LOSING was disappointing enough, but on top of that the road ahead in the Allianz National Hurling League became complicated for Kilkenny with one round remaining following defeat (1-17 to 1-15) against effervescent Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Following three wins on the bounce the Cats looked to be within touching distance of the semi-finals, but this reverse, coupled with a couple of unlikely results elsewhere, leaves Brian Cody’s men needing a draw at least against Galway at Nowlan Park on Sunday if they are to make the semi-finals.
And they face into what will be a considerable challenge without leading scorer, Richie Power, who was somewhat unfortunate to receive a straight red card in the 70th minute as he appeared to have been fouled first in the run up to the dismissal. Power now ends up suspended for Sunday’s crucial clash.
“That was a big win, a good win for us,” said pleased Cork manager, Jimmy Barry Murphy when the dust settled after a very strong closing 20 minutes or so during which his charges out-gunned the visitors’ by six points to two to detonate a wild cheer of celebration from the home support.
Scorers: Cork – Patrick Horgan (0-8, seven frees); Paudie O’Sullivan (1-1); William Egan (0-2, one free, one 65); Cathal Naughton (0-2); Darren Sweetnam, Conor Lehane, Pa Cronin, Jamie Coughlan (0-1 each). Kilkenny – Richie Power (1-11, goal penalty, seven points frees, one 65); Richie Hogan (0-2); Michael Rice, T.J. Reid (0-1 each).
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