Abbeyleix 2-14 Rathdowney-Errill 0-12
U-20 Hurling Championship Semi Final
Liam Kavanagh’s first half brace proved crucial as Abbeyleix saw off Rathdowney-Errill to take a place in Sunday’s U-20 hurling final.
The victory sets up a repeat of the 2018 Minor final between Abbeyleix and The Harps – which the latter won following a cracking contest.
This was Abbeyleix’s second game in four days following Friday night’s quarter final win over Borris-Kilcotton and they did look rusty early on.
Despite Ciaran Byrne giving them the lead, Padraig Rafter and a brace from Dylan Carroll had Rathdowney-Errill ahead early on.
A fantastic run from Colin Byrne set up Kavanagh to smash home his first goal but Rathdowney-Errill were not perturbed.
Dylan Carroll swung over another free while Padraig Rafter and Aaron Costigan also scored to leave them 0-6 to 1-1 ahead at the first water break.
But Abbeyleix clicked into gear in the second quarter and turned the game on its head to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Aaron Brennan landed four frees in the middle of points from Shaun Fitzpatrick and Ciaran Byrne.
Dylan Carroll replied for Rathdowney-Errill but a storming run from Cathal Doyle ended with Kavanagh rattling the onion sack again to leave Abbeyleix 2-7 to 0-7 ahead at half time.
Rathdowney-Errill regrouped at half time and got the first three scores of the second via Shane Bracken (2) and Dylan Carroll.
They had further chances to score after that but several efforts went wide from distance.
That let Abbeyleix off the hook as Fionan Mahony and Ciaran Byrne scored to leave it 2-9 to 0-10 at the second water break.
Abbeyleix were professional after that and saw out the game well as Rathdowney-Errill faded away.
Brennan landed another three frees with Ciaran Byrne and Shaun Fitzpatrick also pointing.
The best Rathdowney-Errill could manage was two more from Dylan Carroll as Abbeyleix won by eight in the end.
SCORERS – Abbeyleix: Aaron Brennan 0-7 (all frees), Liam Kavanagh 2-0, Ciaran Byrne 0-4, Shaun Fitzpatrick 0-2, Fionan Mahony 0-1 Rathdowney-Errill: Dylan Carroll 0-7 (six frees), Padraig Rafter and Shane Bracken 0-2 each, Aaron Costigan 0-1
ABBEYLEIX: David Sheeran; Ned Fitzpatrick, Lawson Obular, Ross Coffey; Adrian Dunne, Cathal Doyle, Liam Doyle; Enda McWey, Davin McEvoy; Shaun Fitzpatrick, Fionan Mahony, Aaron Brennan; Liam Kavanagh, Ciaran Byrne, Colin Byrne. Subs: Sam Quinn for Colin Byrne (47), Alan McWey for Kavanagh (54)
RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL: Ben Campion; Killian Carroll, Thep Fitzpatrick, John Sherman; Jack Foyle, Daniel Bowe, Ben Galvin; Cillian Meagher, James Keegan; Padraig Rafter, Dylan Carroll, Ryan Costigan; Michael Cleary, Aaron Costigan, Shane Bracken. Subs: Paddy Hassett for Meagher (34), Cian Bourke for Cleary (59), Eoin Flanagan for Keegan (62)
Referee: Padraig Dunne (Colt)