Jamie Coughlan's late goal sees Cork defeat Kilkenny

Conor Lehane of Cork contests a high ball. Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Cork 2-15 Kilkenny 1-16

Cork will play in Group A of the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 for 2020 after coming from behind to take a two-point win over Kilkenny in Nowlan Park this afternoon.

A 71st minute Jamie Coughlan goal helped Cork on the road to victory, after John Meyler's side trailed for the bulk of this contest.

It means the Rebels will face Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Galway and Westmeath next year; while Kilkenny are paired with Wexford, Clare, Dublin, Laois and Carlow.

Cork dominated large stages of this game, but found it hard to convert their efforts to scores, and registered 10 first half wides.

Aided by a stiff wind assistance, Cork fired wide through Shane Kingston in the opening minute, but the Douglas clubman made amends from the puck-out, with the first point.

However, his side wouldn't scores again for another 13 minutes, with Cork's wides tally standing at six at that stage.

Kilkenny were more clinical upfront, as points from Billy Ryan and Alan Murphy (2) saw them take a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after seven minutes.

Murphy's second score came from a 65', after Anthony Nash pulled off a fine save, after Ryan cut through and his goal shot was blocked out.

Cork twice cut the gap to the minimum by the start of the second quarter, but didn't push in front until late in the contest.

Kilkenny keeper Eoin Murphy impressed, pulling off some fine blocks, with a number of Cork efforts also falling short into the hands of the Glenmore clubman.

Conor Lehane cut in for a one-on-one goal chance in the closing five minutes of the half, but the Kilkenny custodian was equal to his effort.

The Cats moved 1-7 to 0-4 ahead after 33 minutes, after Alan Murphy fired home a penalty, after Richie Hogan had been surrounded.

But Cork stayed close on the score-board, and with two of the final three points of the half, the score stood at 1-8 to 0-6 at the break.

Kilkenny made a number of changes at half-time, with Ger Malone and Aidan Nolan introduced.

The Cats were held to just one point in a 15-minute spell after the break - a Richie Hogan score to ensure a double-scores lead.

Cork kept in touch thanks to Lehane's efforts from placed balls, and with Kingston also on target, the Rebels cut the gap to two points by the 50th minute.

Kilkenny were also guilty of some missed chances during the second period, but kept ahead thanks to the likes of Niall Brassil.

Cork plugged away, and were rewarded at the start of the final quarter, with Luke Meade capitalising on a lapse in the Kilkenny defence, before the Rebels fired the games opening goal.

Kilkenny defender Michael Cody was caught out, as Jack O'Connor fired to the net to level the tie at 1-11 apiece.

In a frantic period, Niall Brassil pushed Kilkenny back in front, before Meade went in search of an equaliser, but he fired Cork's 16th wide.

Hogan and James Maher helped Kilkenny open up a three point lead, but Cork stormed back.

Scores from Lehane and Mark Coleman cut the gap to the minimum, before Coughlan's goal.

The Newtownshandum clubman finished to the net, after Lehane had initially lost possession inside.

Kilkenny never gave up, with Hogan adding yet another score, but an eighth Lehane score handed Cork a two-point win.

CORK: A Nash; S O'Donoghue, D Cahalane, D Browne; R Downey, T O'Mahony, M Coleman (0-1); G Millerick, B Cooper; C Murphy (0-1), R O'Flynn, L Meade (0-2); C Lehane (0-8, 6f, 1 65), A Walsh, S Kingston (0-3). Subs: J O'Connor (1-0) for Walsh (45); D Fitzgibbon for Murphy (45); J Coughlan (1-0) for Kingston (68).

KILKENNY: E Murphy; M Cody, P Deegan, C Wallace; E Morrissey, C O'Shea, T Walsh; J Maher (0-1), C Browne; P Lyng, A Murphy (1-4, 1-0pen, 2f, 1 65), R Leahy (0-2); B Ryan (0-1), R Hogan (0-5, 3f), N Brassil (0-3). Subs: A Nolan for O'Shea (HT); G Malone for Lyng (HT); J Donnelly for A Murphy (52); M Keoghan for Leahy (62).

REFEREE: James Owens (Wexford).

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