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Minor Hurlers Fall To Leinster Final Defeat To Kilkenny

Minor Hurlers Fall To Leinster Final Defeat To Kilkenny

Sat, 25th May 2024



Dublin’s hopes of securing a first provincial title in six years were dashed in Laois Hire O’Moore Park as they fell to Kilkenny by four points in their Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Championship decider on Saturday afternoon.

The Dubs may have enjoyed a five-point win over the Cats three weeks previously but the roles were reversed on this occasion with Kilkenny withstanding some incessant late pressure to seal their 60th provincial success at this grade.

The first-half was a tight and cagey affair that saw Dublin buoyed by a 12th minute goal from Eoghan Brennan but six Jake Mullen points edged Kilkenny into a 0-9 to 1-4 interval lead.

The second-half was equally tense with the game-defining score arriving in the 48th minute as Kilkenny’s Ollie O’Donovan raced through for a smarty-taken goal.

With the breeze at their backs, it was Kilkenny that made the stronger start with points from defenders Oisin Henderson and David Barcoe opening up a two-point lead by the 4th minute.

Dublin took their time to settle but were helped massively in that regard through an excellent point from wing-back Tommy Cullen in the 5th minute before the Cats pushed further ahead through a brace of frees from Mullen.

However, the Dubs were beginning to find their collective feet as they brought their deficit back to the bare minimum thanks to successive points from Killian Costello and Rory Flannery (‘65’).

Their improved play was further rewarded in the 12th minute as a Flannery point attempt dropped just short and Brennan was on hand to fire home from close range to push Dublin two points clear.

Unfortunately, from a Dublin perspective, that proved their last score for thirteen minutes as Kilkenny, without overly impressing, began to place greater pressure on the Dublin defence.

They plundered four points on the bounce with Mullen accounting for three of them before Dublin finally ended their barren run as Tom Higgins pointed in the 25th minute after a Darragh Kilduff attempt had come back off the upright.

While Mullen replied with his sixth point of the half within a minute, the Dubs could be justifiably pleased as they entered the break facing a marginal two-point deficit.

A Flannery free within three minutes of the resumption helped halve Dublin’s arrears but they spurned a couple of chances to restore parity as Kilkenny built up a three-point lead by the 37th minute through Conor Holohan and Doherty.

The contest seemed to be slipping away from Dublin when Mullen converted another free as Dublin struggled to make an impression up front with Kilkenny full-back Larry Phelan mopping up a wealth of ball.

Eoin Brennan stretched Kilkenny’s lead to five points by the 41st minute and while Darragh Kilduff popped up with Dublin’s first score from play five minutes later, they suffered a massive body blow in the 48th minute.

There seemed little danger as an Eoin Brennan delivery was collected by Ollie O’Donovan but the corner-forward jinked this way and that before striking a confident finish beyond the out-rushing Pádraigh Ryan.

Dublin’s response to that setback was hugely encouraging as they clipped over three points in succession through Cathal O’Flynn, Cullen and Flannery but that crucial second goal proved elusive in the closing stages.

Flannery tested Jake O’Doherty’s reflexes in the 57th minute but that was the closest that Dublin came to salvaging their chances, but their spirited showing augured well as they turn their focus to the All-Ireland series.

Scorers – Dublin: E Brennan 1-0; R Flannery 0-3 (2f, 1 ‘65’); T Cullen 0-2; K Costello, T Higgins, D Kilduff, C O’Flynn 0-1 apiece. Kilkenny: J Mullen 0-7 (5f); O O’Donovan 1-0; R Doherty 0-2; O Henderson, D Barcoe, C Holohan, E Brennan 0-1 apiece.

Dublin: P Ryan; M Byrne, S Dunphy, R Duffy; C Quinn, C O’Flynn, T Cullen; J Norris, F Codd; F Daly, R Flannery, K Costello; D Kilduff, T Higgins, E Brennan. Subs: S Bolger for Higgins (half-time), C Barrett for Costello (42), C Fitzgerald for Duffy (47), O Brennan for E Brennan (47), A Ryan for Codd (61).

Kilkenny: J O’Doherty; O Henderson, L Phelan, B Brennan; M Rohan, J Dollard, D Barcoe; E Brennan, K Buggy; R Doherty, B McDermott, J Cody; O O’Donovan, C Holohan, J Mullen. Subs: E Cahill for Cody (50), C Byrne for McDermott (50).

Referee: Matthew Redmond (Kildare).

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