Leinster U20 Hurling Championship: Cody fires Cats to Leinster final with 1-19 to 1-15 win over Galway

Kilkenny 1-19 Galway 1-15

Kilkenny booked their place in the Leinster U20 Hurling Championship Final in two weeks time with a 4 point win over Galway at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Thursday.

The game in truth was poor quality. It was stop-start with no real flow to the game. It only livened up in the last 10 minutes or so. DJ Carey’s side deserved the win though as they were a step ahead of Galway in terms of power and skill. Indeed Jeffrey Lynskey’s men only scored three points from play in the whole game, which in truth is not going to win championship games at any level.

Galway began the opening half brightly though and raced into a 0-04 to 0-02 lead. Diarmuid Kilcommins scoring a peach of a point on the right wing, while Daniel Loftus also floated over a sublime score. Kilkenny though took a strong foothold in the game then and hit seven points without reply. Niall Brassil scored a nice point which started the Kilkenny run of scores. Mark Kennedy knocked over two frees for Galway, before John Fleming raised another white flag. It was 0-11 to 0-07 to Kilkenny at the break.

The second half was much more stop-start. It was hard for either team to hit a purple patch of scores for instance. However, when some good hurling was been played it was Kilkenny. Darragh Fahy made a good save from Adrian Mullen to deny the Kilkenny senior star an almost certain goal, but he was unable to prevent Eoin Cody’s effort coming down the home straight. The Ballyhale man outmuscled the Galway defenders to grab a long delivery before sprinting through and finishing to the net. Dean Mason was called into action in the Kilkenny goal making two saves, but he couldn’t deny Sean Neary on 56 minutes. Kilkenny hit back almost immediately with a point through Sean Ryan after he was assisted by Cody. Ryan then went on to knock over his third point of the game to extend the lead out to six. Galway managed to hit three further points but Kilkenny tagged on scores through Brassil and Cody to see out the game.

Kilkenny: Dean Mason; Mikey Butler, James Brennan, Conor Flynn; Conor Heary (0-02), Michael Carey, David Blanchfield; Evan Shefflin, Eoin O’Shea; Adrian Mullen (0-01), Niall Brassil (0-07, 0-05 frees, 0-01 ’65), Aaron Brennan (0-01); Seán Ryan (0-03), Eoin Cody (1-03), Stephen Donnelly (0-02).

Subs used: Conor Murphy for J Brennan (33), Ciarán Brennan for Cody (50, temp), Ciarán Brennan for A Brennan (52), James Bergin for Shefflin (59), John Dowd for Mullen (60+3)

Galway: Darach Fahy; Caimín Killeen, Mark Gill, Darren Morrissey; Daniel Loftus (0-01), TJ Brennan, Ronan Glennon; Seán Neary (1-00), Conor Caulfield; Diarmuid Kilcommins (0-01), Conor Walsh (0-02), Shane Ryan; Sean Bleahene, John Fleming (0-01), Mark Kennedy (0-07, frees).

Subs used: Sam McArdle for Morrissey (HT), Donal Mannion (0-01) for Ryan (39), Cillian Lawless for Kilcommins (43), Dean Reilly (0-02) for Bleahene (49), Ben Moran for Caulfield (56)

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