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cork joy Rebels go the 'extra' mile to set up All-Ireland final date with reigning champs Limerick

Cork 1-37 Kilkenny 1-32

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Jack O'Connor of Cork shoots past Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy to score the decisive goal in the 10th minute of extra time of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Jack O'Connor of Cork shoots past Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy to score the decisive goal in the 10th minute of extra time of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Jack O'Connor of Cork shoots past Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy to score the decisive goal in the 10th minute of extra time of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

They played U2’s song Magnificent as the teams left the pitch and that’s what this was, a truly outstanding game of hurling that Cork actually won twice in Croke Park to qualify for the All-Ireland hurling final on Sunday August 22nd against the champions Limerick.

In truth, this should never have reached extra-time. Cork had the contest wrapped up in normal time, six points ahead and cruising. But they cruised too much and missed a few easy pots for points allowing Kilkenny to chip away at the margin.

And there were only three points in it as the last of four added minutes ebbed away. That was all Kilkenny needed. Padraig Walsh stole the sliotar off Tim O’Mahony and played a peach of a pass to Adrian Mullen. The Kilkenny captain flashed the ball to the net with the last puck of normal time.

So Cork came out to win it again. And they did, thanks to Jack O’Connor’s solo run that brought a superb goal in the first period of extra-time. From there on, it always looked like the Rebels’ day as they found the points that bought their passport to the final.

Cork’s subs bench had a huge influence on the match as manager Kieran Kingston sprung his son Shane, Alan Cadogan and Declan Dalton, who between them in the second half and extra-time, bagged 11 points from play. Truly they made the difference.

So did Robbie Downey who was outstanding at full-back for Cork, winning ball after ball in the air.

Cork had withstood an early flurry of points from Kilkenny and, led by the excellent Patrick Horgan, they eased themselves back into the contest and led by a point at the first half water-break.

But the nuisance value of this break was shown again as it was Kilkenny who came out of it quicker and faster and soon got clear on the scoreboard again.

The Rebels were playing great combination hurling, but once or twice this short-passing game came within a swish of a Kilkenny caman of breaking down. It was high-stakes stuff and you wondered if it would catch hard-running Cork out yet.

Of concern too for the Cork boss Kingston was the fact that Horgan had scored ten of his team’s 14 points at half-time. You can’t blame Horgan for being excellent, but this contrasted badly with Kilkenny’s spread of scorers, nine of them in all.

Their talisman, TJ Reid, didn’t even score a point from play in the first half. It was as if Kilkenny were just simmering, and that Cork needed more players to come alive if they were to win a place in the final.

That’s where the Cork subs came into the equation. Kilkenny’s subs contributed a single point - from Richie Hogan. Goalkeeper Eoin Murphy was superb for Kilkenny, but that he was one of their best players tells its own story. This was Cork’s day.

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Scorers:

Kikenny: TJ Reid 0-13 11f 1 ‘65,’ A. Mullen 1-3, E. Cody 0-4, B. Ryan 0-4, A. Murphy 0-2, R. Hogan 0-1, R. Reid 0-1, J. Maher 0-1, P. Walsh 0-1, M. Carey 0-1, C. Fogarty 0-1

Cork- P. Horgan 0-15 9’f, J. O’Connor 1-3, S. Kingston 0-7, A. Cadogan 0-3, R. O’Flynn 0-2, S. Harnedy 0-2, S. Barrett 0-1, M. Coleman 0-1, D. Fitzgibbon 0-1, N. O’Leary 0-1, D. Dalton 0-1

Teams-

Kilkenny - E. Murphy; T. Walsh, H. Lawlor, P. Deegan; J. Maher, P. Walsh, M. Carey; C. Fogarty, R. Reid; A. Mullen, J. Donnelly, B. Ryan; E. Cody, TJ Reid, A. Murphy.

Subs - M. Keoghan for Donnelly ht, C. Buckley for R. Reid 51mins, W. Walsh for A. Murphy 52mins, J. Bergin for Keoghan 60mins, R. Hogan for Cody 80mins

Cork – P. Collins; N. O’Leary, R. Downey, S. O’Donoughue; T. O’Mahony, M. Coleman, G. Millerick; D. Fitzgibbon, L. Meade; C. Cahalane, S. Harnedy, R. O’Flynn; S. Barrett, P. Horgan, J. O’Connor.

Subs - E. Cadogan for Millerick 34mins, S. Kingston for Fitzgibbon 42mins, A. Cadogan for Barrett 47mins, D. Cahalane for O’Flynn 68mins, A. Connolly for C. Cahalane 69mins, S. O’Leary-Hayes for Coleman 80mins, D. Fitzgibbon for Meade 82mins, D. Dalton for O’Connor 83mins

Referee- F. Horgan (Tipperary)

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