ciarán Ryan was dismissed for a second yellow card offence and with it went any chance of a revival as the Kilkenny C.B.S. dominance increased during the closing stages.
Good Counsel: Jack Dunne (Taghmon-Camross); Pádraig Doyle (Rathnure), Donncha O'Connor (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Dylan Kehoe (Rower-Inistioge); Paudie Barden (Adamstown, 0-1), Ciarán Ryan (Rower-Inistioge), Darragh Joyce (Rower-Inistioge); Colm Doherty (Glenmore), James Doyle (St. Mullins, 0-1); Michael Redmond (Rathnure, 0-1 free), Liam Hennessy (Rower-Inistioge), Cathal Bolger (Rower-Inistioge); Cian O'Donoghue (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Michael Cody (Rower-Inistioge, 0-1), John Walsh (Mullinavat, 0-5, 4 frees). Subs. - Pierce Doyle (Taghmon-Camross) for O'Donoghue, Jack Murphy (Taghmon-Camross) for Walsh.
Kilkenny C.B.S.: Daragh Holohan; Cathal McGrath, Evan Cody, Dylan Scott; Corey Cahill, Robbie Fitzpatrick (0-2), Paddy Deegan; J.P. Treacy (0-2, 1 '65, 1 free), Niall Mullins (0-1); Danny Bolger, Kevin Kenny (0-3), Paul Delahunty; Luke Scanlon (1-1), Shane Cuddihy, Paddy Cahill (0-4 frees). Subs. - Gary Kelly (0-1) for Bolger, Matty McWey for Delahunty, Robbie Buckley for Deegan.
Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Laois).