Senior Hurling Championship – Thursday 30th April 2015 in Caherconlish 7:00 p.m.
Kilmallock 2-14 Ahane 1-13
The first game of the new season was always going to be a difficult fixture and against a lively and committed Ahane side on Thursday evening that’s exactly as it turned out to be.
Ahane set out their stall early and picked up two yellow cards in the opening five minutes from referee Declan O’Driscoll that underlined their game plan. Kilmallock were slow to settle but points from placed balls from Eoin Ryan kept the scoreboard ticking over. Ahane, at this stage, were scoring more freely and went 0-7 to 0-3 ahead midway through the half. Then Graeme Mulcahy picked up a neat pass from Paudie O’Brien and having eluded some over-vigorous challenges he batted the sliotar to the Ahane net. Referee O’Driscoll produced another yellow card for the Ahane defender following the green flag. Points from Gavin O’Mahony and another from Eoin Ryan sent the teams in at half-time tied at 1-5 to 0-8.
Kilmallock were out early for the second half and when Ahane finally joined them the green and whites set about putting Ger O’Loughlin’s half-time instructions into action. A ten minute purple patch saw points from Gavin O’Mahony, Graeme Mulcahy, Paudie O’Brien and Eoin Ryan and another goal from Graeme Mulcahy and this put daylight between the sides. It looked, at this stage, as if Kilmallock could win by any margin they wished but Ahane never gave up and with Kilmallock wasteful in front of goal points from frees from Ahane the score was 2-13 to 0-13 with five minutes remaining. The men from the East went in search of goals that would bring them back into the game and after a scrummage in front of the Kilmallock goal the referee theatrically awarded a penalty to Ahane. The drama did not stop here. Barry Hennessy, flawless throughout between the posts for Kilmallock, brilliantly saved the rasper from twenty metres but to the dismay of everybody the referee ordered the penalty to be retaken. Hennessy got his hurley again to the second attempt but the sliotar flew into the corner of the net. A nervous couple of minutes followed but a foul in midfield gave Eoin Ryan a chance to put four between the teams and he drilled the free from sixty yards between the posts. Relief greeted the final whistle – the 2015 Senior Championship is up and running.
Kilmallock : Barry Hennessy, Liam Hurley, John Meade, Aaron Costello, Liam Walsh, Philip O’Loughlin, Kevin O’Donnell, Paudie O’Brien (0-1), Jake Mulcahy, Robbie Hanley, Gavin O’Mahony (0-2), Robbie Egan, Graeme Mulcahy (2-1), Paddy O’Loughlin, Eoin Ryan (0-10).
Substitutes : Kieran Kenneally for Paddy O’Loughlin 45 mins