Bolger brace sets Kilkenny CBS on road to fine recovery
Kilkenny CBS 3-9 Pres Athenry 0-15
Sean Bolger bagged a brace at Abbotstown as Kilkenny CBS booked their place in the semi-final of the All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Senior 'A' Hurling Championship.
The dead-ball prowess of full-forward Evan Niland had helped Athenry to a three-point lead at the midway point, but a strong second-half showing secured Kilkenny's progression.
The impressive Niland (an All-Ireland minor winner with Galway in 2015) had a brace of early points cancelled out by Niall Brassil (free) and Conor Heary, before corner-forward Bolger registered a 17th-minute goal.
However, five points without reply (including four from full-forward Niland) moved Athenry into the ascendancy towards the latter stages of the opening period.
Kilkenny finally responded through Brassil, but stoppage-time scores by Barry Callanan and Niland gave Presentation College a 0-9 to 1-3 interval advantage.
That lead was immediately wiped out by a stunning Bolger three-pointer directly after the restart, and this was supplemented by points from Heary (two), Brassil and Bolger.
A third goal courtesy of wing-forward Sean Boyd on 43 minutes looked set to place the outcome beyond doubt, only for a determined Athenry to force their way back into the reckoning.
Unanswered scores by Oisin Connolly, Niland (four) and Eoin Caulfield cut their deficit to a minimum, but outstanding long-range points from Bolger and Brassil ultimately sealed a hard-earned win for Kilkenny CBS, who will now face Our Lady's, Templemore in the last-four.
Scorers - Kilkenny CBS: S Bolger 2-2, N Brassil 0-4 (2fs), S Boyd 1-0, C Heary 0-3. Presentation College, Athenry: E Niland 0-11 (10fs), P Foley, E Caulfield, B Callanan, O Connolly 0-1 each.
KILKENNY CBS - B Maher; J Molloy, M Butler, J Manogue; P Collins, C Flynn, L Stynes; N Brassil, R Buckley; S Boyd, S Bolger, C Heary; C Drennan, D Dunne, J Sheehan. Subs: C Timmons for Manogue, S Staunton for Buckley (both h-t), T Wallace for Brennan (50).
PRESENTATION COLLEGE, ATHENRY - M Fahy; A Martyn, C Lee, E Hickey; H Lane, C Walsh, W Corcoran; D Loftus, A Clarke; L Forde, P Foley, E Caulfield; O Connolly, E Niland, B Callanan. Subs: M Kennedy for Lane (33), K Conneely for Corcoran, S Quirke for Loftus (both 45), E O'Donnell for Clarke (58), A Brett for Forde (62).
REF - B Gavin (Offaly).