Eoin Murphy’s outrageous save in injury-time denied Clare as Kilkenny advanced to a second successive All-Ireland senior hurling championship final.
Murphy’s reflex flick on to his own crossbar from Peter Duggan’s courageous effort right on 72 minutes was what secured the Cats’ 1-25 to 1-22 triumph at Croke Park in the end.
After the Leinster champions had built up a 0-15 to 0-10 lead by half-time, it was Brian Lohan’s men that came out all guns blazing after the turnaround and eventually hit the front with a string of Mark Rodgers’ frees being backed up by David Reidy’s 52nd minute point.
Rodgers would double the lead but the Cats responded with an Eoin Cody goal to usher themselves back in front and Cian Kenny’s point would have them three to the good again.
That lead was wiped out in an instant when Shane O’Donnell burst through and sent a rocket shot to the top corner of Murphy’s net.
Crucially, Derek Lyng’s side nailed the next three scores via TJ Reid (two frees) and Cody which would eventually lead to the Banner needing a goal as the clock winded down.
After a scramble in Kilkenny’s square, Duggan looked to have the equaliser in the second minute of injury-time but Murphy came up with a match-winning save instead as the black and ambers advanced to another Liam MacCarthy Cup decider – a repeat of last year’s showpiece against now four-in-a-row chasing Limerick in a fortnight’s time.Tweet