County JHC ‘A’ semi-final
A superb team performance saw Kilsheelan Kilcash claim a county JHC ‘A’ final berth with a victory over Loughmore Castleiney on Sunday afternoon last in Boherlahan. In heavy conditions it was the more powerful South side that claimed the impetus from an early stage but three minutes before the break Loughmore found the corner of the net to land them right back in the game. Just over 55 yards out from his own goal, Shane Hennessy launched a well hit free and as the sliotar floated through the air it became apparent it was not going to clear the crossbar. Amid the hustle of a congested square, neither backs nor forwards made contact and the ball found its way into the corner of the net.
The Kilsheelan response was both rapid and emphatic as three minutes later on the stroke of half time, county minor captain Bill Maher received a hand pass 30 yards from the target.
With light ning speed Maher burst past one challenge before stepping around another and unable to catch the ball again he fired a shot off his right hand side straight from the stick.
The ball whizzed across goal and into the corner of the net as this fine individual effort opened up a gap between the teams.
Within minutes of the restart the South champions put this one beyond the reach of their opponents. Veteran full forward John Roche led by example all day and when his shot from the left of the target was foiled brilliantly by Craig Cleary, the Kilsheelan forwards were first to react. Niall Walsh reached the ball right of the target where instead of taking the shot on he flicked the ball back across the square for Eddie Sweeney to apply a deft finish redirecting to the net.
This victory will send Kilsheelan into the final in buoyant mood as the overall team performance was extremely strong and they will have no fear of any opposition.
Loughmore once again showed superb grit and determination but having lost so many key players from this team as the year developed made their task difficult.
Despite the heavy conditions this game began at good pace with Loughmore opening the scoring through wily campaigner Seamus Bohan as he swivelled onto his right and fired over.
Scores were then exchanged to and fro for the opening quarter of an hour before the South men kicked into gear.
Scores from Niall Walsh, Bill Maher and two frees from Alex Harte opened a gap before Hennessy found the net to narrow the margin.
Willie Ryan who displayed his excellent ability throughout landed a superb score before Maher’s fine individual goal went in to leave the half time score at 1-9 to 1-3 in favour of Kilsheelan.
The early goal in the second half killed the hopes of a Loughmore revival and despite their determined efforts their lack of fire power in attack left the Mid men fighting an uphill battle.
Further points from John Roche with three, substitute Adrian Walsh with two along with one from Keith Robinson sealed a comprehensive ten point victory for Kilsheelan Kilcash.
Kilsheelan Kilcash: Ian Coughlan; Conor Davin Murphy, James Ryan, Kevin Larkin; Sennan O’Halloran, Shane Prendergast, Donnacha Lonergan; Thomas Ryan, Willie Ryan (0-1); Bill Maher (1-2), Niall Walsh (0-1), Patrick Larkin (0-1); Eddie Sweeney (1-0), John Roche (0-5, 1F), Alex Harte (0-3,3F). Subs: Adrian Walsh (0-2) for A. Harte (h/t), Keith Robinson (0-1) for B. Maher (42), Naoise O Cuinneaighan for Niall Walsh (52), Paul Kennedy for K. Larkin (57), David Corcoran for C. Davin Murphy (57).
Loughmore Castleiney: Craig Cleary; Denis Brereton, Jody Sweeney, Paddy Moynihan; Brian McGrath, Joseph Hennessy, Henry Maher; Gary Sweeney, Shane Hennessy (1-1, 1-0F); Joseph Nyland, David McGrath (0-1), Paul Brennan (0-1); James Connolly, Seamus Bohan (0-4, 3F), Tommy Maher. Subs: Eamonn Connolly for T. Maher (25), Darren Danagher for J. Connolly (39).