Kinnitty The Big Winners As Senior Hurling Championship Gets Underway
Thursday, 20 April 2017
KINNITTY's victory over Birr in the first game of the weekend on Saturday evening was the standout result of the opening round of games in the Molloy Environmental Systems Senior Hurling Championship.
It was their first win over Birr in the championship in over 30 years and it was one they fully deserved. Birr had the better of the opening stages, but Kinnitty settled into the game and with Aodhan Kealey on top form at centre forward, Ger Coughlan's charges improved as the game went on.
Two Eoghan Callaghan goals in the second half along with 10 points from the stick of Colm Coughlan proved crucial as Birr wilted and Kinnitty went on to win 2-19 to 1-15.
It was a massive result for Kinnitty who fell to Birr at the semi final hurdle last year and they now will have a pep in their step when they take on Coolderry in the second round, a team they beat last year.
With Kilcormac/Killoughey and Coolderry postponed due to a bereavement (refixed for this Saturday), the only other game in group one was the meeting of Lusmagh and Shamrocks on Sunday evening.
After an even opening 15 minutes or so, Lusmagh began to pull away and led 0-13 to 0-5 at the break. Shamrocks kept plugging away but Lusmagh were always the likely winners with a late Nigel Dunne goal for Shamrocks not enough to prevent an impressive 0-21 to 1-11 win for Lusmagh which gives them a fighting chance of making a quarter final while pushing Shamrocks further towards the drop to Senior B.
Action in group was confined to Sunday and in a first ever Senior hurling championship encounter for Clodiagh Gaels, they took on near neighbours Tullamore. An even first half saw Clodiagh Gaels lead 0-8 to 0-6 at half time but Shane Dooley took the game by the scruff of the neck and his three second half goals propelled Tullamore to victory on a scoreline of 4-16 to 0-12 with Dooley accounted for 3-9.
Goals were the name of the game for reigning champions St Rynagh's as they beat near neighbours Belmont 3-10 to 0-13. Colin Egan was dismissed in the opening half for Belmont while goals from Sean Dolan and Matthew Maloney gave the champions a 2-3 to 0-5 half time lead.
Belmont were staying in touch but a third goal, courtesy of Stephen Quirke on 45 minutes killed them and pushed Rynagh's back out to a five point lead.
On Sunday morning, Seir Kieran and Shinrone locked horns in a bid to get their campaigns off to a winning start and it was the Clareen men who came out on top 3-14 to 2-15. A late Conor Doughan made it a tense closing few minutes but with Joe Bergin back in action for Seir Kieran, they hung on for a deserved win.
They led 2-8 to 1-7 at half time with goals from Billy Connors and Adrian Hynes while a Joe Bergin goal from a penalty midway through the second half opened up a seven point lead that put a bit of breathing space between the sides before a late Shinrone burst fell just short.
The second round of games will be played the weekend after next with the fixtures as follows.
Group 1: Birr v Lusmagh; Shamrocks v K/K and Kinnitty v Coolderry.
Group 2: Shinrone v Tullamore; Clodiagh Gaels v St Rynagh's and Belmont v Seir Kieran.
Group 1 Results:
Kinnitty 2-19 Birr 1-15
Lusmagh 0-21 Shamrocks 1-11
Group 2 Results:
St Rynagh's 3-10 Belmont 0-13
Tullamore 4-16 Clodiagh Gaels 0-12
Seir Kieran 3-14 Shinrone 2-15
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