Kilkenny have advanced to the All-Ireland final for the second consecutive year following Sunday’s victory over Clare.
They can now look forward to a repeat of last year’s decider with champions Limerick after they comfortably defeated Galway in Saturday’s opening semi-final.
The Cats took a 0-15 to 0-10 lead into the interval after a strong first half performance.
Seven frees from the ever-reliable TJ Reid along with three excellent points from fellow Ballyhale Shamrocks man Eoin Cody and additional points from Adrian Mullen, Tom Phelan and Huw Lawlor gave the Leinster champions a two-score cushion at half-time.
While Clare were within touching distance ahead of the second half, scores from David Fitzgerald, free-taker Mark Rodgers and star forward Tony Kelly seemed to merely keep them in contention rather than reducing the deficit.
One of the key swings in the game came in the 55th minute as a Clare mistake was severely punished when Reid found Cody who powered the ball into the back of the net.
Despite Lyng’s side taking control of an absorbing encounter thanks to that goal and a cluster of points, an incredible strike from Shane O’Donnell past Eoin Murphy brought Brian Lohan’s men back to level terms.
However, late Reid frees and two fine scores from Cody, along with a truly outstanding save from Eoin Murphy at the death saw Kilkenny see it out and book their place in the showpiece event.
The All-Ireland final will take place on Sunday, July 23rd with a throw-in time of 3.30pm.