A MORE potent scoring period, which included a vital input from half time substitute John Buckley, was decisive in determining the outcome of the county minor hurling championship final in Austin Stack Park last Saturday.
LIXNAW 0-17 KILMOYLEY 0-12
Kilmoyley depended almost exclusively on the input of the prolific Daniel Collins for their scoring returns and when the game hung in the balance at a critical juncture midway through the second half Lixnaw had the benefit of having four different players to contribute to their scoring tally. Initially Kilmoyley was the more lively and resourceful outfit with Daniel Collins improving his presence on the forty and converting five points inside the opening quarter to open up a three point lead in favour of his side at this juncture.
With Flor McCarthy prominent in midfield, Kilmoyley exerted a firm grip on proceedings but failed to consolidate their scoring advantage due to some extremely resolute defending by Lixnaw.
Despite being reduced to sporadic attacks Lixnaw kept in touch, due to the unerring accuracy of Ricky Heffernan from play both six points apiece at the break with Ricky Heffernan (5) and Daniel Collins (6) being the top scorers for the respective combinations.
Lixnaw introduced John Buckley for the second half and it was a substitution which ultimately proved to be a master stroke, with four second half points, all from play ultimately, proud to be hugely significant to the eventual outcome. Scoring-wise it remained, delicately poised throughout all of the third quarter but with Niall Meehan and Dougie Fitzell affecting some sterling chances and the outstanding Daniel Collins, converting his tenth point, Kilmoyley led by the bare minimum going into the fourth and final quarter.
However, with Conor O'Brien stepping up a gear in midfield, Lixnaw enjoyed a purple patch with Damien Kissane, Jason Wallace and John Buckley all converting some fine scores. Kilmoyley did have some chances but along with taking the wrong option on occasion Daniel Collins remained their only real scoring threat.
However, having regained the lead Lixnaw now had the momentum fully in their favour and with Kenny Waltz and Tadhg Brown hurling with supreme confidence in the pivotal position, they were well equal to Kilmoyley's late surge.
Just two points separated the teams with five minutes of normal time remaining, but a final flourish from Lixnaw opened a five point gap by the thirteenth minute. It was game, set and match at that particular juncture and while Kilmoyley pursued the issue right up until the final whistle, the goal, which their challenge so badly needed, never looked like materialising. In the end Lixnaw was full value for their win with Ricky Heffernan, Jason Wallace and John Buckley all making notable contribution to the success at varying intervals. LIXNAW: David Silles, Jamie Fitzgerald, Kenny Waltz, Darragh Shanahan, William O'Connor, Tadhg Brosnan, Jason O'Connor, Michael Stackpoole, Conor O'Brien, JP Barrett, Tommy Allen, Ian McAuliffe, Damien Kissane (02), Ricky Heffernan (0-8 frees), Jason Wallace (0-3) Subs: John Buckley (0-4) for M. Stackpoole, Dylan O'Regan for Ian McAuliffe and Keith Silles for D. Kissane KILMOYLEY: Jordan Brick, Paudie O'Connor, Colman Savage, Niall Meehan, John Godley, Doogie Fitzell, Kieran Regan, Flor McCarthy, James Murphy, Robert Collins, Daniel Collins (0-12/0-5 play), Peter Crowe, Dermot Meehan, Sean McCarthy, Paudie Godley Subs: Kieran McCarthy for P. Crowe REFEREE: John Hennessy