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Disappointment for Senior Hurlers in Leinster Final Loss to Kilkenny

Disappointment for Senior Hurlers in Leinster Final Loss to Kilkenny

Sat, 8th June 2024

DUBLIN 1-18 


Kilkenny turned on the style from the opening whistle in comfortably getting the better of Dublin by sixteen points in their one-sided Leinster Senior Hurling Championship final at Croke Park on Saturday evening.

An early goal from Eoin Cody set the tone of their supremacy and a second goal from TJ Reid augmented by six Adrian Mullen points propelled the holders to a healthy 2-18 to 0-9 interval lead.

While Dublin were far more competitive upon the restart, an early goal required to ignite an unlikely comeback never looked likely to materialise as Reid put the contest to bed when adding his second goal early in the final quarter.

While the sides traded early points through TJ Reid (free) and Chris Crummey, it was Kilkenny that landed the first body blow in the 3rd minute as Cody cut inside far too easily before leaving Seán Brennan helpless from ten yards.

The Cats added points from Billy Ryan and John Donnelly soon after as Dublin struggled to make an impression up front despite the benefit of the breeze blowing towards Hill 16.

Conor Burke popped over a second Dublin score in the 6th minute but these positive moments proved all too infrequent in an opening quarter that saw them fall further behind following two Cian Kenny points and an Adrian Mullen effort.

Reid added two further frees to push Kilkenny nine points clear by the start of the second quarter with Dublin’s confidence further rocked by a series of disappointing wides as the half developed.

A scoreless period of twelve minutes for Dublin was ended as Dara Purcell popped over a smart point in the 21st minute and a Donal Burke free within a minute saw the Dubs add successive scores for the first time in the game.

That wasn’t to act as a springboard for improved fortunes, however, as they faced another massive setback in the 24th minute as Reid pounced from close range after Brennan had fumbled a lengthy delivery by Tommy Walsh.

While it was Donnelly that did the bulk of the damage in the teams’ meeting at Parnell Park last month, it was Mullen’s turn on this occasion as he fired over three scores within five minutes to take his personal tally to 0-6 from play by half-time.

Dublin introduced Darragh Power, Daire Gray and Mark Grogan for the second-half and a couple of frees by Donal Burke offered some early encouragement after the break.

Reid and John Bellew exchanged points as the Dubs enjoyed greater possession and territory without ever looking like they could break down an obdurate Kilkenny defence.

In truth, Dublin looked far more at ease defensively in the second-half despite Donnelly tagging on two points from deep, his second being followed by well-taken efforts from Cody and Kenny at the start of the final quarter.

Donal Burke landed a typically elegant point from under the Cusack Stand by way of reply but another defensive mishap was punished ruthlessly in the 57th minute as Mullen intercepted a puck-out before picking out Reid for a clinical finish beyond Brennan.

There was some reward for Dublin’s improved showing in the 68th minute as Donal Burke worked wonders in gaining possession before feeding the in-rushing Grogan for a tidy finish beyond Eoin Murphy.

Scorers – Dublin: D Burke 0-8 (7f); C Burke 0-3; M Grogan 1-0; D Purcell 0-2; J Bellew, P Smyth, C Crummey, D Sutcliffe, D Power 0-1 apiece. Kilkenny: TJ Reid 2-6 (0-3f); A Mullen 0-7; E Cody 1-2; C Kenny 0-4; J Donnelly 0-3; M Keoghan 0-2; B Ryan, D Blanchfield, T Phelan, W Walsh 0-1 apiece.

Dublin: S Brennan; J Bellew, E O’Donnell, P Smyth; C Crummey, C Donohoe, P Doyle; B Hayes, C Burke; D Sutcliffe, D Burke, F Whitely; D Purcell, S Currie, R Hayes. Subs: D Power for Whitely (15-17, Temp), D Gray for Doyle (half-time), D Power for S Currie (half-time), M Grogan for Whitely (half-time), C Currie for R Hayes (53), J Madden for B Hayes (62).

Kilkenny: E Murphy: M Butler, H Lawlor, T Walsh; D Blanchfield, R Reid, M Carey; C Kenny, P Deegan; J Donnelly, TJ Reid, A Mullen; M Keoghan, E Cody, B Ryan. Subs: S Murphy for Carey (30), T Phelan for Ryan (46), W Walsh for Mullen (64), J Molloy for Lawlor (64), C Fogarty for Kenny (65).

Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford).

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