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Published: 20:23 | 13/8/16

Kilkenny hold off Deise to book final place

Kilkenny are through to yet another All-Ireland final as they held off the determined challenge of Waterford in their semi-final replay at Semple Stadium by 2-19 to 2-17.

The Cats will face either Tipperary or Galway in the August 28th clash which will decide the destination of the Liam McCarthy cup with Kilkenny aiming for a third title in-a-row, a ninth crown from the last 11 campaigns.

Having required a late goal to force the replay six days ago, Kilkenny led by a single point deep into injury time when the Deise had a great chance to level the game but Pauric Mahony's free dropped short into the grateful hands of Cats goalkeeper Eoin Murphy. Richie Power then sealed the victory with a point at the other end.

Both sides came flying out of the blocks, grabbing a pair of fine goals each in the opening 20 minutes with the standard of finishing straight out of the top drawer.

The outstanding Austin Gleeson notched the first goal before Colin Fennelly - who was stretchered off late on with what appeared to be a knee ligament injury, putting his prospects of playing in the final in serious doubt - smashed home twice in the space of 10 minutes.

The topsy-turvy opening continued with Jake Dillon registering Derek McGrath's side's second three-pointer but as the half progressed Brian Cody's men pulled clear and led by three points at the break.

The size of the Deise's task grew bigger still when Kilkenny established a five-point lead 12 minutes into the second period but they gradually clawed their way back into the contest.

However, Kilkenny kept their noses in front, never allowing Waterford to gain parity and although Mahony came so close in added time, the Cats held on to win a cracking game of hurling.

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