Kanturk 1-23 Kilmaley 0-25 (after extra-time)
Kanturk are AIB Munster Club Intermediate Hurling champions after beating Kilmaley after extra time at the Gaelic Grounds today.
The game was an epic contest from start to finish with the Cork side needing a stunning score from Paul Walsh to force extra time in a game that they dominated for large parts.
They then kept their composure in extra time to come out victorious on a one-point margin.
There was drama before the game started as Lorcan McLoughlin got injured in the warm up and didn’t take his place at midfield for Kanturk, before entering the fray after just eight minutes.
The contest began at a ferocious pace with both sides fully committed, but it was Kanturk who drew first blood with Mark Healy opening the scoring inside 60 seconds.
Kilmaley were soon back on level terms having squandered an early goal chance thanks to a Cian Moloney free.
Kanturk were soon back in the ascendancy through Ryan Walsh and Alan O’Keeffe, the latter pointing when a goal was in the offing.
The Clare intermediate champions fought back to level on 14 minutes with two excellent points from Moloney and Eamon Bracken.
Kilmaley then went in front for the first time after an excellent Kenneth Kennedy effort but Kanturk hit back in impressive fashion with the next five points that saw them 0-8 to 0-4 ahead.
The Clare side upped the tempo as the half drew to a close with three points that left reduced Kanturk’s lead to three points at the end of a superb opening half hour.
The deficit remained at three points 12 minutes into the second half but Kanturk grabbed hold of the contest with a stunning goal.
Aidan Walsh, Sheehy, McLoughlin and Ian Walsh combined to set up Liam O’Keeffe and he buried a shot into the top corner.
Kilmaley didn’t panic and responded with the next four points that left O’Keeffe’s goal between the teams with 46 minutes played.
In an enthralling final 10 minutes, Kilmaley kept the pressure up to reduce the lead to one and Michael O’Malley’s ’65 saw the sides level for the fourth time on 59 minutes.
O’Malley followed that up with a glorious strike from play that put Kilmaley ahead for the first time since the 18th minute.
McLoughlin looked to have forced extra time for Kanturk but Kennedy replied with his second point to seemingly grab victory for Kilmaley.
However, there was one final twist as Paul Walsh sauntered his way up from corner back with an excellent run and finish from long range that saw the game finish 1-17 to 0-20 and extra time followed.
Kanturk went ahead in extra time and this time, Kilmaley were unable to find a leveller with Martin O’Malley’s free late on sailing inches wide.
Scorers – Kanturk: L O’Keeffe (1-7, 3f, 1’65), L McLoughlin (0-4) I Walsh (0-3) , R Walsh (0-2), M Healy, A O’Keeffe, A Sheehy, A Walsh, D Browne, J Fitzpatrick, P Walsh (0-1 each).
Scorers – Kilmaley: C Moloney (0-7, 5f), M O’Malley (0-5, 1f, 1’65), D Keane (0-5), E Bracken, K Kennedy and M ONeill (0-2 each), S O’Loughlin and B Cahill (0-1 each)
A Nash; P Walsh, J McLoughlin, L O’Neill; J Browne, D Browne, A Sheehy; A Walsh, R Walsh; D Kennelly, M Healy, I Walsh; A O’Keeffe, J Fitzpatrick, L O’Keeffe.
Subs: L McLaughlin for Fitzpatrick (8), J Fitzpatrick for Kennelly (h-t), M O’Riordan for Healy (52), D Kennelly for A O’Keeffe (61).
B O’Loughlin; A McGuane, C McGuane, E Enright; C Neylon, C Cleary, S Kennedy; B Cahill, M O’Malley; K Kennedy, E Bracken, C Moloney; S O’Loughlin, D Keane, M O’Neill.
Subs: P McNamara for S O’Loughlin (44), A Markham for Moloney (51), C McMahon for Cahill (60), J Clohessy for Bracken (60), C Moloney for Markham (63), S O’Loughlin for Kennedy (65), E Bracken for Neylon (78).
Referee: T Walsh (Waterford)