O’Halloran’s Hurling: Round-Up Of Weekend’s Championship Action

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rsz_mike_ohalloranOur hurling analyst, Mike O’Halloran, was in Austin Stack Park over the weekend to see the Supervalu Kerry County Senior Hurling Championship action…

BALLYDUFF, Abbydorney, Crotta O Neills and Lixnaw advanced to the quarter finals next weekend August 2, where Ballyduff will take on Crotta O Neills at 5.15pm followed by Lixnaw and Abbeydorney at 7pm in Austin Stacks Park.

Kilmoyley, and St Brendan’s meanwhile, are through to the semi-finals.

Kilmoyley 1-16 Crotta O Neills 1-12

On Saturday evening last, in a game that never sparked into life, Kilmoyley easily overcame a Crotta O’Neill’s outfit that offered little threat up front.

Kilmoyley had a dream start when Flor McCarthy goaled within a minute of the throw-in after being set up by the excellent Adrian Royle.

Kilmoyley led 1-7 to 1-4 at half-time, Shane Nolan goaling for Crotta.  The sides were level six minutes into the second half but Kilmoyley used all their experience and pulled away with one of their veterans Ian Brick scoring two points.

Kilmoyley – who were well served by young Daniel Collins and Tom Murnane – scored 1-12 of their tally from play as against Crotta O’Neills 1-4.

St Brendan’s 1-18 Lixnaw 0-20

Also on Saturday evening, St Brendan’s kept their title retention ambitions on track with a one point win over Lixnaw after extra time.

They say goals win games and Kieran Fitzgerald’s opportunist goal for St Brendan’s gave them the lifeline they needed to overcome the challenge of the Lixnaw men.

Lixnaw started well and were three points up 10 minutes in. They then went five up and could have been ahead by eight had the ball hopped a little kinder for James Flaherty. Lixnaw led by three at half-time 0-8  to 0-5.

Early in the second half, Lixnaw led 0-10 to 0-5 but points from John Egan and the busy David Griffin along with Fitzgerald’s goal ignited the St Brendan’s turbo-charged comeback.

On 61 minutes John Egan must have thought he had put St Brendan’s into the semis but Ricky Heffernan tapped over a moved-in free to bring the game to extra time 1-11 to 0-14 points at full time in ordinary time.

St Brendan’s were down 0-18 to 1-12 early in the first-half of extra time and also lost Darren Dineen to a red card.

The sending off seemed to spur St Brendan’s into action and with points from John Egan (three in a row) and Rory Horgan, set the stage for young Cian Hussey to drill over the winner at the final curtain.

St Brendan’s scores from play – 1-9. Lixnaw Scores from play – 10 points.

Abbeydorney 0-14 Ballyheigue 0-11

On Sunday it was the clash of the ‘last chance saloon’ teams.

The losers from round one stepped out into midday sun with two of them about to inter their Nelius Flynn ambitions in Boothill.

Abbeydorney faced a young Ballyheigue side depleted through injury and including a couple of walking wounded. The game was not a great spectacle but was full of honest endeavour.

Ballyheigue played with the wind in the first half and how they must regret the ten wides they struck in this period. The game was 20 minutes old and there was only a total of four points on the board.

By half-time Ballyheigue led 0-5 to 0-4 points. One would have expected Abbeydorney to coast away from Ballyheigue with the aid of the wind in the second half but the young guns from the seaside battled gallantly and had chances towards the end to level matters and perhaps win the game but were unable to get the final pass away to hit the bullseye.

Abbeydorney were stronger and the accuracy from placed balls of Darragh O’Connell proved to be the difference in the shoot out between himself and Shane Dunne.

Ballyheigue can be pleased with the performance of their young talent especially Adrian Flahive and Michael Leane. Abbeydorney advance but will need to improve their scoring spread if they are to take the scalp of Lixnaw in the next round.

Ballyhiegue scores from play – 0-5. Abbeydorney scores from play – 0-5.

Ballyduff 3-12 Causeway 1-10

This was an eagerly awaited tie from these great rivals and for most of the first half, the fervour and excitement was building.

Causeway had a dream start playing with the wind  and they went three points ahead. At one stage Causeway led 1-6 to a goal, the great John Mike Dooley cancelling Padraigh Boyle’s goal, but by halftime the score was Causeway 1-7 Ballyduff 2-3.

The second Ballyduff goal was  a thing of beauty from the underage prodidgy Jack Goulding. Causeway entered the tunnel regretting the seven scoring chances they wasted in the first half.

The anticipated fervour and excitement never materialised as Ballyduff took control with Michael Boyle giving an exhibition of high fielding as well as smashing in a goal and Kevin Junior O’Connor giving a master class in beautiful stick work and point scoring.

He stroked three beauties on being introduced as a sub.

Ballyduff made a statement of intent with this clinical dissection of Causeway and are now surely in the top two to lift the Nelius Flynn Cup.

Ballyduff scores from play 3-8. Causeway scores from play 1-4.

It is good to see that the teams scoring most from play won three of the four games over the weekend, with Abbeydorney and Ballyheigue drawing on the scores from play tally.

• Next weekend Lixnaw meet Abbeydorney that should result in a win for Lixnaw and Ballyduff should have enough to pip Crotta ONeills even though there is talk of an injury to one of Ballyduff’s most influential players.

If results go according to the predictions above, then the four best teams in the county are in the semi-finals by anybody’s reckoning.

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