KILMALLOCK are back as kingpins of Limerick club hurling following Sunday’s 1-15 to 0-15 win over Adare in the Limerick SHC final.
The 2010 champions were dethroned at the quarter-final stage last season but the Tony Considine managed side bounced back in style this season.
The men from south Limerick beat champions Na Piarsaigh in the semi-final and ya powerful second half saw them edge out 2009 champions to return The Daly Cup to Kilmallock for the 10th time.
A 46th minute goal from Jake Mulcahy was to prove decisive for the winners.
After opting to play against the wind in the opening half, Kilmallock trailed 0-8 to 0-6 at the break.
But Kilmallock turned it around in the second half with a switch of Graeme Mulcahy into a third midfielder role paying dividend.
Adare had bossed much of the opening half with Declan Hannon, Wayne McNamara and Stephen Lavin all playing key roles.
Inter-county man Hannon was to end with 11 points and despite finishing on the losing side, picked up the man of the match from championship sponsors, Limerick’s Live 95FM.
Although Adare led at the break five of their eight points came from frees and ultimately they never made serious inroads into the Kilmallock defence and when they did they found goalkeeper Barry Hennessy in top form.
Although winning on the possession stakes Adare never managed to shake off Kilmallock and the teams were level on four occasions in the first half until the Ger O’Loughlin managed side hit the final three points of the half.
While playing second fiddle to Adare in the opening half, Kilmallock still managed to produce six different scorers and the last of those was Robbie Egan, who was their star performer in the first half in midfield.
But on the resumption the inter-county men of Kilmallock came to the fore with captain Paudie O’Brien, Gavin O’Mahony and Graeme Mulcahy all inspring their team.
In front of an official attendance of 4,800 Kilmallock made their intentions known early in the second half with Jake Mulcahy cutting over a delightful line-ball inside 60 seconds.
Paudie O’Brien and Conor Fitzgerald then exchanged points to maintain the Adare lead 0-9 to 0-8 with five minutes played.
Adare then opened a gap with a Hannon ‘65 and a fine Wayne McNamara score from play.
The lead could have been greater but Hennessy saved brilliantly from Diarmuid Sexton.
With 20 minutes to play Adare were three points up but then Kilmallock came to life. They hit the next five scores, including the crucial goal.
Their half back line was now on top and ball was constant into attack where Eoin Ryan was now at full forward after the withdrawal to midfield of Graeme Mulcahy.
The swicth worked and Ryan scored from play and created one for Paudie O’Dwyer, who in turn set up Kevin O’Donnell.
All were also involved in the build-up to the goal when Ryan supplied the final pass back across a crowded goalmouth for Jake Mulcahy to cooly finish to the net along the ground.
With less than 13 minutes to play they were now 1-12 to 0-11 clear.
Two fine points from play from Hannon attempted to drag Adare back into it but they needed a goal in reply.
The closest they came was an injury time free from Hannon but Hennessy diverted over.
At the other end of the field sub Kieran Kenneally copper-fastened the win with his first touch.
SCORERS - Kilmallock: Jake Mulcahy 1-1, Paudie O’Brien, Paudie O’Dwyer, Eoin Ryan (one free) 0-3 each, Robbie Egan 0-2, Kevin O’Donnell, Shane O’Donnell, Kieran Kenneally 0-1 each. Adare: Declan Hannon 0-11 (five frees, two ‘65s), Willie Griffin (free), John Fitzgibbon, Conor Fitzgerald, Wayne McNamara 0-1 each.
KILMALLOCK - Barry Hennessy; Liam Hurley, Mark O’Loughlin, Kevin O’Mahony; Liam Walsh, Gavin O’Mahony, Bryan O’Sullivan; Robbie Egan, Paudie O’Brien, Jake Mulcahy; Paudie O’Dwyer, Eoin Ryan; Graeme Mulcahy, Kevin O’Donnell, Shane O’Donnell. Sub: Kieran Kenneally for Kevin O’Donnell (59 mins).
ADARE - Shane O’Donoghue; Jeff Lohan, Mike Clifford, Stephen Lavin; Paul Keane, Ross Kennedy, David Dillon; Jodie Hannon, Wayne McNamara; Conor Fitzgerald, Declan Hannon, Aidan O’Rahilly; Willie Griffin, John Fitzgibbon, Donnacha Sheehan. Sub: Diarmuid Sexton for O’Rahilly (24 mins), Andrew O’Connell for Sheehan (32 mins), Donnacha Sheehan for Fitzgerald (60 mins).
REFEREE - Declan O’Driscoll (Ballinacurra Gaels).