LIMERICK junior A hurling champions St Kierans advanced to next weekend’s Munster semi-final with a 0-14 to 1-2 win over Kilsheelan-Kilcash.
The west Limerick side made light work of the Tipperary champions in the Gaelic Grounds to book a last four spot against Kenmare Shamrocks in the Munster club JAHC on for Saturday November 17 at 2.00 in Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.
Switched at the last minute because of the weather from Feenagh to the Gaelic Grounds, the provincial quarter final was all but over by the quarter mark as the Coolcappa club built up a lead that was always going to hold on an afternoon that made scoring difficult.
Both clubs are better known for their football and it showed in a reluctance to let the ball do the work. The Tipp club did have a serious hurling presence in their lineup in county minor star Bill Maher but, while one show of brilliance led to the game’s only goal, he was contained for the most part by a Kierans defence that held its nerve and its shape from start to finish. Maybe it was down their greater experience at the top level of football but they knew when and where they could get scores from while Kilsheelan managed just a single point from play over the entire hour, drew less than a handful of frees within the strike zone and converted just one of them.
With free-taker Donie Nolan on fire, St Kierans led 0-9 to 1-1 at the break.
The sun came out for the restart and shone down on a pair of Nolan frees, both of which were brought in following Kilsheelan objections.
After a long scoreless spell as Kierans struggled to find the posts into the wind, John Roche gave the Suirsiders a glimmer of hope when driving over from halfway. But there was no follow-through. Jack Ben Harnett replied, James Muckell could have finished it off but struck wide of an open goal, Nolan tapped over a free and Ian Coughlan tipped over Darragh Treacy’s drive as the Limerickmen cantered home through a stoppage-ridden closing period that extended to seven added minutes.
SCORERS - SAINT KIERAN’S: Donie Nolan 0-9 (6 frees, 1 ‘65’), Anthony Molyneaux, Ray Cahill, James Muckell, Jack Ben Harnett, Darragh Treacy
0-1 each; KILSHEELAN-KILCASH: Eddie Sweeney 1-0, Alex Harte (free), John Roche 0-1 each.
SAINT KIERAN’S: John Greaney; Mike Windle, Paudie McCarthy, Brendan McCarthy; Mike Flynn, Paddy Windle, Seán Windle; Anthony Molyneaux, Jack Ben Harnett; Ian Mackessy, Johnny McCarthy, Ray Cahill; Danny Collum, Donie Nolan, James Muckell. SUBS: Darragh Treacy for Danny Collum (43 mins), Tony Doyle for James Muckell (59 mins), Mikey Breen for Mike Windle (59 mins), James Windle for Seán Windle (61 mins), Chris Madigan for Ian Mackessy (62 mins).
KILSHEELAN-KILCASH: Ian Coughlan; Conor Davin Murphy, James Ryan, Kevin Larkin; Donnacha Lonergan, Shane Prendergast, Senan O’Halloran; Thomas Ryan, Willie Ryan; Bill Maher, Niall Walsh, Patrick Larkin; Eddie Sweeney, John Roche, Alex Harte. SUBS: Adrian Walsh for Eddie Sweeney (23 mins), Naoise Ó Cuinneagáin for Conor Davin Murphy (43 mins), Paul Kennedy for Naoise Ó Cuinneagáin (inj 54 mins), David Corcoran for Senan O’Halloran (56 mins), Keith Robinson for John Roche (56 mins).
REFEREE: Damian Fox (Clare).
See the weekend print edition of the Limerick Leader for a full match report.