Kilkenny & District League 1
Cork Schoolboys’ League 2
KILKENNY’S hopes of an All-Ireland final berth were ended as the League’s last team crashed out of the title race.
Darren Murray’s under-13s, the only team to make it out of the Leinster stages, had their national dreams dashed as Cork edged an entertaining decider in Thomastown on Sunday.
The Rebels booked their place in the final when Eoin Murphy hit the winner 11 minutes into the second half. Picking up a loose ball on the left of the box, the striker unleashed a low curling shot that found the inside of Calvin Barry’s right hand post.
Kilkenny had made the brighter start early on, Adrian Mullins, John Nolan and Colm Whelan all pressing Cork back, but disaster struck once the visitors found their feet.
Cork had not been in the game on attacking terms, but hit the lead with their first effort on five minutes after Murphy was fouled in the box. The striker dusted himself down and took the penalty, sending ’keeper Barry the wrong way from the spot.
The hosts refused to wilt, despite conceding so early, instantly hitting back with some great play. Eoin Wall led the charge when he dispossessed Cathal O’Mahony in midfield and set off on a surging run, but he shot straight at Ian Giltinan.
The Kittens powered on, going close again just a few minutes later. Daithi Barron started the move, working the ball on for Nolan to tee up the incoming Colm Whelan, but his powerful shot just cleared the bar.
Kilkenny continued to press on and got their reward in the 13th minute. Again full-back Daithi Barron was involved, bombing down the right before David Griffin whipped in a low cross. Eoin Wall was quickest to it, but his shot took a huge deflection off a Cork defender, wrong-footing Giltinan as it rocketed into the net.
The goal spurred Cork back into action, but they couldn’t restore their lead. Cathal O’Mahony went really close when he let fly with a great shot at the end of good move through the centre, but Calvin Barry made a super save to deny the midfielder.
Cork did have the ball in the net again before half-time, when Gordon Walker got his head to Murphy’s 28th minute corner, but the cheers were cut short as the ‘goal’ was disallowed.
Cork went on the attack again after the break, but try as they might they couldn’t get past the impressive Barry. The Kilkenny ’keeper gave a superb display, clawing sub Greg Barrett’s close range 32nd minute header out of his goal and away for a corner. Seven minutes later he was at it again, pushing an inswinging Murphy corner to safety from under his bar.
The Kilkenny Number One could do little about Murphy’s second goal a few minutes later. His team-mates pushed for another equalising goal after that - Colm Whelan went closest with a glancing header that flashed wide on 42 minutes - but Cork shut down the hosts in midfield, holding firm until they heard the final whistle.
Kilkenny & DL: Calvin Barry, Daithi Barron, Sean Ryan, Niall Brassil (Rory Monks, 55 mins), Sam Hickey, Adrian Mullins, John Nolan (Brandon McGinley, 44 mins), Jordan Molloy, David Griffin (Kieran Whelan, 44 mins), Colm Whelan (Dylan Doyle, 50 mins), Eoin Wall.
Cork SL: Ian Giltinan, Dylan Scott, Colm Barrett, Thomas O’Don, Gordon Walker, Ronan Hennessy, Cathal O’Mahony (Matthew Hayes, 58 mins), Peter Callanan (James McSweeney, 52 mins), Eoin Murphy (Ray Roche, 58 mins), Alex Byrnes (Cian Leonard, 21 mins), Ryan O’Regan (Greg Barrett, 31 mins).
Referee: Ollie Falsey. Linesmen: Pat O’Connor, Nicky Marnell.