Venue: Rathkeale Date: 20 Mar.
Kilmallock 3-9 Adare 1-12
This was a match that Kilmallock were expected to win comfortably and things were going to plan when the lads scored 1-3 points in the first couple of minutes, the goal was scored by Conor Crowley with some superb points coming from Jake Mulcahy who was having a stormer. Adare were struggling to get into the game.
Unfortunately we had a player dismissed in the first couple of minutes as Paul Doona received a straight red card for a rather innocuous foul on his opponent. It was a harsh decision by the referee so early in the game. Kilmallock will now be without Paul for the semi-final.
Following this incident, however, Conor Crowley scored an excellent goal and things were looking good even though we were down a man. To their credit the Adare mentors decided to play their extra man behind their half backline and this made a huge difference as he mopped up everything and Kilmallock were now on the back foot. We were leading by 2-4 to 0-3 coming up to half time but Adare grabbed an excellent goal just before the half time whistle and it was now game on.
Adare piled on the pressure in the second half and scored four points on the trot early in the half. Kilmallock replied with points from Jake Mulcahy and Kevin O’Donnell. The Adare lads stuck to their task. With our backs under enormous pressure Adare eventually took the lead and thing were looking anything but rosy in the garden.
The Kilmallock mentors responded by moving Robbie Egan to centre back and Kevin O’Donnell to midfield. They also introduced Eamon Leen, Foley and Stephen O’Riordan. These changes proved decisive as Kevin O’Donnell levelled matters with a great point which was followed by a superb goal from Conor Barry. Adare were then awarded a 20 metre free and went for goal. Fortunately the ball went over the bar. This was followed by the all important point from Jake Mulcahy which clinched the match for Kilmallock.
Full marks to our backs who rose superbly to the challenge especiall Mark O’Loughlin and Kevin O’Donnell. Jake Mulcahy was the pick of the forwards with Conor Barry and Conor Crowley also to the fore.
Eoin W. O’Rourke, Dillon McCarthy, Mark O’Loughlin, Dave Barry, Aaron Costello, Kevin O’Donnell 0-3, Donal Barry, Robbie Egan, Donncha Higgins, Niall Hurley, Niall Burchill, Jake Mulcahy 0-6, Conor Barry 1-0, Conor Crowley 2-0, Paul Doona.
Kilmallock now top its group and have qualified for the county semi- final. A lot of work still needs to be done and, as stated previously, we will also be without Paul Doona who will be a serious loss.