KILKENNY 0-21 DUBLIN 0-16
Dublin exited the Bord Gais Energy Leinster U21 hurling championship following this quarter-final defeat at Nowlan Park on Wednesday night.
The Dubs never really hit top gear and were over-reliant on freetaker Colin Currie for scores despite coming with a promising second half rally.
The Cats led 0-9 to 0-7 at the half-time interval after playing against the wind. Dublin hit nine wides during the opening period as they struggled to find their accuracy from long-range.
Kilkenny pushed their lead out to seven points at one stage of the second half but Dublin showed great spirit to rally and reduce the deficit to just three points by the 56th minute.
The impressive Billy Ryan put Kilkenny 0-17 to 0-10 clear by the 47th minute but the young Dubs took control for the next ten minutes.
Riain McBride, now positioned at full-forward, was proving to be a consistent ball-winner on the inside line and his forceful running began to heap pressure on the Kilkenny defence.
Colin Currie clipped two points (including one free) before Donal Burke and McBride added to Dublin’s momentum to leave it still up for grabs at 0-17 to 0-14 with four minutes of normal time to play.
However, Kilkenny found their feet again with excellent late scores from subs John Donnelly (two) and James Bergin steering their side into a provincial semi-final against Westmeath.
Goal opportunities were scare at both ends but Dublin keeper Jonathan Treacy did well, once in either half, to deny Kilkenny while their keeper Darren Brennan pulled off one late acrobatic save to keep his goal intact.
SCORERS – Kilkennny: A Murphy 0-8 (0-6f), B Ryan 0-4, J Donnelly, S Walsh 0-2 each, T Walsh, J Walsh, S Morrissey, J Bergin, L Blanchfield 0-1 each. Dublin: C Currie 0-9 (0-7f, 0-1 ‘65’), R McBride 0-3, D Burke, E Conroy, F Whitely, C O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
KILKENNY: D Brennan; M Cody, C Delaney, R Bergin; C Doheny, J Cleere, T Walsh; H Lawlor, S Morrissey; P Lyng, J Walsh, S Walsh; A Murphy, L Blanchfield, B Ryan. Subs: J Donnelly for Blanchfield (42), L Scanlan for Lyng (46), J Bergin for S Walsh (46), D Mullen for Doheny (55), R Leahy for J Walsh (57).
DUBLIN: J Treacy; D Gray, C Hendricken, J O’Neill; J Malone, S Barrett, P O’Dea; R McBride, B Bolger; E Conroy, F Whitely, C Burke; P Crummey, D Burke, C Currie. Subs: E McHugh for C Burke (25), C O’Sullivan for Crummey (ht), C Sammon for Gray (ht), J McGuirk for Bolger (37), C Dowling for O’Dea (54).
REF: P Murphy (Carlow).