All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifiers – Kilkenny 1-22 Waterford 2-16

Kilkenny defeated Waterford by 1-22 to 2-16 after extra time in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifiers on Saturday July 13th at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Never say die Cats having time of their lives

Kilkenny 1-22 Waterford 2-16 aet

By Diarmuid O’Flynn from the Irish Examiner newspaper

Not once, not twice, not even thrice but four times Kilkenny were forced to excel by battling Waterford to win this titanic All-Ireland SHC qualifier in Semple Stadium on Saturday evening. First, with just seven minutes remaining of normal time, they held a five-point lead but were pegged back, point-by-point Déise captain Kevin Moran and supersub Ray Barry to the fore. Then, right at the end of the two minutes’ added time, Matthew Ruth broke onto a ball inside the 45m line with the posts at his mercy and duly pointed. A second earlier however referee James Owens blew for full-time and it didn’t count.

Forced to regroup, Kilkenny came out and shot five consecutive points to start extra-time, looking like winners for the third time. Not yet though, not yet. Waterford got their first goal; worse from a Kilkenny perspective. It should have been disallowed, Jake Dillon standing inside the square when Seamus Prendergast’s shot was saved, striking home the rebound.

Worse was to come for the Cats. Just two minutes remaining of extra-time Kilkenny still a goal to good, Waterford got their second goal and this time there was no question, Barry rifling home the rebound of Maurice Shanahan’s 20m free. That score tied the game yet again, momentum again with Waterford. And again, and for the final time, Kilkenny rose to the challenge.

Fittingly it was two young guns, captain Colin Fennelly and Richie Hogan showing the way with a point apiece while one of the old stagers, Aidan Fogarty, hit the final point. Over the hill? Four big games in three weeks in a heatwave bound to take its toll on an ageing team? Not these guys. Where do they get that continuing resolve? No-one knows them better than manager Brian Cody. “Ah, we dug savage deep a few times! There were huge questions asked here,” he said. “If our spirit was remotely diluted or if our attitude or determination was in any way below par, we would have been blown away because that’s the standard they were playing at. Every one speaks about the outstanding Waterford players who are no longer playing with them and they were top class players, you could rattle off the names. “Now they have assembled a team of serious, serious skill and ability and determination, and they have a lot of good young players coming behind them as well. We came here expecting a ferocious challenge and with a full realisation that we could be beaten tonight if we were anyway off attitude-wise at all, we wouldn’t have a hope of winning this match. And that’s what drove us on, I suppose. Great credit is due to them.”

One of those players is Tommy Walsh and not for the first time the Tullaroan Tiger epitomised the spirit of which Brian speaks. As Waterford raced into an early 0-5 to 0-2 lead, roared on by their massive support in the 17,235 crowd, Tommy was one of those who drove the recovery, helped Kilkenny to a one-goal half-time lead (1-6 to 0-6). The goal came just before the break, a Richie Power penalty deemed to have come back into play off the back stanchion supporting the net. And what a half! “It was like a coliseum out there!” said Walsh. “Waterford came back at us a few times but that’s what championship is all about. We met them in the league and they played a good style of hurling, all short passing; they’re well able to play around with the ball and we were under no illusions coming in.”

Five Waterford points in a row (two by rampaging Kevin Moran and two by sub Ray Barry) tied the game in regular time, that Matthew Ruth ‘winning’ point for the Cats ruled out. No matter. In that extra-time, the momentum should have been with Waterford it was Kilkenny playing their best hurling of the game, perhaps even of the season. “You’re trying from minute one and sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t,” said Tommy; “We hit a few wides at different stages but at the end, we were more clinical. “It was just great out there. It was like Nowlan Park last week, the crowd really got into it, real old-style championship hurling. The smaller grounds, where the crowd are kind of on top of you, I think that’s what every player loves. This one was just epic, great to be part of it.”

