Kilkenny 1-25 Dublin 0-19: Cats dominate depleted Dubs to retain Leinster Hurling Championship crownJuly 17, 2021
Kilkenny have defended their Leinster title, with a comfortable 1-25 to 0-19 final victory over Dublin at Croke Park.
Played in front of 18,000 fans on Jones’ Road, Ireland’s biggest gathering since lockdown measures were implemented in March 2020, the Nore-siders kicked on in the second half to defeat Mattie Kenny’s charges by nine points.
Dublin were disrupted ahead of the contest, with a Covid-19 case along with three others identified as close contacts, ensuring they were not at their full complement.
Things went from bad to worse after throw-in, as full-back Eoghan O’Donnell was forced ashore in just the third minute.
Kilkenny capitalised, scoring the first four points of the contest.
The Sky Blues eventually settled, and fought back into the contest with Danny Sutcliffe and Chris Crummey taking some eye-catching scores.
Four consecutive Dublin points made it 0-9 apiece approaching the break, but the Cats found a response to lead 0-12 to 0-9 at the half-way mark.
After the break, the Cats found another gear.
Five points without reply around the water break pushed Kilkenny 0-20 to 0-12 ahead, as the bench made a real difference. Michael Carey, Alan Murphy, Cillian Buckley and James Bergin all scored, having been introduced as substitutes.
The match soon arrived at a point when Dublin needed a goal, but the three-pointer arrived for Kilkenny instead.
Jake Malone conceded a penalty and was sin-binned. TJ Reid made no mistake, beating Alan Nolan with a fierce shot.
From there, Brian Cody’s charges eased to a nine-point victory.
Kilkenny are Leinster champions for a 73rd time.
A Bob O’Keeffe Cup triumph is not what they set out for at the start of the year, however. Kilkenny are eyeing another All-Ireland title. And they are just two matches away from realising that dream.
Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy; Tommy Walsh, Huw Lawlor, Paddy Deegan; James Maher (0-3), Padraig Walsh, Conor Browne; Richie Reid, Adrian Mullen (0-2); John Donnelly (0-1), Martin Keoghan (0-2), Billy Ryan; Eoin Cody (0-1), TJ Reid (1-10, 1-0p, 0-8f, 0-1 ’65), Richie Leahy.
Subs: Michael Carey (0-1) for Conor Browne (25th minute), Alan Murphy (0-2) for Richie Leahy (half-time), Cillian Buckley (0-1) for Richie Reid (46th minute), Walter Walsh for Billy Ryan (48th minute), James Bergin (0-2) for Eoin Cody (64th minute).
Dublin: Alan Nolan (0-1, 0-1f); Paddy Smyth, Eoghan O’Donnell, Andrew Dunphy; Daire Gray, Liam Rushe, James Madden; Rian McBride (0-1), Conor Burke; Danny Sutcliffe (0-2), Donal Burke (0-10, 0-8f), Chris Crummey (0-2); Cian Boland (0-1), Mark Schutte, Cian O’Sullivan.
Subs: Seán Moran for Eoghan O’Donnell (3rd minute), Paul Crummey for Mark Schutte (half-time), Jake Malone (0-1) for Seán Moran (52nd minute), Davy Keogh (0-1) for Cian O’Sullivan (54th minute), David Treacy for Cian Boland (70th minute).
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