Lixnaw 3-10 Ballyduff 0-07
Donegal weren’t the only champions to crash and burn yesterday and Kerry hurling kingpins Ballyduff suffered a shock defeat in the opening game of their title defence at Austin Stack Park, Tralee.
Ballyduff looked a pale shadow of the side which has dominated the county championship for the past three seasons and will need a massive change of attitude if they are to resurrect their campaign.
Ironically the losers had a dream start with a penalty after four minutes. Yet when Bobby O’Sullivan’s effort was saved, it seemed to ignite Lixnaw and suck the life from their opponents.
John Griffin gave a man of the match display as a sweeper in front of his fullback line, and with Ricky Heffernan a constant thorn in the Ballyduff defence, Lixnaw raced 1-8 to 0-2 ahead by half time.
Heffernan fired over four points, but the highlight of the half was a brilliant individual scored by Paudie Lyons.
An early second half Heffernan goal killed the game as a contest and he had his third in the 48th minute as Lixnaw cut loose.
Indeed Ballyduff were fortunate that goalkeeper PJ O’Gorman and Liam Boyle prevented a bigger and more embarrassing defeat to their north Kerry rivals
Scorers for Lixnaw: R Heffernan 2-4 (0-3 frees), P Lyons 1-1, J Wallace 0-2, B Brosnan 0-1 free, J Griffin and C O’Brien 0-1 each
Scorers for Ballyduff: T O’Rourke 0-2 frees, P Boyle 0-1 free, E O’Connor, A O’Connor, M O’Connor and D O’Carroll 0-1 each
LIXNAW: M Stackpoole, D McCarthy, M Corridan, K Walz, J Silles, P Corridan, C Fitzmaurice, J Griffin, B Brosnan, C O’Brien, S Power, P Lyons, J Wallace, R Heffernan, G Hogan
Subs: J Lyons for G Hogan (45)
BALLYDUFF: PJ O’Gorman, J Bowler, L Boyle, D Bowler, P O’Grady, P Boyle, D Goulding, E O’Connor, A O’Connor, P J Connolly, B O’Sullivan, B O’Grady, K J O’Connor, G O’Brien, T O’Rourke
Subs: A Boyle for E O’Connor (h/t), M O’Connor for K J O’Connor (h/t), D O’Carroll for T O’Rourke (52), A O’Carroll for P J Connelly (52), E Joy for B O’Grady (55)
Referee: J Sexton (Cork).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved