Impressive Offaly minor hurlers battle hard but ultimately lose out to Kilkenny
Leinster Minor Hurling semi-final
Offaly 2-13 Kilkenny 0-24
Offaly gave Kilkenny a real scare on Saturday in this Leinster Minor Hurling semi-final in O'Connor Park before the Cats pulled away in the second-half to claim a five point victory.
Offaly were ahead at the break by 1-10 to 0-11 in the glorious sunshine in O'Connor Park with Ciaran Teehan getting the goal.
With optimism rising for the Offaly supporters, Kilkenny blasted out of the blocks in the second-half and they were five points ahead when DJ McLoughlin struck for Offaly's second goal with ten minutes to go.
That left just two between the sides but Kilkenny hit three of the next four points to restore their cushion which they held to the end of the game.
Kilkenny were quicker out of the blocks with the first two points of the game but Offaly pulled it back with Cathal Donoghue, Dara Maher and Ciaran Teehan all getting on the score sheet.
Offaly went ahead for the first time midway through the half with Donoghue on target again but Kilkenny edged back in front with the next three points.
Offaly however were really putting it up to Kilkenny and got their reward soon after when Coolderry's Ciaran Teehan hit the back of the net
. There was nothing to chose between the sides but Offaly finished the half on the front foot and points from Dara Maher, DJ McLoughlin and a sideline cut from Kilcormac/Killoughey's Cathal Kiely left Offaly 1-10 to 0-11 ahead at the break.
Unfortunately for Offaly, Kilkenny stormed out of the blocks in the second-half and moved 0-17 to 1-11 ahead with Kiely registering Offaly's only score in the opening 12 minutes of the second period.
Kilkenny continued to pull away but Offaly showed true grit and a goal from Shinrone's DJ McLoughlin got them back within two with ten minutes to go.
Again however, Kilkenny were able to respond and they scored three of the next four points to put breathing space between the sides.
Offaly battled right to the final whistle but they were unable to close the gap as Kilkenny held on for a 0-24 to 2-13 win.