U21 Hurling Championship Round-Up: Super Sub Dwyer sends Wexford into provincial decider
Wexford 3-15 Dublin 3-12
A brace of second-half goals from substitute Mikie Dwyer helped Wexford to account for Dublin in their Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U-21 Hurling Championship quarter-final at Parnell Park last night.
The Dubs were the more fluid side in the opening half despite the concession of early points to Joe O’Connor and Aaron Maddock and they soon restored parity through Colin Currie and Donal Burke.
With Paddy Smyth and Conor Burke highly influential in the home defence, Dublin continued to impress and were rewarded through a Currie goal in the 14th minute.
However, a trio of frees from Seamus Casey offered the visitors renewed hope while Cian O’Sullivan’s late point pushed Dublin 1-8 to 0-8 clear by the interval.
A brilliant goal from O’Connor in the opening minute of the second half brought Wexford right back into contention and they gained further momentum as Dwyer netted at the end of the third quarter.
A second Currie goal offered renewed hope to Dublin in the 55th minute but Dwyer’s second goal effectively settled the issue in injury-time as Dublin scored a late consolation goal through substitute Eoghan Dunne.
Niland class helps Galway survive Cats rally
Galway 3-13 Kilkenny 1-17
Galway are through to meet Wexford in the Leinster U-21 hurling final as Evan Niland inspired them to a two-point win over a Kilkenny side who came with a late rally in Tullamore.
Points from James Bergin and Colum Prendiville had put Kilkenny 0-3 to 0-2 in front on 17 minutes but a minute later, Galway struck for goal with Niland firing them in front.
Adrian Mullen was starting to show well for the Kilkenny men but Galway were able to keep their noses in front with Niland once again to the fore as they went in leading 1-8 to 0-9 at the break.
Galway landed a massive score five minutes into the second half when Sean Bleahene fired home for their second goal to make it 2-9 to 0-9.
Kilkenny were finding it hard to tune in their radar as Galway continued to pull clear when Cianan Fahy drove home a rasper for their third goal on 47 minutes to leave it 3-12 to 0-12.
Despite being nine points down, Kilkenny roared back and inspired by Richie Leahy, who landed three points, they had it back to a five point game with just minutes to go.
An injury-time goal from Donnelly left Galway hanging on at the end by two points despite being nine up with 13 minutes to play.
Strong finish earns victory for Rebels
Cork 0-23 Waterford 1-17
Cork made it into the Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21HC final for the second year in a row, but it wasn’t easy to get past a dogged Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last night.
A greater representation of senior players had made the Rebels the bookmakers’ fancy, but it wasn’t until Mark Coleman’s 51st-minute point made it 0-17 to 1-13 that the home side led this encounter before pulling away in the closing stages.
Before an attendance of 3,260, Waterford were impressive in the first half, opting to play with the wind and carrying the game to their hosts, with a from John Paul Lucey putting them 1-2 to 0-2 in front before further points from Andrew Casey and Neil Montgomery gave them a cushion.
Cork did threaten goals – Billy Nolan denied Shane Kingston and then he and corner-back Darragh Lynch combined to repel Michael O’Halloran’s effort – but half-time still saw Waterford ahead by 1-8 to 0-8.
Lucey and Darragh Lyons re-established the five-point lead but Cork had upped their game considerably, led by Darragh Fitzgibbon and Billy Hennessy. They finally hit the front through Coleman, with Dalton, Fitzgibbon, Jack O’Connor and sub Conor Cahalane on target as they saw out the game. The win guarantees Cork two more games under the new system which sees the Munster and Leinster champions play the runners-up from the other province. They now await Tipperary or Limerick – who play tonight – in the final on July 4, also at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.