Kilkenny 1-25 Dublin 0-16
By John Fogarty
A thundering start to the second half in O’Moore Park sent Kilkenny on their way to a third straight Leinster final.
Dublin were left for dust when the Cats struck 1-8 without reply over the course of 14 minutes. In the opening 12 minutes of the new half, Kilkenny had as many scoring attempts.
Jonjo Farrell gave a man of the match performance, taking his goal with aplomb in the 47th minute and adding a couple of points thereafter to bring his personal tally to 1-5.
Dublin were disjointed from puck-outs and were punished severely for the lack of communication.
It wasn’t until the 51st minute that they scored in the second half and by that time the die was well and truly cast.
There had been a meanness to Dublin’s play from the outset, Shane Barrett picking up a yellow card in the third minute.
Both sides were fouling too freely though, the first seven scores of the game came from frees.
Where Dublin’s half-back line were guilty of indiscipline, the same could be said for the left flank of the Kilkenny defence and full-back Joey Holden who coughed up three frees in the first half, which were converted by David Treacy.
Kilkenny twice opened up four-point leads in the opening period, in the 13th and 32nd minutes, but on each occasion Dublin reduced to the minimum.
David O’Callaghan had the only clear-cut goal chance of the half when his 22nd minute shot was saved by Eoin Murphy.
Michael Fennelly and Johnny McCaffrey were the busiest players on the field clearing lines although the supply into the Dublin full forward line was sloppy and their scores primarily came from strong running and support play.
Points from Daire Plunkett, Eamon Dillon and a Treacy free brought them to within a point of Kilkenny at half-time, 0-11 to 0-12.
Scorers for Kilkenny: T.J. Reid (0-10, 7 frees, 1 65); J.J. Farrell (1-5); W. Walsh, C. Buckley, M. Fennelly (0-2 each); C. Fennelly, P. Walsh, L. Ryan, C. Fogarty (0-1 each).
Scorers for Dublin: D. Treacy (0-11, 10 frees); D. O’Callaghan (0-2); D. Plunkett, E. Dillon, P. Ryan (0-1 each).
KILKENNY: E. Murphy; P. Murphy, J. Holden, R. Lennon; P. Walsh, K. Joyce, C. Buckley; C. Fogarty, M. Fennelly; W. Walsh, C. Fennelly, L. Ryan (c); J.J. Farrell, T.J. Reid, E. Larkin.
Subs for Kilkenny: L. Blanchfield for E. Larkin (51); K. Kelly for L. Ryan (58); D. Cody for M. Fennelly (65).
DUBLIN: C. Dooley; E. O’Donnell, C. O’Callaghan, O. Gough; S. Barrett, L. Rushe (c), C. Crummy; D. O’Connell, J. McCaffrey; D. Plunkett, N. McMorrow, R. O’Dwyer; D. O’Callaghan, D. Treacy, E. Dillon.
Subs for Dublin: P. Ryan for R O’Dwyer (inj h-t); O. O’Rorke for N. McMorrow (45); S. Treacy for S. Barrett (60); C. Bennett for D. O’Callaghan (70).
Referee: B. Gavin (Offaly)