Garveys SuperValu County Senior Hurling Championship Final
Garveys SuperValu County Senior Hurling Championship Final:
Its Shanes World as Lixnaw survive dramatic late drama
Lixnaw 1-16 Kilmoyley 2-11
By Murt Murphy
2017 All Ireland Final referee Fergal Horgan was in the eye of the storm leaving the Austin Stack Park pitch after a dramatic ending to this Garveys SuperValu Kerry Senior Hurling Championship final which Lixnaw won by two points.
The drama on the pitch occurred deep in stoppage time with Lixnaw holding a two point lead when Kilmoyley were awarded a free on the halfway line which had to drop into the Lixnaw square. This resulted in a penalty being awarded to Kilmoyley which Daniel Collins took.
Collin’s penalty was brilliantly saved by Martin Stackpoole and then finished to the net but referee Fergal Horgan had already blown the final whistle as keeper Martin Stackpoole celebrated wildly: Lixnaw were champions for the ninth time.
Unfortunately some Kilmoyley players and officials surrounded Fergal Horgan and he appeared to be struck in the commotion before wiser heads and stewards along with Gardai ensuring the referees safe passage from the pitch.
It was a final decorated by the silken skills of young UCC student and Kerry senior hurler Shane Conway who was regal in everything that he did scoring 0-13 and his two late points from play were magical as Kilmoyley had come from six points adrift midway through the second half, to level thanks to two Daniel Collins points at 2-11 to 1-16 with three minutes left.
Then enter Man of the Match Shane Conway to nail two sublime efforts from play and then Lixnaw survived a ball hitting the post and that late penalty save to win title number nine.
Lixnaw started with the aid of the elements and while they dominated for long periods they failed to make their advantage tell on the scoreboard shooting eight wides in the first half.
Kilmoyley, on the other hand, made better use of scarce resources though their captain and free-taker Daniel Collins missed some vital frees not helped by a back injury he has been carrying for some time.
Both defences were on top with Michael Quilter, Darragh Shanahan and Pat Corridan, with some help from John Griffin ensuring Lixnaw were on top and as a result Kilmoyley’s only scorer in the first half was Daniel Collins.
Then in the 19th minute, after a turnover, Kieran O’Regan set up Daniel Collins who shot low to the Lixnaw net and incredibly it was only a one-point game with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
However, with Shane Conway now operating at full-forward and his brother Mike on the 40, Shane Conway landed a massive 100-metre free with Daniel Collins finally getting his range back when converting a free and he would add one more before half-time.
But within 28 minutes Lixnaw got the goal they needed and deserved when Kilmoyley keeper John B O’Halloran was slow to clear and a combined effort by Shane Conway and John Griffin saw Conway’s effort saved and Griffin finishing the rebound to the net as Lixnaw led 1-7 to 1-3 at the interval.
Lixnaw captain Darragh Shanahan received the brand new Neilus Flynn Cup from Kerry County Board Chairman Tim Murphy while Shane Conway received the Man of the Match Award.
Lixnaw; S Conway (0-13, 8 frees), J Griffin (1-0), S McElligott, M Conway and C Sheehy (0-1 each)
Kilmoyley; D Collins (1-8, 7 frees), M O’Connor (1-0), K Regan (0-2), J McElligott (0-1)
LIXNAW: M Stackpoole; M Quilter, S Power, D McCarthy; G Stackpoole, D Shanahan, P Corridan; J Griffin, B Brosnan; S McElligott, R Heffernan, B McAuliffe; S Conway, M Conway, C Sheehy.
Subs: J Buckley for C Sheehy (50), J McKenna for S McElligott (55), R Galvin for J Griffin (60)
KILMOYLEY: J B O’Halloran: S Murnane, J Godley, S Nolan; R Collins, T Murnane, D Fitzell; F McCarthy, K McCarthy; J Brick, D Collins (c), S Maunsell; M O’Connor, K Regan, J McElligott.
Subs: E McCarthy for S Maunsell 47)
Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary)