Home GAA Conclusions As Kilkenny Power To Victory Over Cork In Croke Park

Conclusions As Kilkenny Power To Victory Over Cork In Croke Park

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 14/7/2019 Kilkenny vs Cork Kilkenny’s Conor Browne with Sean O’Donoghue of Cork Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Kilkenny 2-27 Cork 3-18

Reporting by Marisa Kennedy in Croke Park.

Kilkenny are back in the All Ireland semi-final after a one-year absence following their six-point win over Cork in Croke Park this afternoon.

Cork’s wait for their first win in GAA HQ since 2013 continues despite dominating the opening proceedings with two goals from Patrick Horgan. However, John Meyler’s side failed to score for 15 minutes at the start of the second half and that allowed Kilkenny to blitz their way to the penultimate stage of the competition.

Read our conclusions from Croke Park below.

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Cork Defensive Issues Continue: Kilkenny proved that the one area where Cork are still lacking is their full-back line. In the opening five minutes, Stephen McDonnell sent two balls straight to a Kilkenny player in space while they were also content to play short, dangerous passes in the full-back line. Mark Ellis was dispossessed as a result allowing John Donnelly to knock over an easy score. Colin Fennelly was left inside as a one-man full-forward line with Eoin Cadogan picking him up and the first ball that the Kilkenny forward caught resulted in a goal.

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Rebels Lack Clinical Finishing: Cork’s full-forward line of Alan Cadogan, Pat Horgan and Seamus Harnedy worked tirelessly to create scoring chances, running out to the wings where Kilkenny were vulnerable, but they lacked the lethal finishing touch that we have seen them execute throughout the championship. Frustrated, Daniel Kearney and Darragh Fitzgibbon resorted to taking long-range pot shots, both of which contributed to their tally of seven first-half wides.

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Kilkenny Respond With Style: Kilkenny responded to both of Cork’s first-half goals with typical fashion. The Rebels enjoyed a blistering start when Horgan buried a penalty in the third minute after Harnedy was fouled by Paul Murphy but it was Kilkenny who went on the attack immediately and Richie Hogan and TJ Reid, together with Fennelly’s goal, soon had them in front. After Horgan’s second, Reid and Conor Fogarty pointed Kilkenny level with Cork once again.

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The Magic Of Patrick Horgan: Patrick Horgan was back to his sublime self in this game, scoring 3-11 including a sublime goal from his knees and another when Cork desperately needed a lift in the second half. The Glen Rovers man put in a serious shift without the ball also and together with Cadogan, they tormented the Kilkenny defence. Horgan has been Cork’s best player for the past decade and it could be a case that his brilliance will not be fully appreciated until he retires.

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Kilkenny’s Old Guard Prove The Difference: Immediately after the break, Richie Hogan did what he does best and got himself into a one-on-one position with Anthony Nash and there was only one outcome from there. Following that, TJ Reid hit three frees before Eoin Murphy added another stunning long-range effort. Their scores throughout the match came at crucial moments when they needed their leaders to stand up while they ran riot in the closing periods.

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Cork’s Second Half Disappearing Act: Kilkenny came storming out of the blocks after the break but in truth, Cork made their job extremely easy. The work-rate and energy that coursed through their forward unit in the first half disappeared. Kilkenny dominated Nash’s puckouts, they won every breaking ball and Conor Fogarty ran riot in midfield. Cork went 15 minutes without a score while Kilkenny knocked over eight unanswered points. Eventually, Harnedy and Horgan registered 1-2 to drag the Rebels back into contention.

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Impact From The Bench: Kilkenny substitutes Billy Ryan, Walter Walsh and Bill Sheehan combined to score six points in the final 10 minutes of the game when Cork were desperately fighting their way back into contention. Cork also emptied their bench but they failed to make the same impact as Kilkenny powered to victory.

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Lack Of Knockout Atmosphere: Despite the sizeable crowd, Croke Park was oddly subdued for the meeting of two titanic rivals in the last six of the All Ireland series but it matched the intensity on the field. Even the five goals failed to spark the game into the type of life we expected from the meeting of these two teams. It was a game largely dominated by frees and missed opportunities and that lent itself to the overall atmosphere.

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About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter