IT was an evening they put their rivalries aside as the hurlers of Cork and Kilkenny came together to support the fundraiser for former Cork footballer Kieran O’Connor who is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma.
On Wednesday night, hurling supporters from both counties turned up in Páirc Uí Rinn for this benefit match in a united effort to help this most worthy of causes.
It was fittingly played in ideal conditions with an appreciative crowd showing their support for both the home side and the visitors. And they were rewarded with a spread of quality scores over the 70 minutes.
Level 11 times after the first 35 minutes, there was nothing between the teams at the half-way stage, tied 16 points apiece. Very apparent was the individual effort of TJ Reid who was positioned on the 40. He displayed plenty of agility to score nine points in the opening half, which went a long way to Kilkenny going toe-to-toe with Cork.
Cork emerged with seven different scorers in that first-half, Patrick Horgan instrumental throughout, his free-taking ability always noteworthy. He finished the half with seven points (nine overall), six of these from placed balls.
Kilkenny introduced four substitutes at the break while Cork brought in Shane Kingston for Luke Meade, and as the second-half progressed they introduced unlimited substitutions.
The sides continued to trade points, with the only goal of the game arriving seven minutes following the resumption. Robbie O’Flynn showing great speed to race through the middle and provide a clinical finish after he was put through by Conor Lehane. The major proved to be the difference.
Among the late substitutions was Declan Dalton who is returning from injury. However, Aidan Walsh had to leave the field with an injury.
Scorers for Cork: P Horgan 0-9 (0-8 f), R O’Flynn 1-1, D Fitzgibbon, C Lehane 0-3 each, S Harnedy, J Coughlan, S Kingston 0-2 each, B Cooper L Meade, J O’Connor, C Cahalane and D Dalton 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-9 (0-2 f), W Walsh 0-5, J Maher, G Aylward, N Brassil 0-2 each, L Blanchfield, K Kelly, A Murphy 0-1 each.
CORK: A Nash; S O’Donoghue, D Cahalane, E Cadogan; C Joyce, T O’Mahony, G Millerick; D Fitzgibbon, B Cooper; D Kearney, R O’Flynn, L Meade; C Lehane, P Horgan, S Harnedy.
Subs: S Kingston for L Meade (half-time), A Walsh for S Harnedy (39), C Cahalane for B Cooper (42), W Kearney for S O’Donoghue (55), J Coughlan for P Horgan (56), J O’Connor for C Lehane (60)
KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, P Deegan, T Walsh; P Walsh, C Delaney, C Fogarty; W Walsh, J Maher; A Mullen, TJ Reid, G Aylward; R Hogan, L Blanchfield, N Brassil.
Subs: J Cleere for C Fogarty, C Wallace for P Murphy, J Holden for P Deegan, A Murphy for G Aylward (all half-time), K Kelly for R Hogan (49), D Brennan for E Murphy (60).
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).