DUBLIN 2-17 KILKENNY 2-13
A below par Kilkenny side left itself with far too much to do when it found itself behind by sixteen points, 2-14 to 0-5, fourteen minutes into the second half of this Walsh Cup final played in Parnell Park. Kilkenny made a number of positional switches and introduced Michael Fennelly and Aidan Fogarty from the bench at this stage and reduced the deficit to three points 2-15 to 2-12 but could get no closer and Dublin deservedly took the Walsh Cup for the first time since 2003.
Dublin were by far the better team in a first half which saw Kilkenny register only two scores, a T.J. Reid free and an Eoin Guinan point. Indeed the deficit might well have been greater as the wind assisted Metropolitans shot nine wides in this half to Kilkenny’s two. The Dublin goal game in the 18th minute when Conor Clinton got the final touch in a goalmouth scramble following a penalty save by Colin McGrath in the Kilkenny goal. Dublin led by 1-11 to 0-2 at the break
The sky blues continued to dominate the early stages of the second half and when Daire Plunkett hit Dublin’s second goal things looked ominous for the Cats as they were fifteen points behind at this stage. However, Kilkenny made some positional switches moving John Dalton to centre back and T.J. Reid to centre forward and introduced Michael Fennelly, Eddie Brennan and Aidan Fogarty from the bench and this lifted the standard of the team’s play.
TJ Reid struck for goal with a good shot direct from a free from 25 metres in the 55th minute and eight minutes later Michael Fennelly powered through the Dublin defence and beat Dublin keeper Alan Nolan with a strong shot to reduce the deficit to just three points, 2-15 to 2-12. However a Ryan O’Dwyer free steadied his team’s nerves and the title went to Dublin.
SCORERS – Dublin: C Clinton 1-4, R O’Dwyer 0-6 (0-4f), D Plunkett 1-1, S Ryan 0-3, J McCaffrey (0-1 ‘65’), L Ryan, D O’Dwyer 0-1 each. Kilkenny: TJ Reid 1-6 (0-3f, 0-1 65), M Fennelly 1-0, A Fogarty 0-2, M Rice, J Fitzpatrick, J Mulhall, N Walsh, E Guinan 0-1 each.
DUBLIN – A Nolan; R Trainor, N Corcoran, M Quilty; J Sheanon, J McCaffrey, S Durkin; L Rushe, C Clinton; S Ryan, L Ryan, C McCormack; D O’Dwyer, R O’Dwyer, D Plunkett. Subs: D O’Callaghan for McCormack (ht); C McCormack for Sheanon (61); P Carton for S Ryan (61); S Ryan for Clinton (inj, 66); J Sheanon for L Ryan (73).
KILKENNY – C McGrath; J Dalton, N Hickey, M Kavanagh; P Murphy, J Tyrrell, C Fogarty; M Rice, J Fitzpatrick; J Mulhall, P Hogan, N Walsh; M Ruth, TJ Reid, E Guinan. Subs: M Fennelly for Walsh (44); E Brennan for Ruth (44); A Fogarty for Hogan (51).
REF – B Gavin (Offaly).