‘Bubbles’ and ‘Festy’ shine as Killenaule prove best in Slieveardagh derby
Killenaule announced their arrival in this year’s Championship, in assured and clinical fashion, with victory over neighbours and table-toppers Ballingarry, in Fethard last Saturday evening.
The eagerly awaited annual derby between these age-old Slieveardagh rivals rarely disappoints and despite lacking the bite of knockout hurling, this renewal generated plenty of entertainment, whetting both sets of supporters’ appetite for a potential re-match come the business end of the Championship.
Killenaule, looking well conditioned for the time of year, got off to a flying start, racing into an early four point lead. Tony Doyle, the fulcrum for most of Killenaule’s attacking play, engineered a point for Damien McCormack and a brace for his brother Michael, before John O’Dwyer had a point from a free in the 7th minute.
Ballingarry, having been slow to start got off the mark two minutes later with a point from a free by Seanie Cahill. Killenaule’s movement in their forward line was causing the Ballingarry rearguard all sorts of problems early on, with the swift inter-change play between Michael Doyle and Damien McCormack resulting in another point for Doyle. Ballingarry gained a temporary foothold in the game in the tenth minute when Gerry Fitzgerald, playing in an uncustomary midfield role in the absence of the injured Donal Shelley, had a great point from distance. Then Killenaule’s Kieran Bergin maintained his side’s advantage, with an equally good long range effort following some excellent fielding.
Ballingarry’s Richard Butler was on hand soon after to close the gap, but Tony Doyle cemented Killenaule’s lead almost immediately, raising a white flag from the narrowest of angles. It was quite apparent that Killenaule’s half back line and particularly Declan Fanning were starting to dictate proceedings. Midfield on the other hand was more evenly contested, where Gerry Fitzgerald and Niall O’Dwyer exchanged points in the 11th and 12th minute respectively.
Philip Ivors who shared the free taking duties with Seanie Cahill had two in a row over the bar as the half wore on and the gap was now back to two points. Moments later John O’Dwyer further enhanced Killenaule’s lead with a great point after a quick release from Tony Doyle. Then Ballingarry had the ball in the back of the net to bring the game all square. A long Seanie Cahill delivery appeared to be sailing over the crossbar, until Gerry Kennedy batted the ball back into play, only for the on-rushing Gerry Fitzgerald to flick home the rebound.
Seanie Cahill then gave Ballingarry the lead for the first time in the game, pointing from a free after a foul on Michael Ivors. A Tony Doyle free then levelled matter, before John O’Dwyer and Philip Ivors traded frees as the first half drew to a close. Killenaule’s Daniel Guinan rounded off the opening period’s scoring with a fine individual point, giving Killenaule an interval lead of 12 points to 1-8.
Ballingarry struck early from the restart. Ian Ivors pointing from well inside his own half to level matters once again. John O’Dwyer responded with a point to edge Killenaule ahead untill Seanie Cahill fired over another free to equalise for Ballingarry. Then Philip Ivors had a long range free over the bar, on 45mins, but it was to be the last time Ballingarry would lead in the game.
The devastating form of John O’Dwyer added to the introduction of Pat ‘Festy’ Kerwick set Killenaule up for very strong final quarter, where they outscored Ballingarry by eight points to three. O’Dwyer and Kerwick combined to set each other up for a score apiece and the impressive Joe O’Dwyer chipped in with arguably the score of the game much to the delight of the Killenaule supporters. Seanie Cahill and Adrian Cleere responded for Ballingarry but successive scores from O’Dwyer(John), Damien McCormack and Daniel Guinan maintained Killenaule’s cushion with the game reaching its conclusion.
A Philip Ivors point from a free at the death was the games last action, and Killenaule took the spoils wih four points to spare.
Ballingarry will be disappointed not to build on their victories over Mullinahone and Davins, but with qualification already secured, they will regroup and still be hopeful of claiming honours this year. Their cause was not helped by the dismissal of cornerback Danny Fitzgerald with ten minutes to go but had solid performance from Philip Ivors, Seanie Cahill, and Gerry Fizgerald throughout.
Killenaule will be more than happy with their first outing so far this year. They had some commanding performances from their big name players, especially Declan Fanning, John and Joe O’Dywer, Kieran Bergin and the Doyle brothers and take on Carrick Davins on the Bank Holiday weekend where they’ll be more than confident of joining their neighbours in the semi-finals.
