KILKENNY SECURED THE result required to advance to next weekend’s National Hurling League semi-finals with a deserved win over the previously unbeaten Waterford at UPMC Nowlan Park.
Goals in either half by Cillian Buckley and Billy Ryan ultimately proved the difference between the sides during a lively fixture albeit one not played at full-blooded Championship pace in front of 7,987 spectators.
“We had a slow enough start when they had a four-point lead and probably missed a good goal chance but we came back into it well,” said Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. “A four to five point lead early on in hurling is nothing and it’s nothing with 10 minutes to go, to be fair.”
Fittingly, Man of the Match Padraig Walsh completed the afternoon’s scoring when converting his fifth point from play for the Cats in the fourth additional minute.
Waterford, whose best hurling was produced in the opening 15 minutes, ended the afternoon with 14 players after substitute DJ Foran was shown a straight red card following a heavy challenge on Mikey Butler in the 61st minute.
Speaking afterwards, both Brian Cody and Liam Cahill both felt the sanction against the Portlaw clubman may have been too harsh.
Said Cahill: “I can’t emphasise it enough, like Colin (Dunford’s) incident in Corrigan Park, they’re not dirty players; DJ Foran is not a dirty player. He went for a body hit on a smaller man and unfortunately it maybe looked worse than it actually was. If it’s in the area, anything around shoulder high you’re in trouble. Johnny Murphy implemented the rules the way you’re supposed to and those are the consequences.”
Kilkenny will face Cork in next weekend’s semi-final, while the other semi sees Waterford meeting Wexford, probably back at Nowlan Park, in what will be their third successive South East derby.
Scorers for Kilkenny: Padraig Walsh (0-5), Alan Murphy (0-5, 0-4f), Billy Ryan (1-1), Cillian Buckley (1-0), Walter Walsh (0-3), Eoin Cody (0-2), Eoin Murphy 0-1f, Adrian Mullen 0-1, Cian Kenny 0-1, James Maher 0-1, John Donnelly 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford: Austin Gleeson (0-7, 0-4f, 0-1 ’65), Neil Montgomery (0-3), Pauric Mahony (0-3f), Dessie Hutchinson (0-2), Jack Fagan 0-1, Conor Dalton 0-1, Carthach Daly 0-1, Darragh Lyons 0-1, Michael Kiely 0-1, Colin Dunford 0-1.
1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)
2. Mikey Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels), 3. Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels), 4. Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan)
5. Michael Carey (Young Irelands), 6. Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks), 7. David Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
8. Cian Kenny (James Stephens), 9. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)
10. Walter Walsh (Tullogher-Rosbercon), 11. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan), 12. Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
13. Billy Ryan (Graigue-Ballycallan, 14. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan), 15. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
22. Eoin Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks) for Mullen (42)
19. James Maher (St Lachtain’s) for Kenny (57)
21. John Donnelly (Thomastown) for Keoghan (59)
18. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own) for Butler (Blood, 62-65)
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1. Billy Nolan (Roanmore)
22. Cian Wadding (Roanmore), 3. Iarlaith Daly (Lismore), 4. Shane McNulty (De La Salle)
5. Jack Fagan (De La Salle), 6. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg), 7. Conor Dalton (Clonea)
8. Carthach Daly (Lismore), 9. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan)
10. Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside), 11. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion), 12. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner)
13. Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner), 14. Michael Kiely (Abbeyside), 15. Colin Dunford (Colligan)
21. DJ Foran (Portlaw) for Mahony (HT)
25. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Kiely (48)
19. Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Dunford (57)
18. Micheál Harney (Bonmahon) for Wadding (59)
Michael Mahony (Ballygunner) for Lyons (65)
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)