Kilworth's bid comes to a close with defeat at hands of O'Neills
County PIHC Quarter-Final: Fr O'Neills 2-17 Kilworth 1-16
It would be unfair to suggest that Kilworth reached their limit this year having seen their two performances against Mallow the previous weekends, but last Saturday evening in Páirc Uí Rinn the men in red ran out of road against a Fr O'Neills side that many fancy will take this season's title.
Four points at the end was probably a fair reflection of events with many feeling that Fr O'Neill's would easily win however on the night it was anything, but easy for the men in green as Kilworth showed they are more than capable at this grade and were within striking distance of what would have been a famous win - all that said, on the night it wasn't to be and Fr O'Neills progress to the last four.
Kilworth were magnificent the two previous Saturday afternoons and those exploits may well have drained the legs somewhat as the effort put in to see off Mallow was clear for all to see seven days earlier, but no stone was left unturned for this one and again that will-to-win and the never say die attitude of Kilworth's stars was there in spades.
Will Condon at centre-forward along with Eoin Carey, Noel McNamara, Liam Whelan, Jamie Sheehan, Brian Tobin and Paddy Moakley were likely to be the stars of the show for Kilworth after all impressing in recent weeks and on the day McNamara did keep his side in touching distance with eight points, while Sheehan helped himself to 1-2 which was a very credible haul from the corner-forward.
Declan Dalton and Billy Dunne were always likely to be the major threats for Fr O'Neills and true to form the duo didn't disappoint bagging 2-11 between them.
Others to show their worth for the winners were Liam O'Driscoll and Cillian Broderick with Ger Millerick another to show plenty during what really was a battle of two sides with little between them.
Colin Sloane in goal, with Dan Harrington, Tom Millerick and Mark O'Keeffe provided O'Neills with a genuinely solid rear guard that more than once stifled promising Kilworth attacks.
Despite the tightness of this game in the early stages Fr O'Neills managed to eke out a five point lead by the interval (2-9 - 0-10) in the main because of the goal scoring prowess of Dalton and Dunne.
Kilworth were rocked in the 12th and 28th minutes, but responded with ten points, mainly from McNamara, to stay in contention for the change of ends.
Dunne struck a point on the restart to open the gap to six, but Sheehan hit back with his goal with McNamara pointing to bring this one down to the minimum.
A pair of frees from Dalton kept Fr O'Neills just in front but with time running out Kilworth threw everything they had at their opponents however thanks to some brilliant defending from the victors it was all to no avail.
Kilworth will look to build on this display, and the previous two, as they take a break from the championship proper and will hope that next year they will be even more competitive which would again mean they reach the business end of proceedings.
For Fr O'Neills, perhaps the game of the season awaits as they face up to a Charleville side this Saturday evening in Kilworth that many feel are just two games away from senior hurling.
FR O'NEILLS: C Sloane; M Millerick, M O'Keeffe, D Harrington; T Millerick 0-1, G Millerick, S O'Connor; C Broderick 0-2, J Millerick; L O'Driscoll 0-2, D Dalton 1-7 (0-3f, 0-1 65, 0-1 sl), P McMahon 0-1; E Conway, K O'Sullivan, B Dunne 1-4 Subs: E Motherway for K O'Sullivan (42), B Murphy for E Conway (62)
KILWORTH: K Walsh; M McNamara, K Lane, N Byrne, A O'Hara, E McGrath, J Saich 0-1; J McCarthy 0-1, E Carey 0-2; T Twomey, W Condon 0-1, L Whelan 0-1; P Moakley, N McNamara 0-8 (3f, 1.65), J Sheehan 1-2 Subs: D Twomey for E Carey (25), C Donnellan for P Moakley (42), B Sheehan for T Twomey (54), D Twomey for L Whelan (58), N O'Brien for B Sheehan (59)
Referee: S Stokes (Freemount)