Trailing by six points at one stage, a mammoth second-half shift from Cork has put the Rebels into this year’s Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final at the expense of Kilkenny.
The Cats started bright, opening up a six-point lead in the opening five minutes and went into the break four points clear thanks in part to two goals from Mossy Keoghan.
However, it was all but one-way traffic in the second half as Cork found the spark missing in the first to outscore the Cats 1-13 to 0-08 and run out four-point winners in the end.
Even with five minutes to play it looked like Kilkenny would be on course for the league decider before Darragh Fitzgibbon avoided a call for steps to hit the back of the net and push Cork two points clear.
Conor Lehane and Darragh Fitzgibbon added two points in quick succession to make it a two-score game. Despite hitting two goals in the first half, the Cats looked goal-shy in the second and with time ticking down, they still
The win puts Cork within 70 minutes of their first league title since 1998.
“I was very impressed by Cork in the second half”, said KCLR analyst Michael Walsh at the final whistle.
“Four, five points down right at the start of the second half but [Cork] bossed the game. It’s a little bit worrying for Kilkenny, they’ve got a lot out of it [the league], but there’ll be a few questions asked.”
“In the second half, Cork’s defence changed, they got their matchups much better. The full-back line had looked so poor in the first half, but miles better in the second half.”
“At half time I was saying Kilkenny were looking so good that they’d be contenders this year. They’re after doing well, but the second half today showed there’s still work to do. It’s going to be some Leinster championship, there are very good teams in there and nothing’s decided.”
“We were talking about Cork’s old failings all being there but they switched it around and got it all right in the second half.”
“Kilkenny had players on the bench too to make a difference and they didn’t.”
“Roll on the Leinster championship. The best team won on the night and we have to accept that. Cork are a class time. When they move, they really do move.”
Sunday sees Waterford and Wexford face off in UPMC Nowlan Park at 3.45pm to decide who will face Cork next weekend. We’ll have updates on that game live on Scoreline this Sunday afternoon.