Kilkenny produced a goal rush during the closing 10 minutes to bury Laois in this Leinster minor hurling championship semi-final in Portlaois this afternoon.
John Dowd, Niall Brassil and sub Daithi Barron all found the net in the closing stages as the Cats booked a place in their first final since completing the three in-a-row in 2015.
Kilkenny, although playing into the strong wind blowing towards the town end, enjoyed a great start.
They had the ball in the Laois net in the third minute. Adrian Mullen pounced on a ball dropped by a defender on the '50' and after racing up the left wing he fired home from 20 metres.
The Cats eased through things from there with the defence sure footed and Niall Brassil starring in midfield. Brassil provided top class, fast ball to the attack and with four points from Mullen, one free, plus additions from Brassil, Jesse Roberts, John Dowd and Sean Ryan, the winners were good leaders by 1-8 to 0-6 at the break.
After only 44 seconds of the new half Laois were reduced to 14 men, and it was game over for them then. Dublin beat Wexford in the second semi-final to book a place in the decider on July 2.
SCORERS: Kilkenny - A. Mullen (1-8); J. Dowd (2-1); N. Brassil (1-3); S. Ryan (1-2); D. Barron (1-1); E. O'Shea, J. Roberts, J. Ryan (0-2 each). Laois - O. Bennett (0-6); C. Comerford, D. Comerford, J. Keyes (0-1 each).
Laois - C. Dunne; D. Breen, J. Maher, D. Conway; R. Murphy, P. Delaney, E. O'Connor; P.J. Daly, L. Senior; C. Comerford, L. Delaney, D. Comerford; J. Keyes, O. Bennett, J. Phelan. Sub - J. McCormack for R. Murphy; P. Dunne for D. Comerford; O. Phelan for Daly; B. McGinley for J. Phelan; E. Gaughan for J. Keyes.
Kilkenny - D. Mason; T. Ronan, M. Carey, D. Walsh; J. Brennan, C. Flynn, J. Molloy; E. O'Shea, N. Brassil; J. Roberts, J. Dowd, J. Ryan; E. Cody, A. Mullen, S. Ryan. Subs - J. Kelly for Cody; D. Barron forS. Ryan; L. Murphy for Walsh; N. Brennan for J. Ryan; B. Staunton for Flynn.
Referee - P. Murphy (Carlow).
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