Nerveless finish keeps Kilmallock defence on track

Limerick SHC wrap

Nerveless finish keeps Kilmallock defence on track

Limerick and Munster club hurling champions Kilmallock remain on course to defend their titles.

Ger O’Loughlin’s side struck the last three points to advance past Doon in Sunday’s Limerick quarter-final, 1-14 to 0-15.

The sides were level on 13 occasions before Bryan O’Sullivan, Jake Mulcahy and Gavin O’Mahony hit successive points to squeeze past the Doon challenge and into the semi-finals.

Doon, backed by five members of Limerick’s All-Ireland U21 winning panel, were 0-9 to 0-6 ahead at half-time.

They then battled back from the concession of an early second-half goal to lead 0-15 to 1-11 entering the final three minutes. But Kilmallock demonstrated all the hallmarks of champions to find the late points to advance to the last four.

It was an opening half that saw Kilmallock fail to score for the final 15 minutes of action. They led 0-6 to 0-5 at the mid-point but then Doon hit the final four points for an interval lead.

All nine of Doon’s first-half scores came from play with two each for Denis Moloney, Pat Ryan, Barry Murphy and Dean Coleman.

But Paudie O’Brien’s goal within a minute of the restart set the tone for Kilmallock’s second-half display.

Entering the final quarter the champions were 1-10 to 0-12 ahead with Oisin O’Reilly and Jake Mulcahy leading the way. Then Coleman, Michael Barry and Murphy (free) looked to have Doon on course for a famous win.

But Kilmallock had other ideas and found the scores to book a semi-final against Na Piarsaigh.

The other weekend quarter-final must be replayed after Adare and Ahane finished 0-17 each. It fell to free-taker John Meskell to score the final two points to ensure a second chance for Ahane.

The teams were also level at half-time, 0-10 each.

The biggest advantage held throughout the contest was in the 13th minute when Adare were 0-8 to 0-5 clear after points from Charlie McCarthy (2), Mike Mackey and Diarmuid Sexton.

John Fox, Killian Enright and Mike Carr had early Ahane scores from play but they were to only score another four in the remaining 50 minutes as Meskell frees kept them in contact.

Adare looked to hold an interval lead until points from Tom Morrissey and Meskell ensured it was all-square at the break. John Meskell was to be the Ahane hero and he finished with 11 points in total, all but one from placed balls.

Points from Declan Hannon and Willie Griffin frees had Adare 0-15 to 0-13 clear entering the final quarter. It was a second half with just four scores from play.

One of those came from Declan Hannon in the 55th minute and edged Adare 0-17 to 0-15 clear. But Meskell had a 57th minute free and then a last gasp pointed ‘65 to ensure a replay and another week’s wait for Patrickswell to find out their semi-final opponents.

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