Cork and Kilkenny played out a cracking clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday night, the home side coming away victorious with a goal to spare.
Shane Kingston’s early finish to the net was ultimately the difference as the game finished on a scoreline of 1-24 to 0-24.
Kingston, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Jack O’Connor when he was introduced and team capatain Seamus Harnedy all impressed up front for the Rebels, while Alan Murphy was the main threat to the Cork defence at the opposite end.
There was some truly outstanding long-range point taking on display as both teams appeared relatively sharp for this time of the year.
Both sides did have goal chances throughout but the goalkeepers at each end, Patrick Collins for Cork and Eoin Murphy for the Cats, each had a game to remember.
When called upon, both net-minders pulled off miraculous saves to deny the opposition.
Eyebrows were raised when Anthony Nash had been named to start in the Cork team which was released on Thursday evening, despite the fact that the Cork number 1 was set to play for his club Kanturk in the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Championship semi-final at 2 p.m. in Newbridge. Before it was revealed that Nash would not in fact be making the journey straight home to line out for the county side, questions were raised over the Cork management’s confidence in Collins as a back-up.
Well, the the highly rated Ballinhassig ‘keeper displayed tonight that he is more than capable of stepping up to the plate in the absence of Nash with a superb performance.
The save of the night, however, went to Collins’ counterpart, Murphy. Alan Cadogan collected possession and struck a thunderbolt that was headed straight for the top corner but for the acrobatic reflexes of the Kilkenny shot-stopper.
Check it out for yourself in the clip below, courtesy of the tantalising camera work of the mighty Buff Egan.
Brilliant save by Eoin Murphy tonight. One of the Best i have seen in ages 👌👌 pic.twitter.com/g4p9rKHOKZ
— Buff Egan (@buff_egan) January 27, 2018