All-Ireland MHC: Cats advance to final showdown with Galway

July 29, 2018

Tipperary's Frank Hanafin with Cathal O'Leary of Kilkenny.
©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

Kilkenny will face holders Galway in this year's All-Ireland MHC final after they finished with two points to spare over Tipperary in today's semi-final at Croke Park.

Two second-half goals from substitute Mikey O'Shea kept the Munster champions in the hunt but Richie Mulrooney's charges held on for a merited 1-15 to 2-10 success.

Shooting into the Hill 16 end, the winners put down a large deposit on their final ticket with a scoring burst of 1-3 without reply in the run-up to half-time.

Centre-forward Ciaran Brennan found the back of the Tipperary net just before the break to boost his team into a 1-7 to 0-4 interval lead.

O'Shea threw Tipp a lifeline with a clinically taken goal in the 43rd minute and four points (1-10 to 1-6) separated the sides at that stage. 

The number 18 tagged on a point for good measure and Kilkenny's advantage was down to two points with 15 minutes remaining on the clock.

A Jack Buggy free helped to calm Kilkenny nerves but O Shea pounced for his second green flag in the 55th minute to leave the scoreboard reading 1-13 to 2-8 in the black and ambers' favour.

Left half-forward Jack Morrissey - who scored 0-4 for the winners - and Eoin Guilfoyle responded with inspirational scores for the Cats which ultimately saw off the gutsy Premier County challenge.

Kilkenny - J Brennan; P Dempsey, J Young, D Crehan; D Maher, S Staunton, J Harkin; C Kelly (0-1f), C Kenny; C Brennan (1-2), J Buggy (0-4, 2f), G Murphy; C O'Leary (0-1), J Morrissey (0-4), D Coogan (0-1). Subs: K Hogan (0-1) for C O'Leary, P Moylan for D Coogan, E Guilfoyle (0-1) for P Moylan.

Tipperary - A Browne; K Hayes, C Whelan (0-2f), C O'Dwyer; J Ryan, S Phelan, F Hanafin; M Hackett, J Campion; C O'Farrell, R Renehan, K O'Kelly; D Ryan (0-3, 1f), S Hayes (0-1), J Devaney (0-1). Subs: J Morrissey (0-1) for M Hackett, M O'Shea (2-1) for R Renehan, K Maher for J Campion, J Lanigan (0-1) for J Devaney, K Ryan for J Ryan.

Referee - R McGann.

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