Village and Dicksboro to clash in cats final
The Kilkenny SHC final in Nowlan Park in two weeks time will be an all city affair between Dicksboro and great rivals James Stephens.
Both pulled off minor surprises in the semi-finals at Nowlan Park yesterday when Dicksboro beat defending champions O'Loughlin Gaels by 1-14 to 0-14 while James Stephens were convincing 3-16 to 1-12 winners over Ballyhale Shamrocks.
A fourth minute goal from Martin Gaffney put Dicksboro 1-1 to 0-2 in front against O'Loughlins and they led all the way home from there. At half-time, they were 1-9 to 0-8 in front after the champions had shot seven wides.
Former Kilkenny star Martin Comerford pulled back a point for O'Loughlins immediately after the break and then 'Boro goalie Darragh Holohan brought off a superb body block from Sean Bolger.
Former Dublin panelist Shane Stapleton put two scores together for Dicksboro entering the closing quarter put push them 1-12 to 0-10 clear, and while they lived dangerously at times afterwards they just about did enough to get back into their first final since 2012.
James Stephens, known locally as The Village, simply ripped Shamrocks apart during the second half, out-scoring them by a massive 3-11 to 0-4.
Shamrocks enjoyed a great start when Colin Fennelly goaled after 40 seconds to help them into an interval lead of 1-8 to 0-5. Eoin Larkin sparked the Stephens' revival with a goal in the 35th minute, and when Tadhg Dwyer hit a brace within a three-minute spell to push them 3-12 to 1-9 ahead, they were heading into their first final since 2011.