Flaherty swoops late to deny Kilmoyley in thriller

Garveys SuperValu County Senior Hurling Championship - quarterfinal
Lixnaw 2-14 Kilmoyley 2-12
By Murt Murphy for kerrygaa.ie
Never say die Lixnaw came from three points down with ten minutes left, to send 2009 County Champions Kilmoyley crashing out of this years, County Senior Hurling Championship, in a thriller at the Austin Stack Park.

Kilmoyley had looked the more likely side in the opening half, leading 1-7 to 0-3 after seventeen minutes, with Sean Maunsell scoring a 14th minute goal and Shane Brick, converting three frees, though the Kilmoyley sharpshooter was clearly hampered by injury.

This was a game in which Lixnaw were slow to settle and the loss of Trevor McKenna as early as the 3rd minute really did not help matters. However Maurice Corridan, who was struggling himself with an injury, came in to shadow Kilmoyley's danger man Shane Brick and the fact that Brick failed to register a score can be attributed in part to Corridan, and also that strapped hand, clearly was not right.

Lixnaw can also thank their entire defence, in which Reggie Galvin hurled superbly and kept his head in the heat of battle, while Paudie Lyons was shifted to curb the scoring threat of Kilmoyley's young speed merchant Daniel Collins.

Pat Corridan had a fine game at fullback for Lixnaw with cornerbacks Declan McCarthy and Conor Fitzmaurice also covering tenaciously, with the result that Kilmoyley's attack was never able to convert possession into scores. Adrian Royle and Sean Maunsell were the pick of the attack, with Royle winning good ball but the attack as a unit never functioned as it should.

It was tough on players like the lion hearted Tom Murnane and Maurice Murnane at the back to finish on the losing side but when Kilmoyley reflect on this loss, they will feel that when they led 1-12 to 1-9 with ten minutes left, they failed to kick on, and instead they seemed to adopt an defensive mode instead.

However a 23rd minute goal from the diminutive James Flaherty, breathed life into Lixnaw who trailed 1-9 to 1-6 at the interval.

Lixnaw thanks to some superb defending put the shackles on Kilmoyley in the second as John Griffin and James Flaherty kept their side in touch.

Then with Kilmoyley dropping Daniel Collins back as an extra defender, they invited Lixnaw to attack and when Griffin now hurling superbly, James Flaherty followed two frees with the equalizer from play in the 58th minute.

Then, with extra time looking inevitable, Flaherty showed his class in the 61st minute when he crashed a Brendan Brosnan centre to the net at the second attempt, and then quick points from Flaherty and Kevin Power , ensured Lixnaw were in the semis, despite a last second Adrian Royle goal for Kilmoyley.

They will now face county champions Ballyduff in the semi finals, in what is a repeat of last years decider and that is a mouth watering prospect for September 25th.
J Flaherty 2-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1'65,) B Brosnan 0-3 (0-2 frees, 0-1 '65), J Griffin 0-2, F Fitzmaurice, S Power and K Power 0-1 each

S Maunsell 1-2, A Royle 1-1, S Brick 0-4 frees, D Collins 0-2, M Murnane, A McCarthy and L Fitzelle 0-1 each

M Stackpoole, D McCarthy, P Corridan, C Fitzmaurice, P Lyons, T McKenna, R Galvin, E Fitzmaurice, F Fitzmaurice, J Griffin, E Galvin, B Brosnan, R Heffernan , S Power, J Flaherty.
Subs: M Corridan for T McKenna (inj 3), Cillian Fitzmaurice for R Heffernan (20), K Power for E Galvin (41), R Thornton for B Brosnan (55)

A McCabe, T Maunsell, S Dowling, Dougie Fitzell, James Godley, T Murnane, M Murnane, J McCarthy, P O'Sullivan, D Collins, S Brick, A Royle, A McCarthy, M Regan, S Maunsell

Subs: L Fitzelle for M Regan (42), P Flaherty for P O'Sullivan (51), C Fitzell for S Brick (60)

Referee: John Healy (Clare)