Kilkenny SHC: Browne goal the difference as James Stephens battle past Dicksboro to secure final berth

Conor Browne's 50th minute goal was essentially the difference between the sides in an end to end tussle that could have gone either way.
Kilkenny SHC: Browne goal the difference as James Stephens battle past Dicksboro to secure final berth

VITAL GOAL: Conor Browne of James Stephen's. Pic: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

James Stephens 2-18 Dicksboro 1-18 

James Stephens are into their first St Canices Credit Union Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship final since 2019 after they ran out three point winners over fellow city side Dicksboro in a thrilling semi-final clash this afternoon.

Despite losing all but one of their league games and fighting off the perils of relegation, the 'Village are back into the senior hurling decider.

Conor Browne's 50th minute goal was essentially the difference between the sides in an end to end tussle that could have gone either way.

Dicksboro were without the injured Cillian Buckley and his experience was lacking in the first half as an Eoin Guilfoyle goal helped James Stephens lead 1-11 to 0-10 at the break.

Dicksboro looked like they made a match winning move when scoring 1-4 without reply at the start of the second half with Andy Gaffney netting to give his side a three point advantage.

James Stephens got back level entering the final quarter and after Browne scored the Village's second goal, they were able to hold on in a frantic final few minutes.

Earlier in the afternoon Shamrocks of Ballyhale had a 1-27 to 0-15 victory over Clara in the refixed St Canices Credit Union Kilkenny SHC Quarter-Final.

Shamrocks were in cruise control for much of the last eight tie with Adrian Mullen's 9th minute goal proving the catalyst for a very one sided success.

The defending champions will play Tullaroan in the other semi-final next Saturday with a place in the final against James Stephens at stake.

Scorers for James Stephens: N Brassil (0-9, 0-7f), E Guilfoyle (1-1), C Browne (1-0), L Scanlon, T O'Dwyer, A Parsons (0-2 each), W Spencer, M Ruth (0-1 each) 

Scorers for Dicksboro: A Gaffney (1-8, 0-5f, 0-3 65's), L Moore, B Sheehan (0-3 each), T Clifford (0-2), E Fennelly, H Shine (0-1 each) 

James Stephens: G Costigan; L Murphy, D Cody, S Donoghue; N Delaney, C Kenny, N Mullins; W Spencer, C Browne; A Parsons, N Brassil, E Guilfoyle; T O'Dwyer, M Ruth, L Scanlon. 

Subs: R Whelan for Parsons (55).

Dicksboro: D Holohan; N Rowe, E Cody, A Phelan; O Walsh, P Moylan, E Carroll; T Kenny, E Fennelly; L Moore, B Sheehan, T Clifford; A Nolan, M Nolan, A Gaffney. 

Subs: H Shine for Walsh (42), S Farrell for Clifford (51), C Kavanagh for M.Nolan (56), S Stapleton for A.Nolan (57).

Referee: Raymond Byrne

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