Kilshannig's focus on a fast start helps them secure IAFC final place

Kilshannig captain Killian O’Hanlon was aware of the importance of a fast start, and the balance between hurling and football as they are on course to complete a double
Kilshannig's focus on a fast start helps them secure IAFC final place

BREAKING TACKLES: Killian O'Hanlon for Kilshannig getting tackled by Michelstowns Mark Keane. Pic: Denis Boyle

KILSHANNIG 2-15 MITCHELSTOWN 0-9 

Kilshannig produced a performance that many knew they were capable of but were yet to see in this IAFC competition. They controlled proceedings from whistle to whistle in this semi-final clash against Mitchelstown in Fermoy on Saturday.

Mitchelstown miss out on the chance of reaching their third consecutive IAFC final.

Kilshannig captain Killian O’Hanlon was aware of the importance of a fast start, and the balance between hurling and football as they are on course to complete a double.

“We had a big emphasis on starting strong,” he said. “The last few games we’ve started slowly, and we knew if we did that against Mitchelstown, we would be in trouble. We knew we would have a purple patch in the second half, and we did well to weather the storm and close out the game well. Our bench played a key role in that. There was a lot of hurt there after falling short last year. 

“Our attention is switching to hurling again as we have a North Cork final to play. We have never won it, so we are looking forward to trying to get that over the line first.” 

It was one-way traffic for the majority of the first half. Kilshannig chose to play against the wind, but their attack was crisp and ruthless.

Kilshannig scored 1-7 without reply, with Kieran Twomey, Eanna O’Hanlon, and Killian O’Hanlon the standout performers in the half. The latter finished off an intricate team play with a well-taken strike on goal.

Mitchelstown started the second half brightly as they looked to chip into their eight-point deficit. However, Kilshannig were relentless and continued to pile on the pressure.

Conor McMahon’s goal in the 57th minute crowned the win for Kilshannig.

“Everything just clicked,” Kilshannig manager Richie Ryan said.

“It came together for us at the perfect time. You need to play at this standard to beat a very good team like Mitchelstown.

“But obviously, there is always room for improvement in a few areas, but our number one priority right now is to keep our lads fit and injury-free for the final.” 

Kilshannig will now look to carry this momentum into their IAFC final clash against Aghabullogue.

Scorers for Kilshannig: K Twomey (0-6, 3 frees), C McMahon (1-2), K O’Hanlon (1-1), E O’Hanlon (0-2), D O’Sullivan (0-2), T Cunningham (0-1, 1 free), E O’Sullivan (0-1).

Scorers for Mitchelstown: C O’Mahony (0-3 2 frees, 1‘45), S Beston (0-2), J Mullins (0-1), J Sheehan (0-2), S O’Sullivan (0-1).

KILSHANNIG: G Creedon; S O’Connell, E Burke, C O’Shea; J Twomey, B Guerin, B Curtin; K O’Hanlon, C O’Sullivan; D O’Sullivan, E O’Hanlon, E O’Sullivan; K Twomey, C McMahon, T Cunningham.

Subs: J Kearney for T Cunningham (53), C O’Connell for D O’Sullivan (55), C Murphy for E O’Sullivan (55), K Murphy for C McMahon (57), J Cronin for J Twomey (57).

MITCHELSTOWN: L Hanna; K Roche, F Herlithy, Lorcan Finn; C Hyland, P Molloy, J Mullins; S Walsh, M Keane; D Dineen, S Beston, S O’Sullivan; J Sheehan, S Cahill, C O’Mahony.

Subs: P Magee for P Malloy (30), A O’Brien for S Cahill (50), D Reidy Price for J Sheehan (51), R Donegan for S Beston (55), S Kenneally for J Mullins (58).

Referee: Cormac Dineen (Douglas).

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