Slick Cats crush Offaly

SLICK Kilkenny demolished Offaly by 12 points in yesterday’s ESB Leinster MHC semi-final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore. The ‘Cats’, managed by Richie Mulrooney, face Dublin in the final next Sunday at Croke Park.

The opening quarter aside, Kilkenny were vastly superior and after 27 minutes they enjoyed a 1-10 to 0-5 cushion. Skilful full-forward Ger Alyward blasted home their goal in the 18th minute and he quickly followed up with a brace of points.

Offaly ended the opening half with a pep in their step and they dispatched four an unanswered points courtesy of Alan Kelly, Brendan Murphy (free), Adrian Hynes and Stephen Quirke to give themselves a fighting chance.

Facing the breeze in the second half, Offaly fought back to within a goal, 0-11 to 1-11 after 36 minutes. However, that was the closest they got.

From the 37th to 52nd minute Kilkenny outscored the ‘Faithful’ by 1-8 to 0-1 to go 2-19 to 0-12 ahead to put the contest beyond Offaly’s reach.

KILKENNY: D Walsh; J Corcoran, W Phelan, P O’Carroll; B Kennedy, L Harney, E McGrath; K Kelly (0-4), O Walsh (0-2); C Buckley (0-3), J Power (1-4, 0-2 frees & 0-1 ‘65), P Walsh (0-3); M Brennan (0-1), G Alyward (1-2), T O’Hanrahan (0-2).

Subs. R Reid for O’Hanrahan (37 mins), D Waugh (0-1) for Brennan (47 mins), C O’Shea for O’Carroll (52), P Delaney for Alyward (53), R Lennon for Phelan (54).

OFFALY: C Clancy; K Waters, P Camon, S Dolan; B Murphy (1-1 frees), M Cleary, S McKelvey (0-1); D King, E Ryan; S Cleary, A Kealey, A Kelly (0-1); S Quirke (0-7, 0-4 frees & 0-1 ‘65), A Hynes (0-1), T Carroll (0-1).

Subs.: P Murphy (0-1) for King (half time), T Geraghty for A Kelly (41 mins), N Wynne for Kealey (47), D Morkan for Ryan (55).

Referee: P Murphy, Carlow.

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