TJ Reid scores Kilkenny's second goal in the Leinster Championship Semi-Final victory over Dublin. Picture: Sportsfile
Despite throwing away a sixteen point lead Kilkenny found a way to dig out a narrow victory over Dublin in a dramatic Leinster Championship Semi-Final at Croke Park this evening.
Two goals in two minutes from Billy Ryan and TJ Reid had put the Cats in an ideal position in the first half and when Colin Fennelly expertly finished just before the break Brian Cody's men looked home and hosed when leading 3-13 to 0-7 at the interval.
Helped by the introduction of Eamonn Dillon who notched four second half points Dublin gradually reeled Kilkenny in though and with Chris Crummey and Ronan Hayes both goaling the teams were level entering the final few minutes.
It was a very mediocre second half display by Kilkenny but they found it in them to unearth another gear with sub Alan Murphy and full back Huw Lawlor knocking over crucial late points.
Donal Burke finished with 0-12 for Dublin and he'd a chance to force extra-time with a late free but after his effort dropped short Kilkenny held on to win and seal a final spot against either Wexford or Galway.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 1-10 (0-7f), Billy Ryan and Colin Fennelly 1-1 each, Walter Walsh 0-2, John Donnelly 0-2, Conor Delaney, Eoin Cody and Alan Murphy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 0-12 (0-10f), Chris Crummey 1-1, Eamonn Dillon 0-4, Ronan Hayes 1-0, Cian Boland and Daire Gray 0-2 each, Danny Sutcliffe 0-1.
Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy; Conor Delaney, Huw Lawlor, Ciaran Wallace, Padraig Walsh, Paddy Deegan, Richie Reid, Cillian Buckley, Conor Fogarty, John Donnelly, TJ Reid, Walter Walsh, Billy Ryan, Colin Fennelly, Eoin Cody.
Subs: Richie Hogan for Ryan 49 mins, Martin Keoghan for Cody 59 mins, Conor Browne for Fogarty 63 mins, Alan Murphy for Donnelly 63 mins, Richie Leahy for R.Reid 68 mins.
Dublin: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smith, Eoghan O'Donnell, James Madden, Conor Burke, Daire Gray, Cian O'Callaghan, Sean Moran, Rian McBride, Cian Boland, Chris Crummey, Danny Sutcliffe, Donal Burke, Davy Keogh, Liam Rushe.
Subs: Eamonn Dillon for Keogh h-t, Ronan Hayes for Rush 40 mins, Jake Malone for Moran 49 mins, Mark Schutte for Boland 58 mins, Fergal Whitely for McBride 70 mins.
Ref: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)