GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final: Cork 0-19 Kilkenny 0-14
Cork produced a stunning team performance to unseat All-Ireland champions Kilkenny in a cracking All-Ireland quarter-final at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday.
Patrick Horgan, who gained a late reprieve last weekend to start the game, hit 0-11 for Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side, who executed a perfect gameplan to cause a massive shock.
Kilkenny played for the entire second half with 14 men after Henry Shefflin was sent off for a second yellow card offence three minutes before half-time.
However, Cork were already 0-11 to 0-6 up at that point and they produced some wonderful flowing hurling to bounce back brilliantly from their Munster final defeat to Limerick.
Kilkenny had their chances, but Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash stepped up and produced a superb double save from a Richie Power penalty before making another super stop six minutes from the end from Michael Fennelly.
All six of Cork’s starting forwards scored, and they harried and hassled Kilkenny throughout as well as stretching the Kilkenny defence with their relentless movement.
Kilkenny got the opening score through Eoin Larkin, but Cork fought back well and hit the next three points, all from Horgan, to move 0-3 to 0-1 clear after seven minutes.
However, Larkin and Michael Fennelly drew the Cats level with a couple of fine scores, before the Rebels took over. Horgan again, Seamus Harnedy and Jamie Coughlan all hit the target from play as Cork’s great movement and pressing from the front back clearly upset the champions.
Conor Lehane then added another score and Cork were 0-9 to 0-4 ahead when Paul Murphy, the Kilkenny corner back, took matters into his own hands and landed an inspirational point. When Michael Fennelly added another seconds later, it looked like Kilkenny had finally found their feet.
However, the game was turned on its head when Henry Shefflin was sent off after 32 minutes, getting a second yellow card from referee Barry Kelly for a high tackle on Coughlan. Cork hammered home their advantage with two late points in the half to move 0-11 to 0-6 clear at the break.
Down to 14, Kilkenny needed a break and they got one when they were awarded a penalty for a wild pull by the otherwise excellent Shane O’Neill. After Power was made to take the penalty again for encroachment by Tommy Walsh, Nash made a super save and the Cats were really up against it.
Lehane and sub Stephen Moylan added to Cork’s tally and they always looked comfortable in the closing stages despite the Cats’ late rally.
Kilkenny Scorers: E Larkin 0-6 (0-3f), M Fennelly 0-2, P Murphy 0-1, R Power 0-2 (0-1f), T Walsh 0-1, A Fogarty 0-2.
Cork Scorers: P Horgan 0-11 (0-7f), S Harnedy 0-1, J Coughlan 0-1, C Lehane 0-2, P Cronin 0-2, L O’Farrell 0-1, S Moylan 0-1,
Cork: A Nash; C O Sullivan, S O’Neill, S McDonnell; T Kenny, L McLoughlin, W Egan; C Joyce, D Kearney; J Coughlan, P Cronin, C Lehane; L O’Farrell, S Harnedy, P Horgan. Subs: S Moylan for McLoughlin (55), C Naughton for Coughlan (70).
Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; C Buckley, M Fennelly; C Fennelly, R Power, E Larkin; W Walsh, R Hogan, H Shefflin. Subs: L Ryan for Buckley (HT), A Fogarty for R Power (57), TJ Reid for R Hogan (64).
Referee: Barry Kelly