Dicksboro oust champions in thriller

Dicksboro 1-15 James Stephens 0-16
Points in the 60th and 63rd minutes from Martin Gaffney and Kevin Kenny earned Dicksboro a thrilling win over defending champions James Stephens in the Kilkenny SHC semi-final at Nowlan Park yesterday.

The Village, with county captain Eoin Larkin contributing 11 points, just couldn’t cope with the high work-rate and skilful hurling of their fierce city rivals, who will be appearing in their first final since losing to Tullaron in 1994.

The losers opened backed by the breeze, but they were never able to open out a decent lead against a ‘Boro defence led brilliant by captain and centre-back, David Glynn. The Village twice enjoyed a three point advantage, the second time in the 16th minute after Donnacha Cody scored from his own half-back line (0-6 to 0-3).

The winners hit the front in the 23rd minute when Ollie Walsh blasted to the net from 20-metres to put them 1-5 to 0-7 up and at the break they were deadlocked at 1-6 to 0-9.

Stephens conceded two points from frees to Martin Gaffney after the interval, but with Eoin Larkin dragging a limp attack with him, the champions got back level by the 38th minute (1-8 to 0-11).

The teams were together again twice subsequently, the last time in the 59th minute when Larkin tapped over from close range after gathering a clearance from Donnacha Cody.

However, the young ‘Boro outfit kept their nerve in a high pressure finish and Gaffney and Kenny scored to clinch the ticket into the decider.

Scorers for Dicksboro: M. Gaffney (0-8, seven frees); Ollie Walsh (1-0); P. O’Flynn (0-2); J. Fagan, Oisin Walsh, Shane Maher, K. Kenny, D. < Ryan (0-1 each).

James Stephens: E. Larkin (0-11, seven frees, one 65); Donnacha Cody, N. Tyrrell, G. Flood, Diarmuid Cody, M. Ruth (0-1 each).

DICKSBORO: A. Duggan, K. Cuddihy, D. Kenny, E. Malone, M. Fagan, D. Flynn, R. Fitzpatrick, C. Buckley, J. Fagan, M. Gaffney, Oisin Walsh, Ollie Walsh, K. Kenny, S. Maher, P. O’Flynn.

Subs: D. Ryan for Buckley (inj); T. Manning for Oisin Walsh.

JAMES STEPHENS: D. Brennan, N. McQuillan, T. Kehoe, J. Comerford, Donnacha Cody, J. Tyrrell, E. Sheehy, R. Coady, N. Tyrrell, D. McCormack, G. Flood, Diarmuid Cody, M. Ruth, E. Larkin, N. Mullins.

Subs: L. Hickey for J. Comerford; J. McGrath for Diarmuid Cody; A.

Lawlor for N. Mullins.

Referee: Quilty (Slieverue).

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