Killenaule: Gerry Kennedy, Stephen Browne, Paddy Codd, Pat O’Connor, Kieran Bergin(0-1), Declan Fanning, Joe O’Dwyer(0-1), Niall O’Dwyer(0-1), Thomas Keaveny, Daniel Guinan(0-2), John O’Dwyer(0-10 5frees 165), Kevin Prendergast, Damien McCormack(0-2), Tony Doyle(0-2), Michael Doyle (0-3)
Subs: Pat Kerwick(0-1) for Thomas Keaveny(39mins), Thomas Keaveny for Kevin Prendergast (55mins)
Ballingarry: James logue, Danny Fitzgerald, Jack Fennelly, Ger Fennelly, Darragh Ivors, Ian Ivors(0-1), Dickie Norton, Seanie Cahill(0-4frees), Gerry Fitzgerald(1-2), Michael Ivors, Liam Cahill, Adrian Cleere(0-1), Richard Butler(0-1), Philip Ivors(0-7frees), Eamon Touhy
Sub; Tommy McGrath for Richard Butler(43mins),
Ref: Noel Cosgrove (Marlfield)
Kilsheelan/Kilcash edge out neighbours in close-run contest
County Intermediate Hurling Championships
Kilsheelan-Kilcash 2-17 Grangemockler-Ballyneale 2-16
In the first round of the County Intermediate Hurling championship Grangemockler-Ballyneale took on near neighbours and last year’s County Junior Hurling champions Kilsheelan-Kilcash in Monroe. This was a keenly contested game with the result in doubt right to the end.
Ballyneale began with the advantage of a stiff breeze as Thomas Grincell opened the scoring in the second minute. Adrian Walsh quickly responded with a point for Kilsheelan. Thomas Dineen and Alex Harte exchanged points. Thomas Dineen then added to Grangemockler’s total with another point and centre back Paul Cahill doubled his side’s advantage with a further point. Adrian Walsh worked his way through for a point which was cancelled out by Kieran Maguire. Enda Fogarty sent over the bar to put his side three points up.
Following some good approach work Shane Comerford brought off a good save in the Grangemockler goal but the rebound found an alert Alex Harte who sent the ball to the net to level matters. Nigel Cleere and Peader Downey reduced the deficit to the minimum when they had points. Bill Maher, then raced through the Grangemockler defence, and sent a great delivery across the goal to the corner of the net to put his side ahead for the first time. Kieran Maguire, from a ’65, levelled the match. Alex Harte and Nigel Cleere traded scores. Kieran Maguire pointed for Grangemockler and Tommy Ryan had the final say of the half for Kilsheelan when he floated in a long distance point from out near the sideline to leave his side in arrears by 0-12 to 2-5 at the break.
Ballyneale made a positive start to the second half with a point by Thomas Kennedy while substitute Shane Murray announced his arrival with a goal. Kilsheelan added points by Senan O’Halloran and Alex Harte, from a free. Kilsheelan introduced John Kehoe who was returning after an extended period on the sideline due to injury. Tommy Ryan had another point to leave two points between the sides after ten minutes. Alex Harte and Paul Cahill exchanged points.
With every ball being contested with great enthusiasm Alex Harte pointed a further free and the hard working Bill Maher added to his total to level the game. Centre forward Niall Walsh pointed his side ahead and Alex Harte tagged on another for a two point advantage. Kieran Maguire once again responded for Grangemockler with a point and Alex Harte added three points without reply for Kilsheelan to see his side enjoy a four point advantage. The influential Peader Downey, with time running out, advanced with determination resulting in a goal for Grangemockler. They surged forward again but the Kilsheelan defence held firm and as the final whistle sounded it was Kilsheelan who secured the honours by the minimum on a scoreline of 2-17 to 2-16.
Kilsheelan/Kilcash: Ian Coughlan, David Corcoran, Jimmy Ryan, Kevin Guiry, Conor Davin Murphy, Shane Prendergast, Senan O’Halloran 0-1, Tommy Ryan 0-2, Willie Ryan, Pakie Larkin, Niall Walsh 0-1, Adrian Walsh 0-2, Edward Sweeney, Bill Maher 1-1 and Alex Harte 1-10.
SUBS: John Kehoe, Adrian Mc Guire and Colin Gleeson.
Grangemockler/Ballyneale: Shane Comerford, Robert Murphy, Michael Houlihan, James Wallace, Brian Mc Carthy, Paul Cahill 0-2, Dean Hallinan, Nigel Cleere 0-2, Willie Lambe, Peader Downey 1-1, Kieran Maguire 0-4, Enda Fogarty 0-2, Thomas Grincell 0-1, Tom Kennedy 0-2 and Thomas Dineen 0-2.
Subs: Shane Murray 1-0 and Kean O’Shea.
Referee: Paddy Ivors (Ballingarry)