Cathal McCabe, Kildare, gets away from Kilkennyi's Peter McDonald in the LMHC semi final
While there was no doubting the best side won in this Leinster MHC semi final at St Conleth's Park, this afternoon, nevertheless, Kildare, playing in their first ever Leinster MHC semi final, can be rightly pleased and indeed proud of their performance as they showed while not yet up to the high standard of Kilkenny, they nevertheless have made huge progress this season with some memorable wins.
Manager Cathal Fenton, said after the game "our lads can hold their heads high; we have made tremendous progress this year, getting excellent results against the likes of Antrim, Westmeath, Meath and of course Offaly, so overall a great season no doubt."
The difference between the two sides lay in the forward divisions, Kilkenny's inside line alone hitting 1-16 with Billy Drennan and Tommy Clifford standing out big time.
The sides were level at 0-3 apiece after nine minutes before Kildare took the lead for the first time through star man David Qualter but Kilkenny hit back in a devastating spell when they hit 2-5 to go into the break leading 2-11 to 0-6.
Kildare certainly did not lie down on the resumption and really held their own in the second half with each team hitting nine apiece and while Kilkenny were never under any threat of losing this one they nevertheless knew they had been in a decent semi final and they now go on to meet Wexford in the final in two weeks time.
Final score: Kilkenny 2-20 Kildare 0-15.
Scorers: Kildare, David Qualter 0-6 (5 frees), Cathal McCabe 0-3 (3 frees), Darragh Melville 0-3, Jack Higgins 0-2 Ferran O'Sullivan 0-1,
Kilkenny, Tommy Clifford 1-5 (2 frees), Billy Drennan 0-8 (4 frees), Colman O'Sullivan 1-0, Ian Byrne 0-3 (2 frees), Andy Hickey 0-1, Jack doyle 0-1, Breadon Wheeler 0-1, Peter McDonald 0-1.
KILDARE: Alo Hackett (Rathangan); Peter O'Donoghue (Naas), Sean Conway (Naas), Matthew Eustace (Maynooth); Paul Dolan (Éire Óg Corrachoill), Cian Shanahan (Clane), Aidan Mooney (Maynooth); Ferran O'Sullivan (Naas), Conan Boran (Naas); Colmán O'Donovan (Celbridge), Ross Stapleton (Naas), Jack Higgins (Éire Óg Corrachoill); Daragh Melville (Leixlip), Cathal McCabe (Maynooth), David Qualter (Maynooth). Subs: Darragh McMahon (Kill) for Matthew Eustace (29 minutes); Aidan Mooney (Clane) for Rossa Stapleton (47 minutes); Aidan O'Brien (Moorefield) for Paul Dolan (47 minutes); Eoin McConnon (Sallins) for Jack Higgins (53 minutes); Johnny Owens (Celbridge) for Conan Boran (60 minuters).
KILKENNY: Aidan Tallis; Billy Reid, William Halpin, Tristan Roche; Peter McDonald, Padraic Moylan, James Aylward; Andy Hickey, Denis Walsh; Jack Doyle, Colman O'Sullivan, Liam Moore; Billy Drennan, Tommy Clifford, Ian Byrne. Subs: Pierce Blanchfield for Liam Moore (42 minutes); Seanán Doyle for Jack Doyle (42 minutes); Zach Bay Hammond for Denis Walsh (423 minutes); Jamie O'Keefe for Ian Byrne (55 minutes); Breadon Wheeler.
REFEREE: Thomas Gleeson.