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Kilkenny Ease Into All-Ireland U-21 Final With 50-Point Win Over Derry

Eddie Brennan’s Kilkenny u-21 side eased into the All-Ireland final after hammering Derry in Semple Stadium.

It ended 8-35 to 0-07 as the Leinster champions won with a massive 52 points to spare.

First half goals from John Donnelly, Shane Walsh, Richie Leahy and Billy Ryan (2) saw the Cats ease into next month’s final.

However, the facile nature of this win means that Kilkenny didn’t learn too much about themselves ahead of an All-Ireland decider on September 9.

At the interval, the Cats led 5-12 to 0-04 as the Leinster champions kept piling on the pressure on their northern opponents.

All six starting forwards scored for Kilkenny and John Walsh, who came on as sub early on, also got on the scoresheet. As did fellow subs Alan Murphy and Eoin Kenny. Quality of opposition aside, Brennan will be thrilled with the spread of scorers at his disposal.

Kilkenny kept the pressure on, scoring 0-03 in the first two minutes after the restart – with John Donnelly hitting each of those scores.

With the likes of Liam Blanchfield, Billy Ryan, and Sean Morrissey all threats up front, if Kilkenny can get good ball into their forwards, they have a great chance in the final.

However, it cannot be said enough how much of a non-contest this was.

In fairness to Derry, winning the Ulster title for the first time since 2008 was more than they could have imagined they would achieve in 2017. Add to that the Nicky Rackard Cup success of the hurlers and the Oak Leaf County can be optimistic about the future.

Unfortunately, this was a bad year for Ulster hurling as it raises questions about the structure of the u-21 competition.

This was highlighted once again when Shane Walsh hit Kilkenny’s sixth goal of the day after 34 minutes.

The standard of the Ulster Championship just means that these teams can’t compete with the likes of Kilkenny, Galway and Limerick.

Eoin Kenny hit Kilkenny’s seventh goal in the final quarter after a game that, to be blunt, was no good to either side going forward.

Author: The PA Team

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