Cork 0-19 Kilkenny 0-14
Ten-time Allstar Henry Shefflin was sent off as All-Ireland kingpins Kilkenny were dumped out of the championship by Cork in this afternoon’s dramatic quarter-final at Semple Stadium.
The Cats lost Shefflin to a second bookable offence before half-time and the Rebels, who suffered red card woe of their own in the Munster final when Patrick Horgan was sent off, capitalised to seal a famous win.
Cork cantered to a five-point victory and the Leesiders will now face Leinster champions Dublin in the semi-final on August 11.
It was one of those days for Kilkenny as Richie Power was stretched off concussed in the second half.
The Noresiders appeared vulnerable all summer, having lost to Dublin after a replay in the Leinster semi-final replay.
Tipperary and Waterford had chances to knock them out in the qualifiers but Cork had the knockout punch as they bounced back from their provincial final heartbreak at the hands of Limerick.
In the process, Cork recorded a first championship victory over their ancient rivals since the 2004 All-Ireland final.
Having Patrick Horgan cleared to play after his Limerick red card was rescinded was a massive fillip for Cork and the Glen Rovers star hit a massive haul of eleven points.
Horgan registered eight, including six frees, in a first half that saw the sides level twice in the first ten minutes before Cork took over to lead by 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time.
After Eoin Larkin knocked over a free in the 16th minute, Brian Cody’s outfit endured a barren 15-minute spell on the scoreboard as Cork, who were 0-5 to 0-4 in front, tagged on four more points, including a monster long-range effort from Jamie Coughlan.
Kilkenny’s response came from corner back Paul Murphy, who strode forward to show the forwards how it’s done, before former Hurler of the Year Michael Fennelly lofted over a point.
Horgan hit back for Cork with a pointed free before Shefflin was dismissed in 35th minute for a second bookable offence, a high challenge on Jamie Coughlan.
His first ever championship dismissal capped a remarkable first half that saw Kilkenny suffer badly from free-taking woes.
Larkin missed two, Power miscued two 65s and even Shefflin was afflicted by the curse as he drove one wide.
It was symptomatic of Kilkenny’s first half as Cork put bodies on the line time and time again.
There were two cameo moments that summed up the commitment of the Rebels as William Egan brilliantly dispossessed Walter Walsh on the endline to concede a 65, before Stephen McDonnell dived full-length to block Walsh’s stoppage time shot at goal.
The second half began in a welter of excitement as Shane O’Neill’s wild challenge on Larkin conceded a penalty within a minute of the restart.
Behind referee Kelly’s back, Michael Fennelly and Lorcán McLoughlin were going at it in midfield, with both players having their helmets removed in a wrestling match.
From the resultant penalty, Richie Power’s initial effort was disallowed after Tommy Walsh encroached and at the second time of asking, Power’s fierce drive was brilliantly saved by Anthony Nash.
The Allstar goalkeeper pulled off another brilliant save from Tommy Walsh’s follow-up before Power fired over the bar off the back of a Cork defender.
Pa Cronin responded for Cork at the other end but Kilkenny remained in touch with scores from Power and Tommy Walsh.
But Cork settled again with five unanswered points as Horgan (two), Lehane, sub Stephen Moylan and Luke O’Farrell raised white flags.
Cork’s lead was now eight points – 0-17 to 0-9 – and that margin was between the sides again after they swapped points.
Kilkenny rallied with four of the next five points on offer to cut the gap to five, 0-13 to 0-18, but Horgan put six between the sides again, from a 67th minute free.
Kilkenny’s leading marksman Larkin banged over a 69th minute free but that was that as Cork held on.
Scorers for Cork: P Horgan 0-11 (8f), C Lehane & P Cronin 0-2 each, S Harnedy, L O’Farrell, J Coughlan & S Moylan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny: E Larkin 0-6 (3f, 1 65), M Fennelly 0-2, R Power 0-2 (1f), P Murphy, T Walsh, W Walsh & A Fogarty 0-1 each.
CORK: A Nash; S McDonnell, S O’Neill, C O’Sullivan; T Kenny, C Joyce, W Egan; L McLoughlin, D Kearney; S Harnedy, J Coughlan, P Cronin; L O’Farrell, P Horgan, C Lehane.
Subs: S Moylan for McLoughlin (56), C Naughton for Coughlan (70+1).
KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; M Fennelly, E Larkin; C Buckley, R Power, H Shefflin; W Walsh, R Hogan, C Fennelly.
Subs: L Ryan for Buckley (half-time), A Fogarty for Power (inj, 57), TJ Reid for R Hogan (63).
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).