CHAMPIONS in 2010, Kilmallock showed that their focus is fixed firmly on regaining their county senior hurling title when brushing aside the challenge of Croom in Saturday evening’s quarter-final in Bruff on a 1-19 to 0-9 score line.
Although they looked pedestrian at times and opened both halves slowly, there’s a big engine underneath the green jersey and it showed as they laid the foundations before the break and zoomed out of sight once they bagged the game’s only goal midway through the second half.
Despite registering just three points from play, Croom tried their best to make a game of it but the present lineup is only a shadow of their finalists of a few years back.
Too many of their extravagant underage talent of the 1990s have hung up their boots, the years are catching up with those that remain and the wave of replacements have yet to pick up the wisdom needed to round off a championship hurler.
The gap showed when the sides tried to move up a gear. Kilmallock had the touch in every position and, even when two of their starters were forced off injured, such was the depth of their bench that it scarcely made any difference.
SCORERS - Killmallock: Greame Mulcahy 1-3, Jake Mulcahy 0-5 (2 frees), Eoin Ryan (2 frees, 1 ‘65’), Kevin O’Donnell, Paudie O’Dwyer 0-3 each, Paudie O’Brien 0-2; Croom: Tom Carmody 0-4 (4 frees), Conor Allis (2 ‘65’s), Stephen Moore 0-2 each, Eoin O’Farrell 0-1.
KILMALLOCK - Barry Hennessy; Mark O’Loughlin, Philip O’Loughlin, Bryan O’Sullivan; Liam Walsh, Gavin O’Mahony, Robbie Egan; Eoin Ryan, Paudie O’Brien; Jake Mulcahy, Paudie O’Dwyer, Kieran Kennelly; Graeme Mulcahy, Kevin O’Donnell, Shane O’Donnell. SUBS: John Meade for Bryan O’Sullivan (inj 15 mins), Andrew O’Shaughnessy for Kieran Kennelly (inj 40 mins), Aaron Costello for Eoin Ryan (55 mins), Derek O’Mahony for Shane O’Donnell (55 mins).
CROOM - Ger Flynn; Richie O’Kelly, Mark O’Riordan, Mickey Cahill; Shane Lawlor, Stephen Lucey, Marcus Cregan; Peter Lawlor, Conor Allis; Pa Reidy, Stephen Moore, Tom Carmody; Eoin O’Farrell, Stevie Cahill, Jack Ryan. SUBS: Conor Laffan for Jack Ryan (inj 20 mins), Kieran Larkin for Stephen Moore (46 mins).
REFEREE - Trevor Mann (Ballybrown).
For a full report on this game see this weekend’s print edition of the Limerick Leader.