Tuesday 12 December 2017


DAVID HERITY: Selected despite the return to full fitness of Eoin Murphy. Almost kept Colm Cronin's goal out but got revenge with a good save in the second half on a shot from the same player. Will surely retain jersey for All-Ireland series. RATING 7

PAUL MURPHY: Got a vital block on Jonny McCaffrey in the second half when a goal would have made a game of it. Cleared plenty of ball long and often. The most stylish corner-back around. RATING 7

JJ DELANEY: Reported no dizzy spells afterwards, despite the constant rotation of Dublin forwards into his vicinity. Never blinked. Won almost every aerial dual with Alan McCrabbe early on. Commaning and solid. RATING 7

JACKIE TYRRELL: Played spare man role expertly early on, fetching and using bad long deliveries to inside Dublin forwards. Looked like a man who could play on for a couple more years on this showing. Not alone in that regard either. RATING 7

CILLIAN BUCKLEY: Probaby the best of the Kilkenny backs on the logic that he had arguably the most difficult task. Kept Conal Keaney quiet and tackled hard generally. Spent periods on Colm Cronin also but always on the front foot. RATING 8

BRIAN HOGAN: Solid. Scored one point from within his own half. Picked up Dotsy O'Callaghan early on but never looked under any great pressure on the basis that Dublin didn't generate enough possession to run directly at him. Defence looks safer for his presence. RATING 7

JOEY HOLDEN: Took a predictably off-colour Danny Sutcliffe early on and comprehensively won that battle. Has made good his chance and looks set to stay in the side when they go back to Croker in five weeks time. RATING 7

RICHIE HOGAN: Already the outstanding candidate for Hurler of the Year. Played a little deeper than usual but scored two points (one free). The most important player in this Kilkenny team now. RATING 9

CONOR FOGARTY: Another very solid outing for a man more naturalised in defence. Plays support role for Richie Hogan well and paired off with Joey Boland, who was substituted. Directly set to up two Kilkenny points. RATING 7

PáDRAIG WALSH: Not the most stylish of forwards but after hitting two early wides, went on to scores two points from play, one off either side. Linked play well and used possession productively. RATING 7

COLIN FENNELLY: Always looked the most likely of the Kilkenny forwards to penetrate and get the goal that ultimately, never came. Hit three points from a variety of positions but never really competed with Liam Rushe in the air for the time they spent in each other's company. RATING 7

TJ REID: Tagged by Stephen Hiney and, compared with his season's work to date, was obviously less effective. Nonetheless, hit 10 points, eight of which came from placed balls, miscuing just one - a '65- and hitting a single wide. RATING 8

WALTER WALSH: A perhaps surprise selection, given he has been held scoreless from play in each of his last two starts for Kilkenny. Scored a point but didn't dominate Michael Carton in the air or on the ground. Might stuggle to make Cody's semi-final team. RATING 6

EOIN LARKIN: Didn't score but dropped deep for most of the match so never really got the chance to get on the scoreboard. One smart dispossession of Danny Sutcliffe aside, did little of real note in the match. Did almost create a goal chance with a brave block on Peter Kelly in the first half. RATING 6

JOHN POWER: Another surprise starter. Scored a single point and had another effort waved wide by Hawkeye. Like Walter Walsh, under threat from the return to health of Richie Power and the threat of a fully fit Henry Shefflin. RATING 6


HENRY SHEFFLIN: As it customary now, arrived to a huge ovation and capitalised on the game's disarray to score three points in three minutes, the same tally as Dublin managed in the entire second half. Hard to see him not starting an All-Ireland semi-final. RATING 7

AIDAN FOGARTY: Might, given the 1-1 he scored in the replayed Galway match in Tullamore, feel hard done by to lose starting spot but managed a point upon his introduction for Power yesterday. RATING 6

LESTER RYAN: Lifted the trophy as captain and made a nice speech as gaeilge but came in too late to have any significant impact on the match. RATING 6

- Compiled by conor mckeon

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