Kilkenny defeat Cork to claim first title at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

All-Ireland IHC final

Kilkenny 2-23

Cork 2-18

Kilkenny won the first All-Ireland at the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh, off the back of a strong second-half showing, writes Eoghan Cormican.

Ahead by 0-11 to 0-10 at the break – the teams were level on no fewer than eight occasions in the opening half, Kilkenny found themselves three behind within eight minutes of the restart.

After Tom Phelan had a goal chance saved by Cork ‘keeper Patrick Collins, the Rebels swept down the field where Jerry O’Neill, put through by half-time sub Rob O’Shea, pounced for the opening goal of this contest.

Sean Carey and James Power of Kilkenny celebrate with the cup after their win over Cork.

Robbie Donnelly responded with a pair of frees for Kilkenny, but three-in-a-row from Séan Hayes (free), Willie Leahy and O’Shea had the hosts 1-13 to 0-13 in front. Ronan Dwane’s charges re-established their three-point cushion when David Drake and Hayes (free) cancelled out white flags from Edmond Delaney and Donnelly (free).

They wouldn’t, however, find the target during the subsequent 12 minutes, during which time Kilkenny hit an unanswered 2-4.

Donnelly nabbed their first goal from a penalty on 49 minutes, Patrick Collins fouling Darragh Brennan after initially keeping out a Martin Power shot. Their second goal arrived four minutes later, Collins batting a JP Treacy delivery into the path of sub Tom Phelan and he duly whipped the sliotar to the Cork net.

That scored moved the Leinster champions 2-19 to 1-15 in front and although Rob O’Shea engineered a second Cork goal on 59 minutes, they had left themselves with far too much to do in the closing stages.

Scorers for Kilkenny: R Donnelly (1-11, 1-0 pen, 0-9 frees); P Holden, E Delaney (0-4 each); M Keoghan (0-3); T Phelan (1-0); J Cahill (0-1).

Scorers for Cork: S Hayes (0-6, 0-5 frees, 0-1 sc); R O’Shea (1-2, 0-1 free); W Leahy (0-4); J O’Neill (1-1); M Collins, D Drake (0-2 each); D O’Flynn (0-1).

Kilkenny: D Aylward (Glenmore); N Doherty (Galmoy), G Teehan (Graigue Ballycallan), D Prendergast (Thomastown); B Whelan (Thomastown), C Fleming (Mooncoin), J Cahill (Carrickshock); JP Treacy (Young Irelands), M Keoghan (Tullaroan); P Holden (Young Irelands), D Brennan (Carrickshock), E Delaney (Conahy Shamrocks); S Carey (Young Irelands), M Power (Piltown), R Donnelly (Thomastown).

Subs: T Phelan (Conahy Shamrocks) for Fleming (HT); L Hickey (St Lachtains) for Carey (40); J Cooper (Éire Óg) for O’Flynn (45); C Prendiville (Graigue Ballycallan) for Keoghan, J Power (John Lockes) for Delaney (both 60); D Walsh (Carrickshock) for Cahill (63)

Cork: P Collins (Ballinhassig); B O’Sullivan (Fermoy), S O’Donovan (Mayfield), S Hegarty (Dungourney); K Morrison (Fermoy), D O’Donovan (Ballinhassig), K Kavanagh (Carrigaline); D O’Flynn (Charleville), M Collins (Ballinhassig); D Casey (Charleville), N Kelly (Mayfield), J O’Neill (Courcey Rovers); S Hayes (Mallow), W Leahy (Aghada), D Drake (Carrigaline).

Subs: T Lawrence (Brian Dillons) for Morrison, R O’Shea (Carrigaline) for Casey (both HT); M Kennefick (Ballygarvan) for Hayes (52); N McNamara (Kilworth) for O’Neill (57).

Referee: C Cunning (Antrim).

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