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48 scores in classic Munster club hurling semi-final as Kilmallock see off Sarsfields

It took extra-time before the Limerick champions prevailed on home soil.

Philip O'Loughlin celebrates after today's victory for Kilmallock.
Philip O'Loughlin celebrates after today's victory for Kilmallock.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Kilmallock (Limerick) 3-22
Sarsfields (Cork) 3-20

LATE POINTS BY Limerick senior Graeme Mulcahy and Limerick minor Paddy O’Loughlin delivered an extra-time win for Kilmallock after a classic AIB Munster senior club hurling semi-final today.

Kilmallock triumphed on home soil against Cork champions Sarsfields in a fabulous contest. The standard of hurling was superb with the score taking exceptional for a November day as 48 scores, including six goals, were registered in 80-odd minutes of action.

Small margins decided the game with O’Loughlin managing to snatch a point for Kilmallock with 17 seconds left in extra-time. That edged them ahead by the minimum and Mulcahy grabbed the insurance point when he intercepted a Sarsfields defensive clearance moments later.

Those scores propelled Kilmallock to the Munster final on November 23rd, the club’s first appearance in that decider since 1994. But it was more heartbreak for Sarsfields, four-time Cork champions in the last seven years, as they discovered once more what a tough arena Munster club hurling is.

The tone was set early on with three early goals registered. Firstly Kieran Kennelly bundled home the ball for Kilmallock after a goalmouth scramble before Eoin Quigley booted a goal at the other end to cancel that out. Then Michael Cussen crowned a brilliant run for Sarsfields when he netted.

Bryan O'Sullivan Kilmallock's Brian O'Sullivan tries to gather a loose ball. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

At the interval Sarsfields were ahead 2-4 to 1-6 but Kilmallock fought back straight after the break when Brian O’Sullivan’s long-range effort went all the way to the net after Kennelly and Sarsfields goalkeeper Alan Kennedy had both challenged for a high ball.

The game ebbed and flowed for a spell. Cussen pointed Sars into a 2-10 to 2-9 lead, Kilmallock fought back with Mulcahy sending them 2-14 to 2-11 in front.

Then it looked like Kilmallock had made a decisive break for home. They created a six-point advantage after Paddy O’Loughlin scored a goal to leave them 3-14 to 2-11 in front with seven minutes left.

But Sarsfields produced a brilliant response. Kieran ‘Fraggy’ Murphy struck a great goal after being fed by Cussen yet Kilmallock still lead by three points heading down the stretch. However Cian McCarthy’s brilliant freetaking and Sarsfields resilience helped them draw level and force extra-time.

Eoin Quigley Eoin Quigley finds the net for Sarsfields. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The teams were level at 3-18 apiece at the midway mark of extra-time and tied at 3-20 each approaching the conclusion of the game. A replay looked possible before Kilmallock grabbed two late priceless points to triumph.

Scorers for Kilmallock
Eoin Ryan 0-7, Kieran Kennelly 1-2, Graeme Mulcahy, Paddy O’Loughlin 1-1 each, Graeme Mulcahy 0-4, Robbie Egan 0-3, Conor Barry 0-2, Paudie O’Brien, Jake Mulcahy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Sarsfields
Cian McCarthy 0-12, Michael Cussen 1-2, Daniel Kearney 0-3, Eoin Quigley, Kieran Murphy 1-0 each, Eoin O’Sullivan 0-2, Cormac Duggan 0-1.

Ger O'Loughlin Kilmallock manager Ger 'Sparrow' O'Loughlin Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

KILMALLOCK

1. Barry Hennessy

2. Liam Hurley
3. Mark O’Loughlin
4. Aaron Costello

5. Paudie O’Brien
6. Philip O’Loughlin
7. Kevin O’Donnell

8. Jake Mulcahy
9. Bryan O’Sullivan

10. Robert Hanley
11. Gavin O’Mahony
12. Robbie Egan

13. Graeme Mulcahy
14. Kieran Kennelly
15. Eoin Ryan

Alan Kennedy Sarsfields goalkeeper Alan Kennedy Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

SARSFIELDS

1. Alan Kennedy

2. William Kearney
3. Craig Leahy
4. Conor O’Sullivan

5. Daniel Roche
6. Ray Ryan
7. Eanna Martin

8. Daniel Kearney
9. Eoin Quigley

23. Ronan Murphy
11. Michael Cussen
12. Cian McCarthy

13. Eoin O’Sullivan
14. Kieran Murphy
15. Tadhg Óg Murphy

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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