Flynn’s late brace fires Granagh-Ballingarry to Limerick intermediate hurling final glory:
By Cormac Thompson Limerick Leader Sport
TWO outstanding points from Luke Flynn deep into stoppage time sealed the 2023 Nick Grene Sportsground Intermediate Hurling Championship title for Granagh-Ballingarry after their enthralling 0-18 to 1-13 final victory over neighbours Croagh-Kilfinny at Ballyagran on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides had exchanged wides in a nervy opening few minutes before Darragh Casey opened the scoring for Granagh-Ballingarry. Brian Hannan hit the reply for Croagh-Kilfinny, before Damian O’Donovan’s effort then glanced over the crossbar in what was a scary moment for the Croagh faithful.
Moments later, though, Croagh-Kilfinny’s Seamus Hickey batted the sliotar to the net after an ambitious pass from O’Carroll.
Luke Flynn responded for Granagh-Ballingarry before O’Carroll got his radar in tune, hitting three placed balls in a row for Croagh Kilfinny. His opposite Sean O Connor would find the target thee times himself before the half came to a close. Just a single chalk mark between the neighbours at the break. That left the score at the interval, Granagh-Ballingarry 0-9, Croagh-Kilfinny 1-7.
There was a lengthy pause the start of the second half after an unfortunate injury was sustained by a Croagh Kilfinny player.
Upon plays’ resumption, Damian O’Donovan fired over the first point of the second period for Granagh Ballingarry. Paudie Murphy then followed up before O’Carroll replied from a free.
Jack Lenihan then produced his score of the game contender for Croagh-Kilfinny only for his effort to be cancelled out seconds later by Cathal O’Keeffe.
Lenihan wasn’t finished at that, however. He pointed another inspiring score in the 48th minute. The men in green and black seemed to let their rivals off the hook after a series of missed chances.
O’Carroll then pointed a free to bring the sides level with normal time at a close. Two minutes later, he had them in front before his counterpart O’Connor tied the scores again.
Then it was a case of ‘Luke Flynn, the stage is yours’, as he became Granagh Ballingarry’s hero with the closing two scores of the game which was ultimately the difference at the finish as Granagh-Ballingarry won the battle of the west to be crowned Intermediate Hurling Champions for 2023.