Kilkenny 0-21 DCU 0-12
Despite missing all their household names - Brian Cody’s side are currently on a team holiday to San Diego - the 15 picked by U21 manager Eddie Brennan proved too strong for DCU at the MW Hire Centre in Dunmore.
Having lost both cup games in 2015, the Cats were determined to do better this term and duly took control early on. Kevin Farrell led the charge with two quick frees. Those scores were cancelled out by DCU duo Peter Hogan (free) and Padraig Foley but that was the first and only time the sides were level.
Fired on by Farrell, who hit five first-half frees, Kilkenny pressed on. They were 0-6 to 0-3 ahead after 20 minutes, Sean Buggy getting their opening score. Hogan did narrow the gap but four unanswered points from U21 captain Pat Lyng, John Donnelly, Buggy and Richie Leahy gave Kilkenny a 0-11 to 0-5 cushion at the break.
Kilkenny roared into attack again from the restart, Leahy boosting their lead. With Tommy Walsh now on frees they continued to pick off points, Walsh converting two placed balls while sub James Bergin also got in on the act. His brace meant the Cats were (0-17 to 0-7) clear by the 50th minute.
DCU rallied after that, Peter Hogan sniping a pair of points, but Kilkenny were never in danger of being caught. Eoghan McHugh and Aaron Murphy did chip in with more points but the big score the Students needed never came.
They had a chance to force their way back when Patrick Curran played Murphy through on goal, but his 59th minute shot was well saved by netminder Darren Brennan.
That was DCU’s only chance as Kilkenny slammed the door shut. Buggy, Bergin and sub Adrian Burke rounded off a good night for the Cats by grabbing the last three points
K Farrell (0-5, frees); J Bergin (0-4, 0-2 frees); S Buggy (0-3); P Lyng, R Leahy, T Walsh (0-2 each); J Donnelly, S O’Farrell, A Burke (0-1 each).
- P Hogan (0-7, 0-6 frees); J O’Connor (0-2); P Foley, R McBride, E McHugh (0-1 each).
D Brennan; K Mullen, E Cody, M Cody; S Murphy, C Browne, T Walsh; O Walsh, C Fleming; K Farrell, P Lyng, R Leahy; S Buggy, J Donnelly, C Hennessy..
K Crowley for Fleming; J Bergin for C Hennessy; S O’Farrell for K Farrell; A Burke for R Leahy; N Mullan for S Murphy.
R Gillen; A Maddock, S McCaw, P O’Dea; G Bailey, P Foley, L Fahey; R McBride, AJ Murphy; J Byrne, P Curran, P Kelly; D Staunton, K Doyle, E McHugh.
D Brennan for A Maddock; J O’Connor for P Kelly; A Murphy for G Bailey; M Heeney for D Staunton; H O’Connor for K Doyle.
J Heffernan (Wexford).