The highest achiever from Kilkenny during the month of July was definitely Mark Power (17), a Transition Year student at Kilkenny CBS when the sporting year was reviewed.
He retained the Irish Boys Amateur Open championship in sensational style, holing out for an eagle on the last of a three hole play-off against England’s Jack Cope.
Power shot a final round of 70. His final shot robbed Cope of victory with the latter’s ball sitting on the green less than 10 feet from the hole.
It was the month Kilkenny threatened and were then sent packing in the All-Ireland senior hurling championship Qualifiers.
In Round One of the Qualifiers the Cats looked like an improving force after a testing season when they beat Limerick by 0-20 to 0-17.
Then in a cracking Round 2 Qualifiers tie against Waterford, that went to extra-time, the Noresiders were beaten by 4-23 to 2-2. T.J. Reid scored 2-12.
This was Waterford’s first championship success over Kilkenny since the All-Ireland final replay of 1959.
After surrendering the Leinster title earlier, the All-Ireland dream was dead as far as Kilkenny were concerned.
There was better news for the Kilkenny minors hurlers. They beat defending champions, Dublin by 3-15 to 1-17 in the Leinster final. Sean Ryan scored 2-2.
Kilkenny won the under-21 Leinster hurling final too. They beat Wexford, who were reduced to 14 men in the 18th minute, by 0-30 to 1-14.
This was Kilkenny’s first win at this level since 2012.
There were good wins for Kilkenny in the senior camogie championships. They beat Clare by 1-14 to 3-8 and then Galway by 2-10 to 1-8.
In the British junior football championship, Kilkenny powered towards their second success in the championship with a good 3-16 to 1-6 win over Warwickshire.
There were international call ups for Kilkenny athletes. The chosen ones were Cliodhna and Jack Manning and Ciara Deely, Kilkenny City Harriers; David Murphy, Gowran; Sophie Beckett, St Joseph’s.
In the Leinster intermediate hurling championship final, Kilkenny scored a handy 1-26 to 1-8 win over a poor Wexford team. Robbie Donnelly scored 0-9. This win completed the Leinster hat trick - minor, under-21 and intermediate.
By the end of the month the Cats had the All-Ireland title in the bag, and added to the history making effort by putting All-Ireland wins back-to-back for the first time.
They beat Cork in the final by 2-23 to 2-18. Robbie Donnelly scored 1-11. The game was played on the weekend (Sunday) of the official opening of the redeveloped Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Seanie Maguire (23) completed his move to English championship side Preston North End in July. He banged home 20 goals in the League for his Irish club, Cork City, bagging the top scorer crown and helping City win the Premier Division title.
In the senior camogie All-Ireland championship, Kilkenny scored a hugely promising 3-14 to 0-8 victory over Dublin.
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