It was a late Walter Walsh that got Kilkenny back level to get a draw against Waterford who lead for most of the match, Austin Gleeson scored 5pts.
All-Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final
Kilkenny 1-21 0-24 Waterford, Croke Park
Walter Walsh and Conor Fogarty rescued Kilkenny at the death to keep the drive for three in a row on course for Brian Cody’s charges. Trailing by three points the Cats were in danger of losing their grip on the Liam McCarthy Cup, while Brian Cody was staring down on only his 10th defeat as Kilkenny boss since he took over as manager in 1999.
Walter Walsh’s goal on 69 minutes goal tied the game up, though Pauric Mahony put Waterford ahead again hitting his 14thpoint. Conor Fogarty was the hero responded with a fine point to level matters and force a replay. It was an excellent game, but will feel like a loss to Waterford who played better hurling for much of the game. Austin Gleeson, Pauric Mahony and Kevin Moran were all outstanding, but they just find that little bit extra to get that winning score.
Waterford, started the game well but the final 5 minutes Kilkenny showed their experience and showed why they are All-Ireland Champions. Waterford with 13 minutes to go had a 5 point advantage, but they hauled players back into defence as they tried to hold onto the lead. Waterford went in at the break 0-13 to 0-12 and they were full value for the 1 point lead. Austin Gleeson scored two stunning points in the first half, while Pauric Mahony was accurate from frees as he hit nine first half points. Kevin Moran was outstanding in midfield, scoring a good point and getting through a lot of work.
Richie Hogan was the sharpest Kilkenny forward on show as he hit four points from play in the opening 20 minutes. TJ Reid was also deadly accurate from placed balls throughout the game. The second half was hell for leather. Waterford didn’t let Kilkenny dominate the third quarter and it was here they moved four points ahead through points from Gleeson, Mahoney and sub Maurice Shanahan. Derek McGrath’s charges were 0-22 to 0-17 ahead on 56 minutes, but they simply couldn’t hold the Kilkenny attack as Walter Walsh grabbed a goal to level the sides on 69 minutes. Pauric Mahoney responded soon after for Waterford to put them back ahead, but the man of the match in the Leinster Final, Conor Fogarty stepped to point to level the game. On the resulting puck out from Stephen O’Keeffe, referee James Owens blew the final whistle to bring an end to a great game of hurling.
It is unclear as of know if the replay will be played as a double header with Galway and Tipperary next Sunday, the GAA will confirm this shortly.
KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, J Holden, S Prendergast; P Walsh, K Joyce, C Buckley; C Fogarty (0-02), M Fennelly (0-01); W Walsh (1-01), R Hogan (0-04), TJ Reid (0-11, 0-11f); J Farrell, J Power, C Fennelly (0-01).
Subs used: E Larkin (0-01) for Farrell, L Ryan for Joyce.
WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; Philip Mahony, T de Burca, C Gleeson; K Moran (0-01), J Barron; M Walsh, A Gleeson (0-05), Pauric Mahony (0-14, 0-09f, 0-01 65); S Bennett, J Dillon (0-02), C Dunford.
Subs used: M Shanahan (0-01) for Dunford, P Curran (0-01) for Bennett, B O’Halloran for Dillon.
REFEREE: J Owens (Wexford).