Kilkenny-dominated Leinster make it to hurling final
19/02/2012 - 16:53:29
Leinster 3-14 Munster 1-16
Leinster’s hurlers are on course to successfully defend the M Donnelly Interprovincial title after running out four-point winners over Munster this afternoon.
There were some lovely touches from both sides at Nowlan Park, making use of the extra space afforded to them and the depth of talent in the opposing line-ups.
In front of Dublin goalkeeper Gary Maguire, Leinster fielded an outfield collection dominated by Kilkenny players.
Conor O’Mahony and Declan Hannon were ruled out for Munster, who were captained by Tipperary’s Eoin Kelly.
A second minute goal from the strong-running Michael Fennelly powered the hosts into an early lead, with a crowd numbering 1,500 at most in attendance.
Pa Cronin, Shane McGrath and Clare’s John Conlon hit Munster’s opening points, but scores from Brian Hogan, Shane Dooley (0-2), Richie Power and Joe Bergin had Leinster 1-5 to 0-3 to the good.
Although Cronin and John Gardiner closed the gap for Liam Sheedy’s side, further goals from Bergin, who netted from a hand pass from Richie Hogan, and Power (penalty) extended the gap to 3-8 to 0-8 by half-time.
Conlon (1-3) was one of Munster’s leading lights on the day. He was played in for Munster’s only goal just after the restart, doubling on a terrific pass from Brendan Maher.
Gardiner added a free to increase the pressure on Leinster. However, Dooley’s men were more than up for the fight in what turned out to be an entertaining clash.
Munster enjoyed a couple of purple patches to set up a grandstand finish with Cronin, Conlon, Clare’s Patrick Donnellan and Michael Walsh of Waterford all pointing.
With seven minutes remaining the deficit was down to 3-10 to 1-15, but points from Power, Dooley and Colin Fennelly gave Leinster enough of a buffer to see out the result.
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