Henry Shefflin scored a crucial goal and also added 5 points, the last of which came 2 minutes from time.
If Kilkenny edged the result through Shefflin’s opportunism, Dublin will be comforted that they played some crisp, direct hurling with Emmett Carroll registering a superb goal and David Curtin hitting 0-8, including seven from frees.
Dublin were in front by 1-9 to 1-6 at the changeover. However, Kilkenny then took charge with a burst of seven unanswered points between the 40th and 53rd minutes. But Curtin with two frees, and Risteard Brennan brought the Dubs level again, before Shefflin battled past two defenders to land the winner.
Antrim got the better of Laois, 5-19 to 4-19 at Portlaoise, and if defenses are more generous now than at later stages of the season, Johnny McIntosh’s feat of hitting four goals was the scoring feat of the weekend.
McIntosh landed 4 points as well for good measure as Antrim led by 2 points at the break. Paddy Richmond also figured strongly for the winners with 8 points a tally, which was matched by James Young for Laois who had their goals from Damien Culleton (2), Philip Russell and sub Robert Jones.
Antrim’s opponents in the semifinal will be Wexford, who eased to a comfortable 16-point win over UCD at Piercestown. The scoreline of 5-14 to 1-10 in no way flattered Wexford, for whom Redmond Barry scored a second half hat trick of goals.
Nigel Higgins was on the mark for the other two of Wexford’s goals, while Offaly’s star forward, Brendan Murphy, who was playing for UCD, is a major doubt for the start of the National League after he was carried off with a leg injury.
Meanwhile, holders Meath fell at the first hurdle of the Kehoe Cup when they were edged out by Dublin Institute of Technology by 0-13 to 2-6 at Navan. Second-half sub Kieran Bergin, who scored six points, was the star of DIT’s shock victory.
Athlone IT also caused a surprise when they defeated Westmeath by 0-16 to 1-7 in Athlone, Carlow were too strong for Roscommon on a scoreline of 2-18 to 1-7, and Wicklow held out for a narrow 1-15 to 1-14 success against Mayo.
In football, Limerick won the McGrath Cup when they beat Cork IT by 2-10 to 1-3 in last Sunday’s final at the Gaelic Grounds. It was a special success for veteran midfielder John Quane, who had been persuaded to come out of retirement due to Limerick’s injury crisis, and the 34-year-old duly lifted the trophy as stand-in captain for Muiris Gavin.
Cork IT had rattled the winners with a Brian Sheehan goal after 13 minutes, but from then on Limerick settled as Ger Ahern and Michael Reidy from the penalty spot scored the all important goals.
Derry advanced to meet Tyrone in the McKenna Cup decider when they staved off a second-half comeback to defeat Fermanagh by 0-12 to 0-8 at Omagh. Paul Bradley had four points and Conleth Gilligan three as Fermanagh’s lack of scoring power cost them in the end.