Loughmore Castleiney beat Killenaule by a single point, 0-16 to 1-12, in extremely testing conditions at Templetuohy on Sunday
With only a minute remaining in normal time, Loughmore were awarded a free 60 metres from the target. Conditions had deteriorated so dramatically that there had not been a score for the 12 minutes previous but John McGrath hit over the winning score.
Playing with the wind in the first half, Killenaule got the shot in the arm they required in the 19th minute when Bubbles O’Dwyer popped a hand pass into the path of the on rushing Tony Doyle who collected and as he advanced it appeared he was heading down a cul de sac with defenders converging. The experienced Doyle had other ideas and using his considerable strength manufactured enough space to fire a shot on target that nestled in the top corner of the net.
The opening half saw the teams register nine scores each and there were some masterful points. John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer connected sweetly with a line ball from the right wing to score while after some clever passing James Egan pointed for Loughmore from 55 yards off his left, which was no mean feat against the stiff wind. All this left the goal from Tony Doyle being the decisive factor at the break as Killenaule led 1-8 to 0-9.
As the teams re-emerged there was a sense that Loughmore would pull away with the wind on the backs. Killenaule were having none of this, creating the brilliant battle that ensued. Loughmore levelled matters within two minutes of the restart through a James Egan point and a John McGrath free.
Having a superb personal battle all afternoon, both John O’Dwyer and John Meagher contributed exquisite points to their teams’ cause within a minute of each other on the three quarter mark of the match. Then Mother Nature interrupted as a heavy shower cascaded. The tackling from both sides was immense as the game went through a 12 minute spell without a score. Eventually the match was decided by the ice cool nerve of John McGrath with a minute remaining.
Loughmore Castleiney: S Nolan; L Egan, J Hennessy, T King; A McGrath, W Eviston, J Meagher (0-1); T McGrath, J Nyland; J Egan (0-2), C McGrath (0-1), C Hennessy; L McGrath (0-2), J McGrath (0-10, 10f), E Sweeney. Subs: B McGrath for E Sweeney (32).
Killenaule: G Kennedy; A Leahy, P Codd, S Browne; E O’Connell, J O’Dwyer, J Feehan; T Keaveney, N O’Dwyer (0-1); J O’Dwyer (0-6,3f,1s/l), T Doyle (1-2,1f), M Doyle (0-1); D Blake, D Guinan (0-1), B Barrett (0-1). Subs: P. Kerwick for T Keaveney (26).
Referee: John O’Brien