Wednesday 21 August 2019

O'Connell on form as Cork silence DJ's young cats

Cork 1-16 Kilkenny 0-13

Cork’s Ryan Walsh after yesterday’s win. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork’s Ryan Walsh after yesterday’s win. Photo: Sportsfile

Cork haven't won an underage hurling All-Ireland since 2001, but they will face either Tipperary or Wexford in this year's Bord Gáis Energy under 20 hurling final after a masterclass from Tommy O'Connell.

O'Connell's first-half goal put Cork ahead at the break, and despite Eoin Cody's frees briefly giving DJ Carey's Kilkenny the lead, seven second-half points from the Midleton man hauled Cork over the line.

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Kilkenny's Stephen Donnelly of wins possesion ahead of Cork's Seán O'Leary Hayes and Ryan Walsh. Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny's Stephen Donnelly of wins possesion ahead of Cork's Seán O'Leary Hayes and Ryan Walsh. Photo: Sportsfile

Kilkenny had a strong breeze behind them in the opening period, but it was the Munster runners-up that got off to the brighter start.

Kilkenny had their chances though and three early wides didn't help their tally, while at the other end frees from O'Connell and Brian Turnbull were followed by a Shane O'Regan point.

Kilkenny must have been disappointed with their sluggish start, but Cody finally got them up and running after 13 minutes, and from that point they matched Cork all the way. Cody's score was the first of three in a row as they closed the gap to a point, but crucially O'Connell's 17th minute shot only crept over the line after Mason's efforts to save.

With Adrian Mullen finally working his way into the game Kilkenny finished the first-half on a high with five of the last seven points. David Blanchfield was instrumental in a couple of those scores with powerful running from defence, while some tight defence from Carey's side mean the deficit was down to one at the break, 1-6 to 0-8.

Kilkenny's Eoin Cody of Kilkenny pulls ahead of Cork's Conor O'Callaghan. Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny's Eoin Cody of Kilkenny pulls ahead of Cork's Conor O'Callaghan. Photo: Sportsfile

After the restart it was Cork's turn to struggle with their shooting and the first two points of the half went Kilkenny's way, with Cody's free after 33 minutes giving them their first lead of the game.

But in O'Connell Cork had the game's outstanding performer. He hit two in a row before Cody replied, but another two on the bounce from O'Connell put Cork ahead before Ryan Walsh and O'Connell finished the job.

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Scorers - Cork: T O'Connell 1-10 (6f, 2 '65), B Turnbull (2f), R Walsh 0-2 each, S O'Regan, S Kennefick 0-1 each. Kilkenny: E Cody 0-6 (5f), N Brassil 0-4 (2f), E Shefflin, A Brennan, C Heary 0-1 each.

Cork: G Collins; C O'Callaghan, J Keating (c), E Roche; S O'Leary Hayes, G Millerick, R Downey; R Walsh, D Connery; T O'Connell, B Roche, S Twomey; B Turnbull, S O'Regan, P Power. Subs: S Kennefick for Connery (42), E Sheehan for Connery (45), B Murphy for O'Regan (60), C Hanifin for Twomey (63), J Copps for O'Callaghan (65).

Kilkenny: D Mason; J Brennan, C Flynn, M Butler; D Blanchfield, M Carey, C Heary; C Murphy, E Shefflin (c); N Brassil, A Brennan, A Mullen; S Ryan, E O'Shea, E Cody. Subs: S Donnelly for Brennan (h-t), C Brennan for Ryan (41), J Molloy for Ryan (45),

Referee: J Murphy (Limerick)

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