Walsh the catalyst for glory
One of the simplest pieces of action in the entire match turned out to be the winning one, when young Padraig Walsh -- brother of Hurler of the Year, Tommy -- scored the 44th-minute goal that put St Kieran's College on the road to their first title at this level in five years at Nowlan Park yesterday.
The CBS had dominated the early stages of the second half and they were worth more than the 1-9 to 1-6 lead they held in the 41st minute. Kieran's needed a score, and badly. They got one, a point from driving midfielder James Gannon, that lifted their spirits. And within seconds they were in front.
Michael Brennan went on a daring run up the left wing and his deep cross placed the ball on the edge of the CBS square. Young Walsh raced in and touched the ball into the net and Kieran's were back in front (2-7 to 1-9).
Suddenly the winners could do no wrong. Within minutes Gannon, Paul Buggy and Thomas O'Hanrahan all put over points as they went on to out-score the opposition by 0-7 to 0-1 during the closing quarter to run out comfortable winners.
Kieran's looked the better team early on, but it took a bit of quick thinking by free-taker John Power to get them the gains on the scoreboard. After Buggy had opened their account with a point, Power turned a harmless 20-metre free into a goal-scoring chance. Power tapped a short free to Buggy, who was centrally positioned, to lash the ball into the net after 10 minutes to make it 1-1 to 0-1.
For a while the CBS were all over the place, but when they put four scores together through a flying Cathal Kenny (0-2) and free-taker Stephen Farrell (0-2) they got right back into the game. Then in injury-time at the end of the half, they enjoyed a bit of luck when Peter Vickery bagged a goal to leave them 1-7 to 1-5 clear at the rest.
The CBS impressed after the break and they soon went 1-9 to 1-6 clear, but Gannon's point put the brakes on the CBS charge and then Walsh's goal proved the sucker punch.
Scorers -- St Kieran's College: P Buggy 1-3, P Walsh 1-2, T O'Hanrahan, J Gannon, C Buckley, J Power (0-1f) 0-2 each, P Hogan 0-1. Kilkenny CBS: P Vickery 1-0, Cathal Kenny, S Farrell (0-1f) 0-3 each, B Kennedy 0-2 (0-1f), J Doyle (0-1 '65'), M Holohan 0-1 each.
St Kieran's College -- M Donnelly; C O'Neill, R Lennon, S Phelan; A Dowd, W Phelan, D Brennan; J Gannon, C O'Shea; J Power, C Buckley, P Walsh; P Buggy, M Brennan, T O'Hanrahan. Sub: P Hogan for C O'Shea.
Kilkenny CBS -- E Burke; J Lynch, A Forristal, P Moore; O McGrath, R Doyle, C Roche; O Walsh, M Holohan; Cathal Kenny, Conor Kenny, S Glynn; P Vickery, S Farrell, B Kennedy.
REF -- P Moran (Laois).