Kilkenny turn on the style in second half to crush Dublin
KILKENNY 1-25 DUBLIN 0-16
Kilkenny might have been out of sorts in the Allianz League semi-final against Clare in their last game but they were back to their imperious best in Portlaoise as they swept into the Leinster hurling final for the 18th time in 20 seasons with a comprehensive win over Dublin.
As the All-Ireland champions have shown so often in the past, they are at their most lethal early in the second-half and it again turned out to be the tie-breaking period.
They outscored Dublin by 1-8 to 0-0 in the opening 15 minutes of the half, stretching into a 12-point lead, which was always going to be more than enough to book a place in the provincial decider against Galway or Offaly on July 3.
The goal came in the 47th minute from Jonjo Farrell, decorating an outstanding performance, which yielded 1-5 from open play. TJ Reid scored 0-10 and with Michael Fennelly marking his return with a hugely energetic performance, Kilkenny were completely dominant.
Their defence grew in stature in the second-half too, with Cillian Buckley, Paul Murphy and Kieran Joyce in control of virtually every situation.
Dublin didn’t record their first score of the second-half until the 16th minute and while they battled as bravely as they could all the way to the finish, it was very much a lost cause.
Kilkenny led by 0-12 to 0-11 at half-time, having enjoyed a four-point advantage after 32 minutes. However, Dublin, who were without corner-forward, Mark Schutte, finished strongly, with Daire Plunkett, Eamonn Dillon and David Treacy (free) pointing in quick succession.
Treacy’s point took his first-half total to eight (seven frees), while TJ Reid countered with six (five frees and a ‘65’) for Kilkenny.
The opening seven points all came from frees before Michael Fennelly became the first to score from open play when he pointed in the 11th minute.
Kilkenny, who lined out without Jackie Tyrrell, were four points clear after 14 minutes but Dublin clawed their way back and were were only a point adrift 20 minutes. Kilkenny enjoyed a good spell after that but Dublin’s defiant finish them in a good position at the break.
However, Kilkenny’s quick start to the second-half broke Dublin’s resistance, leaving them with no chance of pulling off a surprise win.
Instead, they will head for the All-Ireland qualifiers early next month.
The attendance was 10,419.
Scorers: Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-10 (0-7f 0-1 ‘65’), J Farrell 1-5, M Fennelly, W Walsh, C Buckley 0-2 each, C Fennelly, P Walsh, L Ryan, C Fogarty.
Dublin: D Treacy 0-11 (0-10f), D O’Callaghan 0-2, D Plunkett, E Dillon, P Ryan 0-1 each.
Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy, J Holden, R Lennon; P Walsh, K Joyce, C Buckley; C Fogarty, L Ryan; W Walsh, M Fennelly, TJ Reid; JJ Farrell, C Fennelly, E Larkin.
Subs: L Blanchfield for Larkin (51), K Kelly for Ryan (57), D Cody for M Fennelly (65).
Dublin: C Dooley;E O’Donnell, C o’Callaghan, O Gough; S Barrett, L Rushe, C Crummey; D O’Connell, J McCaffrey; D Plunkett, N McMorrow, R O’Dwyer; E Dillon, D O’Callaghan, D Treacy.
Subs: P Ryan for O’Dwyer (ht), O O’Rorke for McMorrow (45), N Corcoran for Gough (49), S Treacy for Barrett (57), C Bennett for O’Callaghan (69).
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)