Cats rout Rebels to reach the big final

Kilkenny 3-10 Cork 0-11

Kilkenny 3-10 Cork 0-11

THE DREAM of scoring a victory over their old rivals is still on the cards for the Kilkenny Vocational Schools hurling team.

The Cats set up an intriguing All-Ireland final against Tipperary when they routed Cork’s Rebels in Mourneabbey on Saturday.

The winners were quick off the mark, overloading Cork’s midfield as they took a firm grip on the game. Although the Munster side bagged the opening three points they were hauled back by Liam Hickey, who raced through and found the net to level the game with ten minutes played.

Although Cork raised their game after that they never led the Cats again. Kilkenny, even faced by a strong breeze, showed a sharper touch in front of goal. By half-time they were two points to the good (1-5 to 0-6), going in knowing they had the advantage of the wind after the restart.

Kilkenny wasted little time in taking a firm grip on the game. The new half was only ten minutes old when they goaled again, Lee Kinsella grabbing their second big strike.

Worse was to follow for the losers, who tried but couldn’t contain a rampant Kilkenny. They closed within four points, but were left facing a mountain to climb after Dennis Lennon scored a third goal for the winners.

This strike was the pick of the bunch. Racing from midfield, Lennon provided the finishing touch to a five-man move that sliced Cork wide open.

Kilkenny will be hoping to get some revenge on Tipp in this year’s final. They were beaten by the Premier County in the 2010 decider, going under by a goal in Semple Stadium (2-13 to 1-13). Tipp also booked their place in the decider on Saturday, beating Galway by six points (2-17 to 1-14) in Nenagh.

SCORERS: Kilkenny - L. Hickey, L. Kinsella, D. Lennon (1-1 each); C Martin (0-4, 0-2 frees); J. Tobin, W. Brennan, C. Walsh (0-1 each). Cork - M. Howard (0-5, 0-4 frees); J. Corkery, M. Sugrue (0-2 each); L. O’Neill, M. Vaughan (0-1 each).

Kilkenny - D. Walsh, D. Aherne, L. O Cinneide, D. Power; B Whelan, B O’Murchu, B Quinn; W Brennan, D Lennon; C Walsh, C Martin, J Tobin; L Hickey, L Kinsella, G Malone. Subs: N. Madden for Quinn, 40 mins; A. Farrell for Malone, 40 mins; L. Blanchfield for Tobin, 55 mins; S. Birchill for Kinsella, 58 mins.

Cork - P. Allen, J. Ryan, J. Daly, C. Daly, A. Barry-Murphy, J. Pratt, L. O’Neill, A. Gould, K. Dennehy, M. Sugrue, C. Coleman, C. Cullinane, J. Corkery, M. Howard, M. Vaughan. Subs: C. Noonan for O’Neill, 40 mins; C. Higgins for Vaughan, 40 mins; A. O’Donovan for Cullinane, 40 mins; B. Roche for Pratt, 55 mins.

Referee - J. Owens (Wexford).