Kilmallock 1-24 Patrickswell 0-19
Kilmallock are Limerick SHC champions following a 1-24 to 0-19 win over Patrickswell at the TUS Gaelic Grounds.
It is the 12th time that the south Limerick club have lifted the John Daly Cup and they were full value for their victory.
Going into the game as underdogs, Tony Considine’s men finally broke clear in the 54th minute when Oisin O’Reilly latched on to Barry Hennessy’s long puck out to fire in the only goal of the game.
County star Graeme Mulcahy was the star player on show, however, as he sent over seven points from play that capped a stunning performance.
Diarmaid Byrnes did his level best for Patrickswell but his fellow county teammates, Cian Lynch and Aaron Gillane failed to fire from play. Lynch was well marshalled by the outstanding Ciaran O’Connor for Kilmallock.
It was Patrickswell that got the scoring underway courtesy of a Byrnes free from inside his own ’65 after 42 seconds.
David Woulfe immediately responded for Kilmallock but Aaron Gillane had ‘The Well’ back in front with a well-taken score from play.
It was then Mulcahy that took centre stage with two points in as many minutes that saw Kilmallock 0-3 to 0-2 ahead with four minutes played.
A magnificent Jason Gillane sideline saw the game level for a third time with points from John Kirby and Aaron Gillane seeing Patrickswell two points clear for the first time.
The contest remained a tight one by virtue of Michéal Houliahn and Aaron Costello points. Mulcahy then put Kilmallock ahead once more only for a Gillane free to level again. The score at the first water break all square at 0-6 apiece.
It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the half with the score level for the eighth time but two Houlihan frees put Kilmallock 0-11 to 0-9 in front at half time.
Patrickswell made a flying start to the second half with Jason Gillane and Jack Kelleher scores levelling the game for a ninth time.
Houlihan put Kilmallock ahead again with a point but a superb Byrnes effort from play squared the contest yet again.
Patrickswell began to turn the screw from there with a John Kirby point seeing them 0-13 to 0-12 ahead after 40 minutes.
Tom O’Brien then followed up with a well worked point after an excellent run from his brother Kevin, before an Aaron Gillane point from play saw Patrickswell three points to the good.
However, Kilmallock were in no mood for lying down and accepting defeat. Kevin O’Donnell stopped the mini crisis and further efforts from Houlihan placed balls saw the game level at 0-15 apiece, the 11th time it was all square.
An Aaron Gillane free put Patrickswell one clear at the second water break but from then on it was all Kilmallock.
Mulcahy got the scoring underway in the final quarter with another fine point from play that was immediately followed by two Houlihan frees that saw Kilmallock 0-19 to 0-17 ahead.
Aaron Gillane then put one between the sides once more with a free but the game swayed Kilmallock’s way from the restart.
A monster Hennessy puck out was seized upon by O’Reilly on the Patrickswell 14-metre line. The Kilmallock centre forward sped away before finishing low past Brian Murray for the vital score.
Patrickswell were reduced to 14 men immediately after the goal as Seanie O’Brien received a second yellow card for a late hit on O’Reilly.
Another Aaron Gillane free saw Patrickswell reduce Kilmallock’s lead to a goal but again Mulcahy had the answer with his sixth of the game.
Conor Hanley then came off the bench for Kilmallock to land two excellent points but it was left to the imperious Mulcahy to have the final say.
He jinked past a couple of Patrickswell defenders to fire over his seventh point that saw his side to their first title since 2014.
Scorers - Kilmallock: M Houlihan 0-11 (9f), G Mulcahy 0-7, O O’Reilly 1-0, K O’Donnell and C Hanley 0-2, D Woulfe and A Costello 0-1 each. Patrickswell: A Gillane 0-7 (5f), D Byrnes 0-5 (3f, 1 ’65), P Kirby 0-3 (1 sideline), J Gillane 0-2 (1 sideline), J Kelleher and T O’Brien 0-1 each.
Kilmallock: B Hennessy; L English, M O’Loughlin, D Joy; P O’Loughlin, C O’Connor, P O’Brien; R Hanley, A Costello; M Houlihan, O O’Reilly, D Woulfe; G Mulcahy, G O’Mahony, K O’Donnell; Subs: C Hanley for Woulfe (62), R Egan for O’Reilly (63), C Staunton for English (63).
Patrickswell: B Murray; S O’Brien, N Foley, J Flynn; T Nolan, D Byrnes, J Considine; J Kelleher, M Carmody; K O’Brien, C Lynch, J Gillane; A Gillane, K O’Brien, P Kirby; Subs: C Carroll for Kelleher (51), J Kirby for P Kirby (53, inj), C Fitzgerald for K O’Brien (55).
Referee: E Stapleton (Doon).