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GAA: Stephens Day sees Students put away; James Stephens....1-13 UCD.......................1-12.

JAMES STEPHENS of Kilkenny won their first Leinster Club Hurling Championship for 23 years in dramatic circumstances yesterday as they withstood a fierce late onslaught from UCD at O'Moore Park.

This was a real game of two halves, with the Village dominating the opening half to open up a 10-point lead - 1-10 to 0-3 - with Eoin Larkin grabbing the goal.

However, UCD showed their talents in the second period and with two minutes left had drawn level.

However, wing forward David McCormack snatched the winner for the Kilkenny men as the game edged into injury time.

It was also a game of two stars, with James Stephens' Eoin Larkin scoring 1-6 in the first half, while Andrew Smith shot 1-5 in the second - the Kilkenny man just nicking the AIB Man of the Match award.

Former All-Star Brian McEvoy gave a forceful display for Stephens, particularly in the closing stages as his side responded to the UCD challenge.

Twice an All-Ireland winner with his county, this was a sweet victory. McEvoy said: "It is unbelievable. I thought the county final win was good but this is a lot better. I would swap every medal I have for this."

JAMES STEPHENS: F Cantwell, D Cody, M Phelan, D Grogan, P Butler, P Larkin, P Barry, J Tyrell, B McEvoy (0-1), E McCormack (0-2), E Larkin (1-7), G Whelan, J Murphy (0-1), R Hayes (0-1), D McCormack (0-1). Subs: J Mernagh for Butler, J Murray for Murphy.

UCD: M White, R Kirwan, D O'Connor, E Campion, D Walton, C Ryan, B Hogan, B Barry, S Lucey, P Morrissey, B Phelan, B Murphy (0-1), A Smith (1-6), E Ryan, R Barry (0-2). Subs: D Carter (0-2) for Kirwan, C Everard for C Ryan, J O'Connor for Morrissey.

CAPTION(S):

WINNERS: David McCormack and team-mate Richie Hayes
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2004
Words:303
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