Super Cats valu for Páirc Uí Chaoimh win!

Shane Murphy gets in his tackle on Patriick Horgan

Mullen outstanding as Donnelly notches late winner



Allianz National Hurling League

Cork 1-17

Kilkenny 0-21

Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Referee: Johnny Murphy

Kilkenny left the newly Supervalu sponsored Páirc Uí Chaoimh with maximum points from their round 2 Allianz hurling league clash, thanks to an injury-time winner from Thomastown’s John Donnelly. A late first half Cork goal reduced the half-time deficit to just three points, as Pat Ryan’s Rebels recovered from a terrible lackluster opening 25 minutes to set up an interesting second half on Leeside. The home side found their stride and actually took the lead for the first time in the game, just before the hour marker, but to the visitor’s credit, they found a way to get over the line.

Derek Lyng’s charges opened the scoring in the second minute after Limerick whistler Johnny Murphy blew for overcarrying. Eoin Cody, once again on placed ball duty and duly converted the first of what would be a 7-point haul for the Shamrocks Ballyhale man. The Cats doubled their lead less than a minute later following a well-worked short sideline cut that John Donnelly split the posts from.

The Noresiders fashioned a decent goal scoring opportunity moments later, but Cork netminder Patrick Collins did well to thwart Eoin Cody’s effort. The Rebels got off the mark in the 4th minute courtesy of their main man Patrick Horgan, who popped over a placed ball after an infringement by Bennettsbridge’s David Blanchfield. Two minutes later, another sideline cut, this time from Mikey Butler, saw the sliotar worked to Eoin Cody who rifled over his first point from open play.

The home side got their second point of the day after some great battling along the sideline which saw Midleton’s Conor Lehane split the posts with a fine effort from out on the left. Glenmore’s Shane Murphy, a late inclusion in the side, then went on a powerful surge forward and gave a good pass to Cian Kenny who fired over for the first of his 2-point salvo and the men in black and amber built on this with further scores from play from Adrian Mullen and Shamrocks teammate, Eoin Cody.

The Leesiders then found themselves in on goal, but a wonderfully timed challenge from David Blanchfield saw the danger averted. Kilkenny worked the ball back down the pitch and The Village’s Cian Kenny struck his second score of the game. Graigue Ballycallan’s Billy Ryan became the first of six Kilkenny players to have their name taken by referee, Johnny Murphy after an off the ball tangle with Robert Downey. Lough’s player Luke Hogan, who was making his senior league debut was causing problems with his physicality then won a free which Eoin Cody converted to leave his side 6 points ahead after 18 minutes of action at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Things got even better for the Cats with two more quality scores from Mikey Carey and a second of the day for former captain Adrian Mullen. The hushed silence from the home supporters told you everything, they were silently expressing their disappointment at their side’s effort, or more accurately the lack of. Glen Rovers Patrick Horgan slotted a second placed ball for his side’s third point, but again Derek Lyng’s men hit back with the Shamrock’s duo of Mullen and Cody on target again to increase the gap to nine points.

Cork centre-forward, Conor Lehane was one of a few home players that looked up for the match and the talented forward struck the second of his 4-point haul on twenty-four minutes before Eoin Cody fired over another free to restore the visitors nine-point lead. This lead could and possibly should have been greater, considering the Noresiders had racked up six wide’s at this point. Another of the Midleton contingent, Tommy O’Connell then notched a lovely point to further enhance his reputation and claims for a regular starting berth in Pat Ryan’s side.

With three minutes of the opening period left, Sean Twomey gave a nice hand pass to Tim O’ Mahoney who let fly from more than ‘65 out to register the best score of the half and one which got the Cork supporters off their seats. The running battle between Huw Lawlor and Patrick Horgan was a great watch itself, and the Kilkenny captain picked up a yellow card as he sought to hold up the bustling Cork No.14. Horgan popped over the point to reduce his sides arrears to six points. Another flowing move from back to front from the visitors saw Mikey Carey burst through on goal, but he was halted by some great defending, and as the Rebels tried to break-out, Carey was cautioned for a frontal challenge.

With the game in first half stoppage time, Cork sent a long ball in and around the house. The hard-working Sean Twomey of Courcey Rovers, gave a lovely looping hand pass which bypassed three Kilkenny defenders and found the strong running midfielder Conor O’Callaghan who steadied himself before striking his effort past the sprawling Huw Lawlor and Eoin Muphy to the back of the visitor’s net. Johnny Murphy brought the half to a close with the Cats lead somehow down to just three points.

