Kilkenny CBS suffered the pain and heartache of defeat for the second successive year in the All-Ireland colleges senior hurling final when they had to give best to a strong and athletic Dungarvan Colleges combination in the decider at Semple Stadium, Thurles today, writes John Knox.
The losers, who won the Leinster League and Championship titles, were always under pressure to cope, and in the end they were beaten by 1-12 to 1-7.
The winners took control from the start, and they weren’t at all flattered by an interval lead of 1-8 to 1-3. Indeed, had their shooting been as good as some of their approach play during the opening 10 minutes or so they might have been out of sight.
During that period Waterford Colleges hit five wides as they build up what was a miserable lead of 0-2 to 0-1 after dominating, especially around their own half-back line and the midfield area, where the CBS just couldn’t win ball.
Dungarvan shot a goal through full-forward Ryan Donnelly in the 15th minute to suggest they might at last turn heave pressure into scores. Not so! A mistake in defence within 90 seconds gifted Paddy Cahill possession, and the CBS corner-forward lashed the ball into the net (1-3 to 1-1).
The losers fared a little better in terms of the breakdown of possession from there until the break, but they could have had no cribs about the divide at the break (1-8 to 1-3).
The CBS suffered a setback within four minutes of the restart when they had a defender red carded. The penalty which resulted was saved and while Waterford added a point through the excellent Colin Dunford, the Noresiders dug deep and produced their best hurling for a while afterwards.
Points by Paddy Cahill (free) and J.P. Treacy (65) were followed by another converted free by Cahill to bring it back to a three point game, 1-9 to 1-6, with 14 minutes remaining.
Waterford picked off a badly needed point through Patrick Curran (free) after powerful work by Darragh Lyons, who worked really hard to to win possession before being fouled. Within a minute the winners were lucky not to have a player sent off after a heavy tackle which finished the involvement of CBS attacker, Kevin Kenny in the game.
The referee didn’t see any wrong in the tackle, and play resumed with a throw-in. Within a minute CBS ’keeper, Darragh Holohan brought off a top class save from Cormac Curran to keep the match alive.
The CBS gave their all in a determined late bid to retrieve the match, but the good hurling Waterford side wasn’t in the mood for surrender.
Scorers: Waterford Colleges - Patrick Curran (0-9); Ryan Donnelly (1-0); Colin Dunford (0-2); Michael Harney (0-1). Kilkenny CBS - Paddy Cahill (1-3); J.P. Treacy (0-2); Kevin Kenny, Robbie Buckley (0-1 each).
Kilkenny CBS - D. Holohan, R. Fitzpatrick, E. Cody, C. McGrath, C. Cahill, P. Deegan, D. Scott, N. Mullins, G. Kelly, L. Scanlon, K. Kenny, J.P. Treacy, P. Delahunty, S. Cuddihy, P. Cahill. Subs - R. Buckley for Delahunty; M. McWey for P. Cahill; J. Byrne for K. Kenny (inj).
Waterford Colleges - L. Power, M. Cronin, B. Looby, K. Looby, T. Burke, K. Daly, T. Devine, C. Curran, C. Dunford, C. Breathnach, M. Harney, S. Keating, D. Lyons, R. Donnelly, P. Curran.
Referee - S. Hourigan (Limerick).