By Michael Moynihan in Parnell Park
Dublin 3-16 Kilkenny 1-24: This Leinster SHC round robin game went Kilkenny’s way in a dramatic finish, but they were made work until the very end by a tough Dublin side.
Dublin had the ideal start with a third-minute goal, Paul Ryan crashing home from close range after good work by Liam Rushe. The same man added two frees as the Dubs pushed up hard on the Kilkenny puck out.
Kilkenny relied on TJ Reid’s frees to stay in touch, but Dublin led 1-3 to 0-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Despite hitting eight wides the home side kept their noses in front, restricting Kilkenny to two scores from play, though Alan Nolan had to save smartly from Ger Aylward at one point.
By the 32nd minute Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh had cut the deficit to one point but Dublin worked another goal, Fergal Whitely pulling first time when Eoin Murphy saved from Paul Ryan. At the half it was 2-7 to 0-9 in the home side’s favour.
Kilkenny were better on the resumption, and Reid’s accuracy cut the deficit to one point, 0-13 to 2-8 but Dublin still found a goal when Jake Malone scrambled home from close range.
However, with Colin Fennelly and Paul Murphy, back from army duty in the Lebanon, Kilkenny couldn’t be killed off.
Reid's accuracy kept them in touch, a late goal from Liam Blanchfield nudged them ahead and a late, late Reid free made it safe, but Dublin were left to rue missed chances as their chance of a win passed them by.
Scorers for Dublin: P. Ryan (1-6) (5 frees); C. Keaney (0-4); P. Winters (2 frees)(0-3) F. Whitely, J. Malone (1-0 each); F. McGibb, T. Connolly, C. Crummey (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid (0-13)(10 frees, 2 65s); E. Murphy (frees)(0-4); C. Fennelly (0-3); W. Walsh, J. Maher (0-2 each); J. Donnelly (0-1 each).
DUBLIN: A. Nolan, P. Smyth, C. O’Callaghan B. O’Carroll, S. Barrett, S. Moran, C. Crummey, R. McBride, E. O’Donnell, J. Malone, C. Keaney, D. Sutcliffe, F. Whitely, L. Rushe, P. Ryan.
Subs: F McGibb for Sutcliffe (blood, 36-7); P. Winters for Ryan (45); F. McGibb for Whitely (48); T. Connolly for McBride (52); R. O’Dwyer for Keaney (inj, 60); S. Durkin for Malone (65).
KILKENNY: E. Murphy, J. Holden, P. Walsh, P. Deegan, C. Delaney, C Buckley, E. Morrissey, R. Leahy, J. Maher, M. Keoghan, TJ Reid, J. Donnelly, B. Sheehan, W. Walsh, G. Aylward.
Subs: C. Fennelly for Sheehan (32); C. Fogarty for Keoghan (HT); P Murphy for Morrissey (45); L. Blanchfield for Leahy (54); L. Scanlon for Aylward (58).
Referee: D. Kirwan (Cork).