It was the Offaly champions who also got the bounce of the ball one minute into additional time during the normal 60 minutes when James Gorman’s goal tied the fixture (0-15 to 2-9) and brought the game to extra-time.
The Wexford champions, who had lifted the county title for the first time seven days earlier, let the game slip from the grasp. But there was no shame in going down to such a battle hardened group as Kilcormac Killoughey.
At the end of the opening quarter the sides were deadlocked at 0-3 each with Conor Maher edging the Offaly side in front with a point after 16 minutes. Eoin Doyle, who was pulling the strings in midfield, pointed followed by a Joe Kelly free, with the game’s opening goal arriving in the 20th minute when Conor Mahon fired across keeper Brian Murphy for a 1-4 to 0-5 lead. With Joe Kelly striking over five excellent points it was Shelmaliers who led 0-10 to 1-6 at the break.
The Offaly champions threw everything at their hosts on the resumption with James Gorman forcing an excellent save out of keeper Murphy, before Killian Leonard brought the sides level after 90 seconds. The exchanges were hard, the hurling was excellent, but with Eoin Doyle and Joe Kelly finding the target it was the home side who moved into a 0-15 to 1-9 lead with a minute remaining. Kilcormac were then awarded a free 90 metres from goal which Ciarán Slevin floated to the edge of the square, the ball being clinically finished to the net by Gorman forcing extra-time.
After Ciarán Shaughnessy and Slevin, free, had exchanged points in the opening extra time period, the sides remained deadlock 2-12 to 0-18 at the break. Neither able to create a score in the final period but with just 30 seconds remaining, and a draw looking likely, it was Kiely who sprinted clear under the stand before lofting over a brilliant point from 60 yards for a sensational win.
KILCORMAC KILLOUGHEY: Conor Slevin; C Mahon, G Healion, A McConville; K Grogan, P Healion, B Leonard; D Kilmartin (0-1), K Leonard (0-1); Ciaran Slevin (0-5, 4 frees), C Mahon (1-1), C Kiely (0-4); J Gorman (1-0), D Currams, P Gerathy (0-1).
Subs: T Gerathy for McConville; E Grogan for Leonard; D Murray for Kilmartin; J Grogan for Mahon.
SHELMALIERS: B Murphy; S Donohoe, A Murphy, B Barron; C Walsh, C Lawler, A Cash; E Doyle (0-3), B Doyle (0-1); J Kelly (0-10, 8 frees), B Malone, C O’Shaughnessy (0-2); E Nolan, S Banville (0-1), J Cash.
Subs: T Barron (0-1) for Nolan; C Byrne for J Cash; DC O’Brien for Banville; N Mythen for Malone; Banville for C Byrne; Malone for Mythen; C Byrne for Banville; N Mythen for B Barron; E Nolan for O’Shaughnessy.
Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).