Kilkenny came away with a hard fought 1-18 to 1-15 victory in the Leinster under-20 hurling quarter-final last night.
Kilkennys first score of the game came from a Conor Kelly goal within the first three minutes, with the game ebbing and flowing in the early stages. Laois finally took the lead on the 13th minute, with both sides trading the upper hand. At half time though it was The O’Moore County who lead on a Scoreline of 0-11 to Kilkennys 1-7.
Changes were brought in as Cathal Beirne & Ian Byrne both came on for the second half, which started how the previous one ended. Both teams were neck & neck, until Kilkenny finally pulled ahead with ten minutes remaining and never looked back. At one stage the Black and Amber looked to be crusing establishing a six point lead, however Laois kept battling and brought the game within a puck of a ball after Dan Delaney converted a penalty.
Ultimately the game ended with Kilkenny advancing to the next round, however manager Derek Lyng was keen to praise both his opponents and his own team. Speaking to KCLR Scoreline after the game he said,
“I knew Laois were going to bring alot to the table, they had two really big wins and put up big scores, they are a good hurling team. It took us awhile to settle, I thought we were edgy, committing fouls and making mistakes, that happens
“As the game went on, the bench made a positive impact, we just kept hurling. Alot of things were going against us but we kept going and got the win”
Kilkenny will now play Galway in the semi final on July 20th, speaking of The Tribesmen Lyng said,
“We need to pick it up for next week, we meet a top class team. I am certain we will bring a fight to them. We have to recover now and bring the performance”
Offaly also won their Bord Gais Energy Leinster under-20 hurling quarter-final by beating Kildare and will now take on Dublin in the semi-finals.