Made epic by Waterford, who grabbed two more goals in that extra-time, Jake Dillon and Ray Barry, tying the game again with just two minutes left, momentum swinging again. Did Tommy feel it was going from them? Did he hell! “No, never!” And so Kilkenny drive on, that indomitable spirit intact, taking the by-way rather than the highway. Better this way perhaps? “Who knows? We won’t know til the next day and hopefully we’ll come with a big game again.”

Scorers for Kilkenny: R Power (1-5, 2fs, 1-0pen), R Hogan (0-5), C Fennelly (0-4), E Larkin (0-4, 3fs), A Fogarty (0-2), M Ruth, M Fennelly (0-1 each).

Scorers for Waterford: R Barry (1-3), J Dillon (1-2, 1f), K Moran, D Fives (0-3 each). R Foley, J Barron, B O’Sullivan, J Nagle (free), S Prendergast (0-1 each).

KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; E Larkin, M Rice; C Fennelly (c), R Power, M Ruth; A Fogarty, W Walsh, R Hogan.

Subs for Kilkenny: H Shefflin for W Walsh (39), M Fennelly for Rice (47), W Walsh for Shefflin (70), L Ryan for Fogarty (70), A Fogarty for W Walsh (83), C Fogarty for JJ Delaney (88).

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; S Fives, L Lawlor, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, K Moran (c); R Foley, D Fives; J Dillon, S Prendergast, S O’Sullivan; J Barron, M Shanahan, B O’Sullivan.

Subs for Waterford: R Barry for B O’Sullivan (48), M O’Neill for Shanahan (55), S Walsh for O’Neill (inj. 58), P Prendergast for Foley (inj. 60), T Browne for D Fives (inj. 68), E Barrett for Barron (77), D Fives for P Prendergast (82), M Shanahan for Moran (inj. 85).

Referee: J Owens (Wexford)

 

Kilkenny emerge from Waterford epic

Report from the GAA.ie web site

All-Ireland Hurling Championship Phase III Qualifier: Kilkenny 1-22 Waterford 2-16 (AET)

Kilkenny advanced to the All-Ireland quarter-finals on Saturday night by defeating Waterford after extra-time in an incredible game at Semple Stadium. With the first game of the double header in Thurles between Clare and Wexford having dramatically gone to extra-time, it seemed unlikely that the second one would require the additional period as well, but a dramatic Waterford comeback in normal time ensured it would. In the end, the game was very similar to Clare’s win over Wexford. Kilkenny had looked almost certain to advance after the 70 minutes, but from nowhere, Waterford produced a remarkable comeback, hitting five unanswered points between the 63rd and 72nd minute.

Just like Clare did against Wexford, Kilkenny stormed clear of Waterford in extra-time, but while Wexford were unable to recover against Clare, Waterford did recover against Kilkenny, and extra-time goals from Jake Dillon and Ray Barry had Waterford level with two minutes left on the clock. But Kilkenny, like they have done consistently for a decade, delivered it when it mattered most. They hit three points in the two minutes that were left after the second Waterford goal, and that was enough to finally take the win in what truly was one of the great hurling epics. Kilkenny lead by three points, 1-6 to 0-6, at the end of a first half which never really took light.

It was Waterford who made by far the better start to the game, and they led 0-3 to 0-0 after 10 minutes. Kilkenny hit a few early wides and they were punished by the Déise as Richie Foley, Brian O’Sullivan and Darragh Fives all fired over to open up the gap for Michael Ryan’s side. Colin Fennelly finally got Kilkenny off the mark on 12 minutes, but Waterford continued to impress, and they lead 0-5 to 0-2 after a second inspirational score from Fives. However, Waterford hit only one more point for the remainder of the half as Kilkenny took charge.

