By Michael Moynihan, Pairc Ui Rinn.
Cork 2-22 Kilkenny 2-23
Cork lined out in their 1916 jerseys in Pairc Ui Rinn but Kilkenny came away with the win courtesy of a late, late point from substitute John Power after an entertaining NHL 1A clash.
Cork defended the city end goal in the first half and were far brighter starting than in previous games, dominating the early proceedings and leading 0-5 to 0-2 after 10 minutes, with Seamus Harnedy spurning a good goal chance to boot.
The 8,105 in attendance saw the St. Ita's man make amends on 13 minutes, however, fielding the ball and goaling well - late replacement Cormac Murphy added a point immediately after, 1-6 to 0-3 on 14 minutes.
The home side duly dominated the following 10 minutes, their movement up front causing the visitors' full-back line no end of problems. Cork pushed their lead to 1-10 to 0-6 by 25 minutes, but Kilkenny then came back into contention.
TJ Reid (two frees) and Walter Walsh helped the Cats close the gap as they came to grips with the game, but a late Horgan free restored Cork's lead to four at the break, 1-12 to 0-11.
Kilkenny stormed into the game on the resumption with five points on the spin, a superb Richie Hogan effort from the wing the pick of the bunch - 0-16 to 1-12 on 43 minutes.
Murphy and Horgan (65) swapped points with Reid before Harnedy created another goal chance on 50 minutes, this one finished by Bill Cooper.
Luke O'Farrell and Harnedy points then stretched Cork's lead to 2-16 to 0-17. Reid, inevitably, cut their lead to three with frees but Lehane made it a four-point game again.
Two Horgan frees had Cork five ahead going into the final 10 minutes, but Kilkenny stayed in touch with Reid and when Fennelly goaled with four minutes left the game was anybody's - a Lester Ryan point cut Cork's lead to one, and Reid supplied another goal to nudge Kilkenny ahead.
Lehane levelled for Cork and the home side had chances to win it before Power intercepted a late delivery by Cork keeper Patrick Collins for the winner.
Scorers for Cork: S. Harnedy (1-3); C. Lehane (0-1 free)(0-4 frees, 0-1 65)(0-6 each); B. Cooper (1-0) C. Murphy (0-2); L. McLoughlin, P. Haughney, B. Lawton, L. O'Farrell and D. Kearney (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid (0-10 frees)(1-12); C. Fennelly (1-2); L. Ryan, W. Walsh (0-3 each); D. Cody, R. Hogan, J. Power (0-1 each).
CORK: P. Collins, K. Burke, D. Cahalane, S. McDonnell ( c), C. Murphy, C. Joyce, L. McLoughlin, P. Haughney, J. Cronin, B. Lawton, B. Cooper, C. Lehane, L. O'Farrell, S. Harnedy, P. Horgan.
Subs: D. Kearney for Cronin (48); S. Moylan for Haughney (58); P. O'Sullivan for Horgan (65); W. Egan for Murphy (69).
KILKENNY: R. Reid, P. Murphy, J. Holden, S. Prendergast ( c), P. Walsh, K. Joyce, C. Buckley, C. Fogarty, D. Cody, C. Fennelly, TJ Reid, C. Martin, W. Walsh, R. Hogan, K. Kelly.
Subs: L. Ryan for Fogarty (1); J. Maher for Martin (HT); J. Power for Kelly (50).
Referee: F. Horgan (Tipperary).