REPORT: Crotta And Kenmare/Kilgarvan Play Out A Thriller

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Mike O’Halloran reports on the Acorn Life County Under 21 Hurling Championship semi-final on Sunday at Austin Stack Park…

Crotta O’Neill 3-16

Kenmare/Kilgarvan 2-18

The Crotta panel. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

Kenmare/Kilgarvan came within a whisker of bringing this game to extra time as Donal O’Sullivan who was most impressive all day missed two frees at the end to level matters.

Donal had opened the scoring for Kenmare/Kilgarvan with a point, but Declan O’Donoghue struck for goal almost immediately for Crotta.

Donal O’Sullivan and Barry O’Mahony swapped pointed frees, O’Sullivan then had three points in a row. Daniel Casey added another before had two pointed frees, Donal O’Sullivan pointed again before Donal O’Donoghue struck for Crotta’s second goal on fifteen minutes after he received a pass from Barry O’Mahony making the score Crotta 2.03 Ken/Kil 0.08.

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Barry O’Mahony had two further points one after he tapped over when put through by Tomas O’Connor.

On 25 minutes, Donal O’Sullivan had Ken/Kil last point of the first half. Crotta added a goal and two points — the goal coming from James Sheehan who had just come on as a replacement for Donal Hunt, leaving the score at halftime Crotta 3-8 Ken/Kil 0-9.

The Kenmare/Kilgarvan panel. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

Raymond Nolan put over for Crotta, Jack Lenihan replied for Ken/Kil, Darragh O’Donoghue had a point for Crotta but back came Donal O’Sullivan with two points in a row.

Barry O’Mahony did the same for Crotta, Kenmare/Kilgarvan had the next three scores — Michael Linehan and Donal O’Sullivan had a point each before Daniel Casey blasted to the net, 3-12 to 1-14 now, Jordan Conway lifted the Ken/Kil siege with a point.

Sixteen minutes into the second half Barry O’Mahony was set up with a great goal chance but he struck it wide.

Two more points from Donal O’Sullivan reduced the margin to three points but Darragh O’Donoghue pushed it out to a four point margin.

Daniel Casey had another point, three points the margin now, Barry O’Mahony added two points from placed balls.

It looked as if Crotta would win with a handy enough margin, but Kenmare/Kilgarvan came roaring back.

Donal O’Sullivan pointed then Michael struck for goal to put the minimum between them.

Kenmare/Kilgarvan were presented with two chances to bring the game but Donal O’Sullivan who was almost unerring all day was wide with a free that was well within his compass, he had another much more difficult free from the stand side which went barely wide.

While Crotta O’Neills won this game, one could not be but impressed with the Kenmare/Kilgarvan side.  The quality of their hurling and their resilience was top drawer, it would be great to see this bunch of players nurtured to represent South Kerry in the Senior championship one day.

Every effort should be made by the powers that be to progress these wonderful hurlers to senior championship level.

The absence of a scoreboard was quite a nuisance as the game was so tight, perhaps the PA system could have been used to keep the patrons informed of the score.

Scorers: Crotta O’Neills — Barry O’Mahony 0.13, Darragh O’Donoghue 1.01, Raymond Nolan 0.01, James Sheehan 1.00, Declan O’Donoghue 1.00, Jordan Conway 0.01.

Kenmare/Kilgarvan scorers — Donal O’Sullivan 0.14, Daniel Casey 1.03, Jack Linehan 0.01, Michael Linehan 1.00.

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