A Richie Power brace and a point from Fennelly, which could have been a goal but for a fine save from Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe, made it 0-5 apiece, and then Eoin Larkin fired over his first free of the game to edge Kilkenny ahead for the first time in the game. Dillon levelled it up for Waterford shortly afterwards, but some late drama at the end of the first half left Kilkenny three in front at the break. Aidan Fogarty was fouled close to goal after a brilliant catch, and Kilkenny were awarded a penalty. Power struck it, and it appeared to be blocked on the line as it ricocheted back out to the onrushing players. The umpires signalled for a point after the rebound had been flicked over, but after consultation with the umpires, the referee awarded a goal, with Power’s penalty shot having hit the stanchion at the back of the net before deceptively firing back out to the players.

Three remained the gap after 49 minutes following points from Seamus Prendergast and the impressive Power, but Kilkenny were gaining in strength as the finish line loomed and points from Power and Larkin put them five ahead with just over 10 minutes to go. A point from the outstanding Barry put four in it, but Larkin’s free left Kilkenny five ahead with 61 minutes on the clock. However, Brian Cody’s side faded dramatically in the final 10 minutes as Waterford hit five points without reply to take the game into extra-time.

Barry (2) and Dillon pointed before Kevin Moran thundered over two inspirational points to take the game into extra-time. The way the end of normal time had panned out, it looked as though Kilkenny had nothing left in the tank, but they powered clear at the start of the extra period, and lead 1-17 to 0-15 after a few minutes, with Richie Hogan very prominent. Dillon’s goal just before half-time in the extra period left just two in it again, but two points from the brilliant Hogan had Kilkenny four ahead shortly after. Waterford kept battling though, and were three behind when awarded a 21 metre free with two minutes to go.

Maurice Shanahan went for a goal with the strike, but it was blocked on the line, and came back out to Barry, who controlled brilliantly before smashing to the net. That left it 1-19 to 2-16 with 89 minutes of hurling played. Incredibly though, Kilkenny surged forward again in one final act of brilliance. Colin Fennelly, Matthew Ruth and Aidan Fogarty all fired over points in the final two minutes to definitively grab the win for their side, and when the final whistle eventually came, it was hard to know where to begin after one of the most remarkable hurling matches one could ever hope to see.

Scorers for Kilkenny: R Power 1-5 (1 pen, 3f), R Hogan 0-5, E Larkin 0-4 (3f), C Fennelly 0-4, A Fogarty 0-2, M Fennelly 0-1, M Ruth 0-1.

Scorers for Waterford: R Barry 1-3, J Dillon 1-2 (1f), D Fives 0-3, K Moran 0-3, R Foley 0-1, B O’Sullivan 0-1, J Barron 0-1, S Prendergast 0-1, J Nagle 0-1 (1f)

Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; E Larkin, M Rice; C Fennelly, R Power, M Ruth; R Hogan, W Walsh, A Fogarty. Subs: H Shefflin for W Walsh (40), M Fennelly for M Rice (48), L Ryan for H Shefflin (72), W Walsh for A Fogarty (72), A Fogarty for W Walsh (83).

Waterford: S O’Keeffe; S Fives, L Lawlor, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, D Fives; K Moran, R Foley; J Dillon, S Prendergast, S O’Sullivan; B O’Sullivan, M Shanahan, J Barron. Subs: P Prendergast for N Connors (Temp, 17-18), R Barry for B O’Sullivan (48), M O’Neill for M Shanahan (55), S Walsh for M O’Neill (58), P Prendergast for R Foley (60), T Browne for D Fives (68), E Barrett for J Barron (78), M Shanahan for K Moran (85)

Fixture Details

Saturday July 13th

GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Phase III

Semple Stadium Thurles 19:00

Cill Chainnigh v Port Láirge

Referee: James Owens (Loch Garman)

(E.T. if Necessary)

Team News

KILKENNY (SH v Waterford) – E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; E Larkin, M Rice; C Fennelly, R Power, M Ruth; R Hogan, W Walsh, A Fogarty.

WATERFORD (SH v Kilkenny) – S O’Keeffe; S Fives, L Lawlor, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, D Fives; K Moran, R Foley; J Dillon, S Prendergast, S O’Sullivan; B O’Sullivan, M Shanahan, J Barron.

Match Coverage

This game will be shown live on TV3