DUBLIN DEFEAT KILKENNY TO CLAIM U17 LEINSTER HURLING TITLE
Dublin’s under 17 hurlers climbed the steps to the podium at O’Moore Park today following a comfortable win over Kilkenny in the Leinster final.
They edged ahead of ‘The Cats’ before the interval and were the better team throughout the second half.
This one-off competition was introduced to ensure players do not miss out on the chance to represent their county, as the age limit for Minor switches to Under 17 from 2018.
Both Dublin and Kilkenny came through their quarter-finals and semi-finals without conceding a goal, but green flags were raised at both ends by the fourth minute today.
Dublin struck first when captain, Mark Grogan burst through and fired an unstoppable shot to the net, only for Kilkenny to hit back straight away through Conor Drennan.
Kilkenny then briefly went ahead through Diarmuid Phelan, but free-taker Liam Dunphy replied for Dublin and they never trailed from that point on.
However, just a point separated the sides approaching first half injury-time when centre forward Billy Ryan gave Dublin a major boost with their second goal, and they led by 2-8 to 1-7 at the interval.
A third Dublin goal in the 37th minute, fired home by Luke McDwyer, stretched their advantage to nine points (3-10 to 1-7) and Kilkenny never looked likely to stage a recovery.
Free-taker Liam Murphy slotted over some nice points for the winners, and the best Kilkenny could muster was a consolation goal late on by Ciaran Brennan.
Dublin now progress to the All-Ireland semi-final, while several members of both squads in action today are also preparing for the Leinster Minor decider at Croke Park on Sunday, 2nd July.
DUBLIN: Eddie Gibbons; Andrew Dunphy, Kevin Burke, Tommy Kinnane; Sean Kinsella, Enda O’Donnell, Lee Gannon; Tom Aherne, Mícheál Murphy (0-2, 1f); Mark Grogan (1-0), Billy Ryan (1-3), Kevin Kirwan (0-1); Liam Murphy (0-9, 6f), Kevin Desmond (0-2), Luke McDwyer (1-0).
Subs: Sam Beirnes for Kirwan; Andrew Carroll for Desmond.
KILKENNY: Jason Brennan; Darragh O’Keeffe, Mikey Butler, Ned Kirwan; Oran Brophy, Mark Nolan, Daire O’Neill; Aaron Brennan, Ian Walsh (0-1); Diarmuid Phelan, Jason Phelan (0-1), Killian Egan (0-1); Jack Buggey (0-4, 3f, 1’65’), Conor Drennan (1-0), Ciaran Brennan (1-1, 0-1f).
Subs: Dacel Fwamba (0-1) for Drennan; L.B. Smith for Brophy; Jamie Young for Buggy.
Referee: Conor Daly (Kildare).
(Image And Report Credit: Leinster GAA)