Ryan hails Mannix as Kilworth secure return to final

Kilworth 2-14 Argideen Rangers 0-16

They have only contested the decider once before, losing in 2009, but have been knocking on the door since.

There were many fine contributors in this penultimate tie but special mention must go to Adrian Mannix who scored 1-8. Along with his tally, his strength and pace is vital to Kilworth aspirations.

Former Limerick hurler TJ Ryan and current coach agrees Mannix is crucial to the North Cork side.

“Adrian is in great scoring form and I think he should be involved in the Cork senior panel.

“He is a big man, winning ball on his own. A key man for us but in fairness to the rest of the lads, to a man I would be very happy with the work rate.

“I was at the game last night [Kanturk’s win] and it was a good game of hurling so the final is not going to be easy. We got Aidan Walsh to worry about, and Lorcán McLoughlin was outstanding. We have a lot to sort out but look, it is great to be there. County finals aren’t easy. I don’t like losing them.”

Argideen couldn’t reproduce the form that got them over the line against Meelin and while they battled to the end, they weren’t able to close the gap. Another difference was goals — Kilworth bagged two in the first half whilst their defence, spearheaded by Kieran Lane and goalkeeper Kieran Walsh, were staunch throughout.

The match was delayed 10 minutes as a Kilworth sub received medical attention but it did not upset their focus as they proceeded to go 1-5 to 0-3 in front. Mannix blasted the goal from a close-in free after being fouled, while Michael Walsh was chief scorer for Argideen. Then, a marvellous four-man move resulted in Noel McNamara finding the net on 26 minutes and Kilworth, wind assisted, led by seven points approaching half-time.

Walsh got a few scores back for the Timoleague men sending them to the dressing room 2-7 to 0-8 in arrears. They resumed with more urgency and two Walsh points showed improvement. But, they couldn’t get any clear chance at goal. At the three-quarter mark they trailed by three points. It increased to six, 2-13 to 0-13 following superb efforts from Padraig Lynch, Nathan Byrne and Mannix.

Argideen’s Paudie Butler ensured plenty of supply up front but they depended largely on placed balls from Walsh and Michael O’Callaghan.

Kilworth saw it out and Ryan says they will prepare well for the next two weeks. “Kilworth are on the history trail as they’ve never won an intermediate hurling final.

“We are in a county final. It is not easy get to them so from the boys’ point of view I am delighted. Our matches have been very spread out. As you can see, we had one in June [1], the next in August [10] and one today.

“These boys [Argideen] are strong and we stood up to them. We didn’t concede any goal, which was important. And we got a couple of chances early on and took them and when you get to this stage, that is what you have to do. We have to do it once more, don’t we?”

Scorers for Kilworth: A Mannix 1-8 (1-4fs), N McNamara 1-0, N Byrne, L Whelan, P Lynch 0-2 each.

Scorers for Argideen Rangers: M Walsh 0-9 (0-7fs), M O’Callaghan 0-3 (2 65s, 1f), C O’Brien 0-2, B Hennessy, J Sheehan 0-1 each.

KILWORTH: K Walsh; M McNamara, W Twomey, A O’Hara; D McNamara, K Lane, M O’Connor; D Cahill, L Whelan; B Tobin (capt), J Cahill, N Byrne; N McNamara, P Lynch, A Mannix.

Subs: P Moakley for J Cahill (57).

ARGIDEEN RANGERS: N Coomey; L Harte, D Connolly (capt), R Smith; E O’Brien, M O’Callaghan, P Butler; J Deasy, C O’Brien; M Coomey, J Murphy, J M O’Callaghan; M Walsh, B Hennessy, J Sheehan.

Subs: F Butler for J Deasy (ht), A O’Leary for M Coomey (52).

Referee: J Larkin (Douglas).

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