A stunning second-half performance at Croke Park eased Kilkenny through to the All-Ireland SHC semi-finals, a stage they haven't played at since 2016.

Trailing by two points at half-time, Brian Cody's underdogs rose to the occasion with a terrific third quarter display in particular to seal a clash with holders Limerick.

The Cats outscored John Meyler's All-Ireland hopefuls by 0-8 to 0-0 between the 40th and 52nd minutes and surged into a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

It means that Cork's Championship campaign has ended at Croke Park for the third season running.

And just like the 2017 and 2018 semi-final defeats to Waterford and Limerick, they let slip a second-half lead.

Cork didn't lead for long in this second-half admittedly as Richie Hogan netted for Kilkenny just seconds after the restart but it will go down as another crushing defeat for the Munster outfit.

Pat Horgan scored a stunning 3-10 for them but still finished on the losing side with Alan Cadogan their only other forward who posed a serious scoring threat, hitting 0-04.

Kilkenny, in turn, had a whopping 12 different scorers on a landmark day for Cody's developing team with subs Walter Walsh, Bill Sheehan and Billy Ryan shooing 0-06 between them.

It was Kilkenny's first game since their Leinster final defeat to Wexford yet there was no sign of any provincial hangover or loss of momentum.

They conceded 1-01 in the opening three minutes as Cork opened brightly with Horgan converting a penalty and pinching a point.

But their response was emphatic, 1-04 without reply to jump onto the front foot and issue a statement of their intentions for the afternoon.

Richie Hogan of Kilkenny shoots to score his side's second goal 

It was a tight and tense first-half and the sides were level five times as they traded scores, back and forth.

John Donnelly gathered the ball under pressure at one stage and clipped a fine score. Cadogan did likewise for Cork and Horgan struck their second goal in the 28th minute, nudging them into a narrow lead again.

Horgan did superb to maintain his composure and strike past Eoin Murphy despite losing his footing after a challenge from Padraig Walsh.

Cadogan and Horgan added points just before the break and Cork led 2-10 to 1-11.

But that Hogan goal, when he pounced on a breaking ball and raced away from Sean O'Donoghue, was the turning point.

Cork briefly got back on level terms at 2-11 apiece but those eight points in a row from Kilkenny left clear daylight between the teams.

Free-taker TJ Reid, Adrian Mullen, Richie Leahy, Eoin Murphy and Walter Walsh were all on the mark during this blitz period.

Cork never quite recovered despite briefly rallying with an unanswered 1-03 that included Horgan's third goal.

Cork needed a huge finish but it was Kilkenny that provided it, concluding with an unanswered 0-04 to win in some style.

Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy (0-01, 0-01f); Paul Murphy, Huw Lawlor, Joey Holden; Paddy Deegan, Padraig Walsh, Cillian Buckley; Conor Browne (0-01), Conor Fogarty (0-02); John Donnelly (0-02), TJ Reid (0-10, 0-10f), Richie Leahy (0-01); Adrian Mullen (0-01), Colin Fennelly (1-01), Richie Hogan (1-02).

Subs: Walter Walsh (0-03) for Buckley (h/t), Bill Sheehan (0-01) for Hogan (50), James Maher for Browne (57), Billy Ryan (0-02) for Donnelly (63).

Cork: Anthony Nash; Sean O'Donoghue, Eoin Cadogan, Niall O'Leary; Mark Ellis, Stephen McDonnell, Mark Coleman (0-01); Billy Cooper, Darragh Fitzgibbon (0-01); Daniel Kearney, Conor Lehane, Luke Meade; Alan Cadogan (0-04), Pat Horgan (3-10, 1-00pen, 0-08f), Seamus Harnedy (0-02).

Subs: Robbie O'Flynn for Lehane (45), Shane Kingston for Kearney (47), Tim O'Mahony for Cooper (50), Damien Cahalane for O'Donoghue (54), Christopher Joyce for Meade (63).