O’Halloran’s Hurling: Incident Overshadows Hurling Final

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rsz_mike_ohalloranOur hurling analyst, Mike O’Halloran, on a controversial day at the Garvey’s Supervalu Kerry SHC final…

Lixnaw 0-11

Kilmoyley 0-11

My “sit on the fence” prediction last week was a draw and with Lixnaw involved, a draw is always a good call given their record of draws in the county championship.

In a game that will make headlines for all the wrong reasons, Kilmoyley can count themselves lucky to have another bite of the cherry.

Kilmoyley were slight underdogs coming into this game but they belied that tag when they went 0-3 points to nil in front after nine minutes.

On 20 minutes they led 0-5 points to 0-1 their latest point coming from a pointed penalty when Aiden McCabe blasted the slitter over the bar.

Ricky Heffernan struck three points for Kilmoyley with Paul Galvin adding one to leave the halftime score Kilmoyley 0-7 points Lixnaw 0-4.

Lixnaw were to have the wind for the second half and the feeling of most at halftime was that the wind should exert enough influence to see the more experienced Lixnaw side over the line.

The incident at the start of the second half where a man appeared to strike out at Paul Galvin.

Prior to the throw-in for the second half there was an apparent “coming together” between two players which resulted in yellow cards been issued to Paul Galvin and Tom Murnane.

All seemed to be resolved when it appeared that Paul Galvin was struck on the head with a hurley by a man who was not a player. A number of melees then ensued and when order was restored, the second half began and in fairness was played out till the end in a fairly sporting manner.

By the twelfth minute of the second half, Stephen Power had put Lixnaw a point ahead with a raker from wing back: 0-8 points to 0-7.

Paul Galvin made it 0-9 points to 0-7 in-between two goal chances for Kilmoyley. The excellent Daniel Collins reduced the margin to one before Ricky Heffernan and Brendan Brosnan, with a monster free made it Lixnaw 0-11 points Kilmoyley 0-8.

Curtains, Kilmoyley one would think and even though Lixnaw were reduced to 14 men with the sending off of Mike Conway for a second technical yellow, Lixnaw were in charge.

Nobody told Daniel Collins that Lixnaw were supposed to win as he tapped over two points and then at the death Kilmoyley, were awarded a free about 70 metres out.

Lixnaw retreated to protect their goalmouth, leaving two Kilmoyley men free to accept the short free which Tom Murnane drove over to level the game, giving his brother Seanie, a second chance to attempt to lift the Nelius Flynn Cup.

As I mention earlier, the headlines covering the ugly scenes at the beginning of the first will completely overshadow the main event and it is a pity that a few moments of ugliness will deflect from the 66 minutes of action in a keenly foughtgame between two evenly matched teams.

I have been advocating for years that there are too many players and mentors on the sideline on most pitches and this is an issue that has to be addressed in both football and hurling.

As well as the safety issue, there is also the issue of the substitutes’ enjoyment of the game, because as they sit in the dugout they have no view of the game given the amount of traffic along the sideline.

The topic of discussion post-match was what were the sanctions going to be on the offending parties and what preventative actions would be undertaken by the county board prior to the replay?

We all know Kerry is a football county and many hurling followers are of the opinion that hurling is not given the respect or support it needs to thrive.

Us hurling followers have done ourselves no favours this day and there is little respect or support to be gained from the actions of a few. Promotion of hurling in Kerry has been done no favours by the scenes in Austin Stacks Park.

As for the replay, they seldom follow the same path as the drawn games and hopefully the replay will follow that trend and we will be talking of the quality of the hurling and not anything else.

Here’s hoping that’s the case and let’s be grateful that nobody was hurt today.

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