The battle for hurling’s Croke Cup will come down to a shoot-out between two top class Kilkenny schools.
The county will provide the post-primary senior hurling champions for 2014 after Kilkenny CBS and St Kieran’s College beat Limerick opponents in Saturday’s semi-final double header.
St Kieran’s were the first team to book their spot in the decider, coming from behind to see off a tricky Ardscoil Ris by 4-10 to 1-12 in Templemore.
Trailing by the odd point in seven at the interval (0-4 to 0-3), Kieran’s took to the goal trail as they swung the game their way. Two in little over 60 seconds turned the tide, Conor O’Carroll and Robbie Donnelly rattling the net in quick succession to push their side five points clear (2-5 to 0-6).
Ardscoil were rocked by those goals and never recovered. Tadgh O’Dwyer hurt them even more when he netted a third goal, with the unfortunate Paraic O’Loughlin piling on the misery when he turned the sliotar into his own net in injury-time.
SCORERS: St Kieran’s College - Robbie Donnelly (1-3, 0-1 free); Tadhg O’Dwyer (1-2); Conor O’Carroll, own goal (1-0); Conor Murphy (0-2, frees); Liam Blanchfield, Kevin Blanchfield, Eoin Walsh (0-1 each). Ardscoil Ris - Ronan Lynch (1-6, 0-5 frees), Conor Fitzgerald (0-3), Charlie McCarthy (0-2), Ian Galvin (0-1).
Kilkenny CBS showed their opponents no mercy as they blasted past Doon to make it an all-Kilkenny final.
Led by a two-goal blitz from Andrew Gaffney, the Leinster champions were too sharp in the opening half and went in with a five-point lead (2-3 to 0-4).
Two swift points after the restart from Gaffney and the industrious Robbie Buckley widened the gap for Doon. Led by Colin Ryan, the Limerick side chased hard but couldn’t get close enough to trouble their rivals, who marched to a 2-9 to 0-10 win.
While the final is scheduled to be played in Semple Stadium, it is expected that Kilkenny GAA County Board will pitch to have the game moved to Nowlan Park.
SCORERS: Kilkenny CBS - Andrew Gaffney (2-2, 0-2 frees); J.P. Treacy (0-2, 0-1 free); Robbie Buckley (0-2); Luke Scanlon, Huw Lawlor, Matthew McWey (0-1 each). Doon - Colin Ryan (0-9, 0-8 frees), Dean Coleman (0-1).