A powerful scoring spell saw St Kieran’s College storm their way into the Leinster senior hurling final.
The Saints had to work hard to see off a spirited Dublin North in blustery Portlaoise, but a strong performance either side of half-time helped them take a big step towards setting up a final meeting with Colaiste Eoin, who beat Kilkenny CBS in Sunday's semi-final in Bunclody.
Things looked grim for Kieran’s when Diarmuid Breslin’s 16th minute goal gave Dublin North a 1-4 to 0-4 lead.
However, they kept their cool and kicked on. Helped by the sure-shooting of Eoin Cody – he chipped in with seven points, six from frees – as well as goal from sub Cian Kenny they hit back in style to go in eight points clear at the break (1-12 to 1-4).
Kieran’s didn’t let up after the restart. Despite playing against the breeze they stopped Dublin from getting their attack into the game, with the half-back line of Darragh Corcoran, Conor Murphy and Killian Egan shutting off all paths to the Kilkenny posts.
Cody, who played a starring role for Ballyhale Shamrocks in their senior club All-Ireland semi-final win over Ballygunner at the weekend, kept the Kieran’s scoring run going with two early points after the restart. A minor score from David Blanchfield stretched the College lead to 11 points (1-15 to 1-4). A Conor Kelly goal, scored after a storming 37th minute run, all but ended Dublin’s hopes of clawing their way back into the game.
SCORERS: St Kieran’s College – Eoin Cody (0-12, 0-11 frees); Cian Kenny (1-3); Conor Kelly (1-2); Martin O’Connell (0-2); David Blanchfield, Aaron Brennan, Eoghan Moylan (0-1 each). Dublin North – Liam Dunne (0-6, frees); Diarmuid Breslin (1-1); Cillian Hayes (0-2); Luke Swan (0-1).
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