Kilkenny cruise to win, but Brian Cody has injury fears for decider
Cork 0-19 Kilkenny 3-22
Kilkenny are still on course for a fifth successive All Ireland senior hurling title after the most comprehensive of victories at Croke Park.
The only concern for manager Brian Cody at the finish of another commanding display was injuries to both Henry Shefflin and Brian Hogan.
Kilkenny controlled the first half with a masterful performance, killing off the Cork challenge with goals from Eddie Brennan and Aidan Fogarty.
They amassed a 2-12 to 0-5 lead at the interval, before their opponents staged a mini-revival with scores from Ben O'Connor and Pat Horgan.
However, the Cats killed the game off with a third goal from Richie Power, who finished with 1-8, having taken over free-taking duties from Henry Shefflin, who is now a doubt for next month's decider after suffering a first-half knee injury.
When it was all over and the dust had settled Brian Cody was quick to play down what was a magnificent display by the defending All Ireland champions.
“We're just thrilled to have won and to be in another All Ireland final,” he said.
“It means I can relax and come back to Croke Park for the second semi-final.
“We've managed to cope with a number of injuries due to the strength of our panel and basically that's where our strength lies in that we're able to bring in different players without disrupting the balance of the side,” the manager added.
KILKENNY: PJ Ryan, J Dalton, N Hickey, J Tyrell, T Walsh,0-1 B Hogan,0-1 JJ Delaney, J Fitzpatrick 0-2, M Fennelly 0-2, TJ Reid,0-1 H Shefflin,0-2 E Larkin 0-1, E Brennan,1-1 R Power,1-8 A Fogarty 1-2.
Substitutes: J Ryall for B Hogan, M Comerford 0-2 for H Sheflin, D Lyng for J Fitzpatrick.
CORK: D O’Cusack, S O’Neill, E Cadogan, B Murphy, J Gardiner 0-2, R Curran, S Og OhAilpin 0-1, T Kenny, C Naughton 0-1, M Cussen, K Murphy, N McCarthy 0-1, P Horgan 0-6, A O hAilpin, B O Connor 0-7.
Substitutes: M Cussen for C Naughton, G O’Connor 0-1 for K Murphy, W Egan for N McCarthy.
REFEREE: B Gavin (Offaly).