Cats shocked as Stapleton shines
Leinster U-21 HC Semi-final
Dublin showed great appetite for battle and plenty of skill as well, when they turned in a great performance to depose champions Kilkenny at Nowlan Park last night.
The Dubs always looked the better team, although their shooting in the opening half was poor. However, after the turn they hit the home side for four quick points and after that they never looked like being caught.
The Dubs now have a home game in the final against Wexford on July 14.
After taking a four-point lead into the break, the winners doubled that with quick additions from top scorer Shane Stapleton, David Quinn, Martin Quilty and Daire Plunkett, after a terrific bit of individual play by Liam Rushe to leave it at 0-14 to 0-6.
Kilkenny didn't score during the opening 15 minutes of the second half. By that stage they were 0-7 to 0-15 behind and the title they held for the last two seasons was slipping from their grasp.
Dublin were by far the more enterprising team during the opening half when playing with the breeze -- and but for poor finishing they could have been well clear at half-way.
They were sharper attacking the ball and they picked up a lot of breaking ball thanks to their extremely busy approach.
After shooting eight wides, Dublin held a lead of 0-10 to 0-6 at the break, with ace free-taker Stapleton helping himself to four scores.
Dublin opened the scoring with a pointed free from Stapleton in the first minute and they led all the way from there.
The home side looked like getting back into the game when Mark Bergin shot a lovely point just on the rest after Eoin Murphy stole the ball from a defender.
However, Dublin had the last say of the half, an injury-time point from David Quinn that went some way towards reflecting their overall superiority.
Scorers -- Dublin: S Stapleton 0-7 (0-5f, 0- 1 '65'), D Quinn, N McMorrow 0-2 each; M Quilty, C Clinton, P Buckeridge, D Plunkett, L Rushe, D Teacy, B O'Rourke 0-1 each. Kilkenny: M Bergin 0-7, (0-7f); E Murphy 0-2, (0-1f), P Murphy 0-2, A, Stapleton 0-1.
Dublin -- F McGarry; R Walsh, D Kelly, O Gough; P Kelly, R O'Carroll, M Quilty; C Clinton, P Buckeridge; S Stapleton, L Rushe, D Plunkett; D Treacy, D Quinn, N McMorrow. Subs: B O'Rourke for Treacy (20); C Brennan for McMorrow (47); A McEnerney for Quinn (58); D Whelan for Buckeridge (59).
Kilkenny -- C McGrath; A Cuddihy, C Fogarty, R Doyle; PJ Rowe, K Mooney, D Langton; P Murphy, C Fennelly; M Bergin, JJ Dunphy, L Ryan; E Murphy, W Walsh, J Nolan. Subs: M Walsh for Langton (36); M Maloney for Ryan (37); T Breen for Dunphy (43); A Stapleton for Nolan (43); G Brennan for Bergin (55th).
Ref -- F Smith (Meath).