Hickey brace key in late drama
ALL the drama in this encounter was packed into the final minutes at Dr Cullen Park yesterday as a Kildavin-Clonegal goal on 60 minutes reduced the Old Leighlin lead to a single point.
Old Leighlin led 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time and when they went 0-11 to 0-4 in front after 40 minutes they looked home and hosed.
But the side from the Wexford border fought back with great spirit, with wing-back Enda Nolan hitting two points from play followed by another from his brother Mark, also playing at wing-back. Corner-back Paul Kelly also chipped in with his second point of the game.
When Darly Roberts crashed home a Kildavin-Clonegal goal in the 60th minute prospects of a draw looked high. But the experience of Old Leighlin came to surface and a brace of points from outstanding midfielder Patrick Hickey and another from defender Sean Daly sealed a final place for the side from the Kilkenny border area.
Kildavin-Clonegal were hampered by the unavailability through suspension of county full-forward Daniel St Ledger.
St Ledger was red-carded on advice of an umpire while playing for UCD in the recent Dublin SFC quarter-final defeat to St Brigid's -- Brigid's full-back Martin Cahill also received a straight red card in that game.
This result means that the final will be a repeat of last year when Rathvilly defeated Old Leighlin.
Rathvilly beat Mount Leinster Rangers 0-11 to 0-5 in Saturday's semi-final at Dr Cullen Park.
Scorers -- Old Leighlin: P Hickey (0-1 '45'), S Kinsella 0-2f) 0-4 each, C Coughlan 0-3 (0-3f), S Daly 0-2, H Gahan, D Bambrick 0-1 each. Kildavin-Clonegal: D Roberts 1-0, P Kelly, N Conway (0-2f), E Nolan 0-2 each, J Roberts, M Nolan, R Sinnott 0-1 each.
Ref -- P Dwyer (Palatine).