The Kilkenny management team made one change during the interval, with Billy Ryan being replaced by Tullaroan’s Martin Keoghan. Mossy made an immediate impact and with his first possession and found himself halted illegally by a couple of defenders. Eoin Cody popped over his fifth placed ball effort and this was to be the end of the former Young Hurler of the Year’s scoring return. The all-action Adrian Mullen then rifled over another lovely point for his 4th of the evening, the Shamrocks Ballyhale man a constant threat to the Rebels cause. Darragh Corcoran was then adjudged to have fouled his man and Patrick Horgan opened his second half account. Robbie O’Flynn then scored a fine effort for the home side, but the Erin’s Own man tweaked a hamstring and had to leave the action minutes later.

Another major chance for the home side came soon after, this time to the lively Shane Kingston. The talented Douglas man denied by a fine stop from All-Star keeper Eoin Murphy. John Donnelly then became the latest Kilkenny man to give his details to Johnny Murphy. This break in play saw Billy Drennan introduced in place of O’Loughlin Gaels Luke Hogan.

Cork then hit three scores on bounce, as they found their groove. A brace of free’s from Patrick Horgan and a third of the game from Conor Lehane, who benefited from a poor pass from Mikey Butler before splitting the visitors’ posts to level matters on 51 minutes. Derek Lyng then threw on Kevin Blanchfield in place of Mikey Carey, who had put in a decent shift, but was treading ground with a yellow card.

Adrian Mullen then struck over his fifth point of the evening from close to the sideline, before he turned provider for a fantastic score from wing-back Shane Murphy. Fresh from his side’s junior All-Ireland title, Tullogher Rosbercon’s Walter Walsh entered the fray in place of Conor Heary, as Kilkenny sought to add a little bit more aerial prowess to their ranks.

Then came another 3-point burst from Pat Ryan’s outfit. First up was sub Shane Barrett, the Blarney man notching a fine point before another placed ball from Patrick Horgan. The third score came from the very impressive Conor Lehane, who sent the home side’s fans wild when his effort saw the Leesiders take the lead for the first time in the game on 58 minutes.

Kilkenny needed a response and a big last ten or so minutes, and they got just that. Walter Walsh drew a foul and a change in free-take saw Galmoy’s Billy Drennan split the posts with his first effort of the game. A second point followed for the former U20 star when Cian Kenny was fouled. The James Stephens man was withdrawn and replaced by Thomastown’s Peter McDonald. Patrick Horgan’s on-going battle with Huw Lawlor was really interesting and the Cork man cutely drew a foul which gave him the opportunity to deadlock matters again, and he did just that.

Play was pretty frantic at this stage, with both sides battling hard to come out on top. Some great desire and hunger saw Billy Drennan gain possession and the Maynooth student split the posts with a lovely effort. Glen Rovers Hogan then registered his 9th point from the place ball to level matters again, as David Blanchfield found his name in the referee’s book. Then came another major chance, this time for Kilkenny. Billy Drennan cleverly flicked the ball towards Walter Walsh who picked it up beautifully and headed for goal. As the towering forward shortened his grip to bat the ball towards goal, Castlelyon’s Niall O’Leary attempted hook reduced the Tullogher man’s contact and allowed keeper Patrick Collins to make the save.

It looked like a share of the spoils was going to be the outcome for the second game running for Kilkenny, but nobody told John Donnelly that. The Thomastown man burst through a pack of players and rifled a shot straight between the Cork posts with 71 minutes on the clock. Cork tried to respond, but the Cats stood firm to claim a big win on Leeside. Final score from Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork 1-17, Kilkenny 0-21.

Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan (0-10, frees); C. O’Callaghan (1-0); C. Lehane (0-3), T. O’Connell, T. O’Mahony, R. O’Flynn, S. Barrett (0-1 each).

Scorers for Kilkenny: E. Cody (0-7, 5 frees); A. Mullen (0-5); B. Drennan (0-3, 2 frees); C. Kenny, J. Donnelly (0-2 each); M. Carey, S. Murphy (0-1 each).

CORK: P. Collins; S. O’Donoghue (c), E. Roche, E. Downey; T. O’Mahony, N. O’Leary, R. Downey; T. O’Connell, C. O’Callaghan; L. Meade, C. Lehane, S. Twomey; S. Kingston, P. Horgan, R. O’Flynn.

Subs for Cork: G. Millerick for R. Downey (21); B. Roche for L. Meade (h-t); E. Twomey for C. O’Callaghan (42); S. Barrett for R. O’Flynn (44); M. Coleman for E. Downey (49).

KILKENNY: E. Murphy; M. Butler, H. Lawlor (c), T. Walsh; D. Blanchfield, D. Corcoran, S. Murphy; C. Kenny, M. Carey; B. Ryan, J. Donnelly, C. Heary; A. Mullen, L. Hogan, E. Cody.

Subs for Kilkenny: M. Keoghan for B. Ryan (h-t); B. Drennan for L. Hogan (46); K. Blanchfield for M. Carey (51); W. Walsh for C. Heary (55); P. McDonald for C. Kenny (64).

Referee: J. Murphy (Limerick)