Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Drennan peerless as Cats beat same old Cork

Mossy Keoghan and Billy Drennan stretched the net as Kilkenny beat Cork by six points to qualify for the league final

Mossy Keoghan and Billy Drennan stretched the net as Kilkenny beat Cork by six points to qualify for the league final.

Derek Lyng Kilkenny Cork

Kilkenny 2-22 Cork 0-22
Mossy Keoghan and Billy Drennan stretched the net as Kilkenny beat Cork by six points to qualify for the league final.

The Cats led from inside the first minute all the way to the end, and never looked like losing a rather low-key NHL semi-final.

Without TJ Reid, Adrian Mullen and Eoin Cody — with myriad Senior and Young Hurler of the Year awards between them — there was a sense that the Rebels might cause a stir, but it rarely looked to be on the cards.

Cork will have wanted another game before championship as they have a bye in the first round, even if a meeting with Limerick feels like a poisoned chalice for any challenger just now.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The reality is that we will not again see The Rebels until April 30 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh against Waterford, with Eoin Downey set to be suspended after his red card here.

Had Pat Ryan wanted to find out more about his team between then and now in competitive action, that chance is gone. Training and challenge matches must provide the source for any answers now.

Brian Cody finished out his Kilkenny tenure in last year’s gripping All-Ireland SHC final defeat to Limerick. Derek Lyng will make his first bid for national silverware as successor against that very opposition.

There has been a transitioning of talent during the winter with the exits of James Maher, Mikey Carey, Conor Browne and Co, but Billy Drennan, David Blanchfield, Darragh Corcoran and Gearoid Dunne are making impressions.

Should The Cats perform well in the NHL final, they can head into the summer fare feeling good about themselves.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

They were far from perfect during this clash, but each of the five goals chances (some perhaps half chances) were created by the hosts and a six-point margin flattered the visitors.

Truth be told, the first half at Nowlan Park felt like watching the ‘B’ grade when compared with the performance Limerick served up against Tipperary the night before.

Every game is different and last year the Cats gave an admirable display against the Treaty on the biggest day, so that’s not to dismiss their chances down the line.

What we did see was a Cork team with plenty of fresh faces given their maiden senior competitive outing in the lions’ den.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Padraig Power passed the test in the opening half by fronting up to Tommy Walsh, hitting two nice points, and winning frees. The ball never made its way to him after the interval.

Tommy O’Connell showed some welcome aggression, but too few others made a similar impact.

The Rebels were without key men such as Darragh Fitzgibbon, Mark Coleman, Alan Connolly and captain Sean O’Donoghue, but what supporters needed to see what a new approach.

What they have produced in recent seasons hasn’t worked — losing the physical battle, playing themselves into trouble, shooting from silly areas, deliveries to nobody, and naive play.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

At times, this simply felt like the same mistakes but performed by newer, more inexperienced players. The latter descriptor means it is somewhat more forgivable, but Ryan and his charges must learn quickly.

Kilkenny scored just one point from open play in the first 22 minutes, and that a Richie Hogan point after a few seconds, but they did consistently draw frees from the visitors.

Paddy Deegan made a fine burst towards the square to set up Keoghan for his major on 22 minutes, and then Alan Murphy and John Donnelly (2) added further white flags before the break.

Shane Kingston, Conor Cahalane (2), Jack O’Connor and Power converted efforts for the Leesiders but too often they predictably invited trouble on themselves.

Brian Roche hit an aimless delivery to the corner where only Mikey Butler of Kilkenny stood, and the latter carried the ball out the field to assist Donnelly’s first.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Then, on 32 minutes, Cork hit a high ball in between the slight frame of O’Connor and the uncompromising Tommy Walsh, with the latter claiming the spoils.

Seconds later, Donnelly popped over the second of his two. Again, it just felt like the same old Cork.

The stick-passing in tight areas leading to turnovers also spoke of past failings, and even O’Connell making a break before handpassing behind Shane Barrett — who fell and handled the ball on the grounded — underlined the lack of exactness in their play.

In a world of Limerick’s marginal gains, Cork were leaking percentages all over the pitch.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Rob Downey was another positive for Cork, powering through Kilkenny players from first whistle to last.

The fracas which led to his brother’s sending off came just after Drennan had converted a penalty for Kilkenny’s second goal on 45 minutes, meaning the fight was shown after the horse had bolted.

Damien Cahalane might well have gone too for the swipe across Drennan’s head that resulted in the penalty, but The Cats won’t mind too much.

Lyng’s men won the war, played the game on their terms, and they are back in a final. While things have been all change on Noreside, some things remain the same.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John David Hickey

    March 27, 2023 at 8:10 am

    Spot on!Cork,as usual,totally overcomplicated what is essentially a very simple game.Bring down Brian Cody for a half dozen training sessions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


The lads are back once again to talk all things GAA.


The lads are reflecting on a dramatic weekend of club action and discussing the latest across the world of GAA.


Another big live show as we preview the All-Ireland SHC club semi-finals and talk to some big names in the GAA.


Enjoy our latest offering and leave a comment below. 𝘈𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘮𝘢𝘻𝘰𝘯 𝘈𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘸𝘦 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘴 🎁 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗴𝗶𝗳𝘁 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝗶𝗺...