Kilmoyley pull clear in extra-time
County SHC quarter-final: Kilmoyley 1-19 Crotta O'Neills 1-11 AET
A scoring surge in extra-time propelled Kilmoyley into the penultimate stage of this year's County Senior Hurling Championship at the Austin Stack Park last Saturday evening and in the process ended Crotta's further involvement in the competition having played five games, which included extra-time in three of those.
Ultimately, it took its toll and, while they could well have shaded the verdict at the end of normal time, Kilmoyley's spread of seven scorers was in the overall analysis significant with Crotta by contrast depending once again, almost exclusively on Shane Nolan's scoring returns.
Conditions, which deteriorated further in the second half were extremely difficult, even if the quality of the sod on one of the best if not the best surface in the county compensated somewhat.
Kilmoyley were the better side after Shane Nolan pointed Crotta in front with a first minute free. However, Kilmoyley responded to lead 0-2 0-1 after six minutes, having shot three wides, while also being denied of a goal by the first of many superb stops from Adam O'Sullivan when he advanced to deny Kieran McCarthy at his near post.
The game was tied up on three points apiece at the end of the first quarter, by which time Crotta had settled and were coping quite well playing into the elements. A point from Daniel Collins in a clear cut goal scoring situation edged Kilmoyley back in front and with Maurice O'Connor converting successive pointed frees, Kilmoyley were three points in front 0-6 0-3 by the 22nd minute.
However, after Shane Nolan with his second point from play had reduced the deficit for Crotta they took the lead in the 24th minute when the same player with a routine free from close range elected to go short and feed into the path of Jordan Conway, who in turn set up the goal chance for Shane Nolan and his precision finish was drilled low into the far corner of the net.
Subsequently, they had successive chances to build on their two point advantage, but both attempts fell short and after another fine save from Adam O'Sullivan had denied Daniel Collins, Maurice O'Connor with his fifth point narrowed the deficit to the bare minimum 1-5 to 0-7 by the half-time break.
Given that Kilmoyley had a lot more scoring opportunities throughout the opening half, Crotta would have been pretty satisfied with the situation which prevailed at this stage given that, they would have the assistance of the breeze to follow in the second half.
However, Kilmoyley restarted with more urgency and intent, and, after Maurice O'Connor had levelled matters with a first time ground stroke and Adam O'Sullivan had again effected a vital save, Kilmoyley were awarded a penalty in the 36th minute following a foul on Jordan Brick.
Adam O'Sullivan guessed correctly and got a touch to Daniel Collins resultant strike from the spot, but couldn't prevent it from going just over the line. A few minutes later Crotta were guilty of an unforced error, having elected to go short with a puck out, which Kilmoyley seized upon to increase their advantage to four points 1-9 to 1-5 by the 39th minute.
However, with Barry Mahony lifting Crotta's challenge with some surging runs Crotta kept in touch, and were just one point adrift 1-9 to 1-8 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The same margin separated the teams by the fiftieth minute and in driving rain, with the lights switched on, the contest developed into a pretty frantic finale. Raymond Nolan levelled matters with just a few minutes of normal time remaining and momentarily, it looked as if Crotta might, just about, get over the line having had possession in some good positions and situations.
However, it was Daniel Collins who had the final opportunity in the fifth minute of added time to put Kilmoyley through with a free on the 65-metre line. However, his effort tailed off to the right thereby necessitating extra time to determine the outcome.
Kilmoyley resumed with a dry and different colour of jerseys and while it is debatable as to whether or not it had any impact whatsoever on the final result, they were a rejuvenated side after the encounter had restarted.
With an extra spring in their step they set about the task with a much greater level of intensity. Ahead by four points 1-14 to 1-10 at the end of the first period, they went from strength to strength, and in terms of their energy and athleticism were far superior during this period.
Defensively they were compact, supplemented by numbers dropping back beyond halfway. They sealed the win with the last two scores coming about in counter attacking situations and in the end, the final result was both convincing and ultimately fully deserved, even if Crotta could well have shade matters in normal time.
Kilmoyley: John B O'Halloran, Seanie Murnane, Colman Savage, Dougie Fitzell, Robert Collins (0-1), James Godley, Tom Murnane, Paudie O'Connor, Daniel Collins (1-1 1-0 penalty), Barry O'Sullivan, (0-1), Matthew Flaherty (0-2), Maurice O'Connor 0-11 (9f), Joseph McElligott, Kieran McCarthy, Jordan Brick (0-2) Subs: Philip Maunsell for T Murnane, Donal Kennedy for J McElligott, Seán Nolan for James Godley, John Godley for R Collins, Paudie Godley (0-1) for D Kennedy, Kieran Regan for S Nolan
Crotta O'Neills: Adam O'Sullivan, Adrian Mahony, Darragh Kennelly, Seán Weir, Eamonn Shanahan, Tomas O'Connor, Bill Keane, Donal Hunt, Barry Mahony, Richard Nolan, Jonathon Caffrey, Shane Nolan 1-10 (0-7f), Paudie Quille, Jordan Conway, James Sheehan Subs: Tom B McElligott for E Shanahan, Seán O'Donoghue for J Sheehan, Raymond Nolan (0-1) for Richard Nolan, Jeaic McKenna for J Caffrey, Jack Twomey for D Hunt
Referee: Donnacha O'Callaghan (Limerick)
The game in 60 seconds
It was all about the collective input as far as Kilmoyley were concerned even if Maurice O'Connor's scoring contribution was hugely significant. Crotta depended a lot on the individual input of such as Barry Mahony, Adam O'Sullivan, and, their score in chief Shane Nolan. In terms of the brilliance of some of his many saves Adam O'Sullivan was the stand-out performer.
More of a crucial period, rather than a key moment. Daniel Collins goal from the penalty in the second half, looked as if it might be a defining score at that particular juncture given that scores, in the conditions were very much at a premium. The first period of extra time largely decided the issue, given that, Crotta scored just one point throughout those extra twenty minutes of play.
Crotta, will be disappointed, obviously, doubly so, given that they could well have beaten St Brendans and qualified directly for the semi-final. It might not be of any consolation to them right now, but having played six and a half games, which included those three periods of extra-time, it could well prove to be invaluable in terms of the squad's development with the possibility of adding another under age title this season.