‘Kittens’ claims seventh Under-14 hurling crown
Tony Forristal/Sonny Walsh Tournament 2014
A mere two months ago, there were whispers of a crisis in Kilkenny underage hurling.
The Cats’ Under-21 side lost for a second year running to Wexford and their Minor side had suffered a humiliating defeat at home to Dublin in the Leinster Championship.
Well, how things change on Noreside and traditionally for the better when it comes to the Black and Amber.
Kilkenny minors reversed their earlier defeat to Dublin and now line up beside Limerick this Sunday in the All-Ireland minor final, and last Saturday their Under-14 side won the 33rd edition of the Tony Forristal Tournament in a canter.
Kilkenny County Board Chairman Ned Quinn was present in Waterford last weekend to cast an eye over the future Kilkenny stars and on this evidence the Mooncoin man can rest easy.
Kilkenny completely out played all their opponents on the way to their seventh ever Tony Forristal title.
The Leinster side had victories over Limerick (20 points), Wexford (17 points) and Tipperary (18 points) on the way to the final. Galway for their part after a facile win over Offaly beat both Waterford and Cork by nine points in qualifying for the final.
Waterford as the host county struggled for a long time to put Offaly away in their opening game and you just knew it was unlikely to be their day when Galway subsequently beat Offaly 4-21 to 0-2. And so it proved as Galway outplayed Waterford 3-10 to 1-9 in the decisive group game. Waterford had fine performances from the likes of Lorcan Dwyer Sheridan, Jack Troy, Ciaran Power, Brian Cooke, Alan Kirwan and James Riordan but it was not to be for the home side.
In the final played at Walsh Park last Saturday evening it was no surprise that Kilkenny stamped their mark on the game from the get go.
Full-forward Declan Duggan had a goal for Kilkenny in the opening minute and a Justin Cahill point put the Cats four points up.
David Jordan had Galway’s first score after six minutes and a free from Conor Molloy left the Tribesmen trailing 1-2 to 0-2. Further points from Liam Grant, Justin Cahill and two from Conor Henry had Kilkenny leading 1-5 to 0-2 at half-time.
Galway had the first score of the second half from a Mark Kennedy free but once again Kilkenny took control hitting five points in succession to lead 1-10 to 0-3 halfway through the second half. The impressive Galway corner-forward Conor Molloy goaled with seven minutes to play leaving his side trailing 1-12 to 1-4.
The Galway comeback came to a shuttering halt when Liam Grant hit Kilkenny’s second goal and they eased to an 11-point victory by game’s end.
Meanwhile, Cork emerged as Sonny Walsh Tournament winners, seeing off Tipperary by 3-5 to 1-5 in the Final, which was also played at Walsh Park.
Great credit once again to all who made this year’s tournament an unqualified success and especially to its dedicated committee: Johnny Walsh, John Qiunn, Dick Evans, Martin Quinn, Billy O’Neill, Keith Forristal, Stephen Greene, Liam Cheasty and Owen Savage.
Kilkenny: Dean Mason; Sean Brennan, James Phelan, Mickey Butler; Eoghan Moylan, James Brennan, Diarmuid Phelan; Alex Hatt, Killian Egan; Conor Henry, Ian Walsh, Liam Grant; Justin Cahill, Declan Duggan, Conor Drennan.
Scorers: Liam Grant (1-4), Justin Cahill (1-2), Conor Henry (0-5), Declan Duggan (1-0), Conor Drennan (0-2, 0-1f), Alex Hatt (0-2), Killian Egan (0-1).
Galway: Darach Fahy; Sean Duffy, Conor Lee, Jack Galvin; Adam Clarke, Conor Walsh, Simon Thomas; Enda Egan, Cillian Lawless; Eoin Caulfield, David Jordan, Nathan Earner; Conor Molloy, Jack Egan, Mark Kennedy.
Scorers: Mark Kennedy (0-4, 0-2f), Conor Walsh and Conor Molloy (1-0 each), David Jordan (0-1).
Player of the Tournament: Alex Hatt (Rower Inistioge).
Division 1 Groups A&B (Mount Sion)
Laois 0-4 Cork 5-8
Waterford 2-11 Offaly 0-8
Laois 1-1 Dublin 5-9
Galway 4-21 Offaly 0-2
Cork 1-9 Dublin 0-3
Waterford 1-7 Galway 3-10
Cork 2-6 Galway 4-9
Division 1 Groups C&D (St Saviours)
Clare 1-8 Antrim 1-7
Limerick 0-1 Kilkenny 2-15
Antrim 2-5 Tipperary 3-13
Limerick 1-9 Wexford 0-9
Clare 1-6 Tipperary 3-13
Kilkenny 4-12 Wexford 0-7
Tipperary 1-2 Kilkenny 4-11
Division 2 Group A (Erins Own)
Wexford 3-5 Dublin 2-6
Kilkenny 1-2 Cork 0-4
Wexford 4-4 Kilkenny 0-4
Cork 2-9 Dublin 1-3
Wexford 0-1 Cork 3-9
Kilkenny 1-7 Dublin 3-4
Division 2 Group B (De La Salle)
Tipperary 1-10 Waterford 1-1
Tipperary 4-12 Kerry 0-6
Kerry 3-2 Waterford 1-13
Tipperary 2-6 Galway 1-5
Division 2 Group C (De La Salle)
Clare 3-6 Limerick 3-7
Clare 0-9 Galway 4-15
Limerick 1-10 Galway 4-8
Sonny Walsh Final (Walsh Park)
Cork 3-5 Tipperary 1-5
Tony Forristal Final (Walsh Park)
Kilkenny 2-16 Galway 2-5
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