Kilkenny were crowned All-Ireland Intermediate Champions as they defeated Clare on Saturday evening. In a game played in front of 1,504 in Semple Stadium it was the Kilkenny goals that lowered the banner.
The Cats recovered from a poor start to go in at half time with a seven points advantage leading 4-05 to 1-07. However, the Banner fought back with just over 10 minutes to go and narrowed the gap to four. However, a late flurry of Kilkenny scores and an injury time goal from John Walsh sealed the deal.
The Banner began the game brightly and were ahead 1-02 to 0-00 after 10 minutes of the opening half. Ryan Taylor grabbing the Clare goal. However, Kilkenny managed by Pat O’Grady fought back and goals from Nicky Cleere, John Walsh, Billy Ryan and Luke Scanlon had them in the driving seat at half time with a commanding seven point lead.
On the resumption of play, Clare began to chip away at Kilkenny’s lead courtesy of points from Jason McCarthy and Shane McGrath. However, the Cats as they so often do remained composed and late points from Ryan, Walsh and Scanlon all but finished of the game. John Walsh put the gloss on an excellent display by the Cats with an injury time goal to seal a 12 point win.
The title means that it’s the Cats fourth All-Ireland intermediate title with the other three coming in 1973, 2008 and 2010.