PREMIER INTERMEDIATE HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 1-15 Pallasgreen 3-8. A late free from Adam Butler saw us claim a hard-fought victory over Pallasgreen in Claughaun! The conditions were quite good for hurling, but this was a battle from the first minute until last, with the lads showing real grit and determination to eke out the win after being hit with a number of setbacks. It means we move to top of the Premier Intermediate Championship table after two games, with one more game to come before the summer break. The first setback came almost straight from the throw-in, as a ball directed into the Pallasgreen full-forward line resulted in a tangle of legs and the referee awarded a penalty. John Chawke stood tall to make the save from the penalty and we were able to get the ball to safety.

Kyle Hayes returned to the team this afternoon, and he was hungry for work early on and opened the scoring with an excellent point from play. Pallasgreen responded with a free before Liam Griffin struck two frees in a row. This was a very stop-start game right from the off, with the referee awarding a lot of frees to both sides. Darren O’Connell, in particular, was causing lots of problems for the Pallasgreen defence and although he would not score himself, he won seven scoreable frees. Pallasgreen reduced the deficit to a point with their first point from play but that would be their only score from play in the entire first half, a testament to how well our backs played. Cían Hayes was marshalling matters well from centre-back, making a few big interventions, while the full-back line of Kevin O’Connell, Tony McCarthy and Luke O’Keeffe didn’t give their opponents a sniff. We extended our lead when a superb puckout from John Chawke down the right wing found Kyle Hayes, who took on his man, and popped the ball over the bar.

Liam Griffin exchanged further frees with the Pallasgreen freetaker, before the game saw its first goal. Lorcan O’Leary, who was strong throughout, did brilliantly to catch the ball in the half-back line and he found Adam Butler in the corner with a diagonal ball. Adam slipped away from his marker, cut inside, and drilled the ball past the goalkeeper to give us a five-point advantage! It was an excellent team move, well finished by Adam. Cathal Downes had a superb first half, his work rate and hard running causing nightmares for the Pallasgreen defence. He had created an earlier goal chance after powering down the left-hand side and popping the ball across goal but unfortunately, it just went astray before it could reach Darren O’Connell. But he knew he had the beating of his man and he went on a powerful run down the wing, cut inside but was so unlucky to see his shot saved by the goalkeeper! Liam Griffin popped over the ’65 and we were now starting to open up a bit of a lead.

With a six-point lead, we were hit with a double blow. Firstly, we lost Liam Griffin to injury and we would like to wish him all the best in his recovery. Following straight from that, there seemed to be some confusion as to whether play was being restarted after the lengthy stoppage with an indirect free or not and the ball travelled all the way from Pallasgreen’s half into the back of the net, which was deemed to stand as a goal. It was a blow, and cut our lead to just three points again. However, we bounced back well to get the last couple of scores before the break. We had the sniff of another goal chance when Cathal Downes sneaked in behind the Pallasgreen cover and was cleverly picked out by captain Barry O’Connell, but unfortunately the ball didn’t stick and Pallasgreen were able to avert the danger. But Darren won a couple more frees before the break for Adam Butler, who took over freetaking duties, to fire over the bar to give us a five-point lead at half-time on a scoreline of: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 1-8 Pallasgreen 1-3.

Although Pallasgreen would hit the first score of the second half, we would stay on top for the opening 15 minutes or so and were able to keep them at arm’s length if never brush them off completely, and that is testament to the work rate and doggedness of Pallasgreen too. When Cathal Downes was fouled, Adam Butler was able to hit his third free of the afternoon and when Darren was fouled again, he made it number four and gave us a six-point lead. But Pallasgreen finally found a bit of rhythm and were able to rattle over three scores in a row, one from a free and then two quick-fire points from play to leave just three between the teams.

Again, when presented with a challenge, we rose to occasion and tacked on the next couple of scores. The stop-start nature of the game meant it was very difficult to build up any sort of momentum, but luckily Adam was hugely accurate with his frees in the absence of Liam. Another foul on Darren saw Adam push our advantage back out to four points and then Kyle Hayes did brilliantly to win a puckout cleanly, and run at the heart of the Pallasgreen defence but was fouled while doing so. Adam once again slotted the free over the bar and we were five points up with ten minutes to go.

However, Pallasgreen dug deep again and another long ball into the square saw the referee award what seemed quite a harsh penalty. This time Pallasgreen made no mistake and buried the ball in the top corner from the penalty and suddenly, it really was game on once again. John Chawke came up from between the sticks to land a monster free against the breeze to restore our three-point advantage but Pallasgreen struck another free to leave the gap at just two points again. Although a number of things had gone against us, we kept our cool to keep working the opportunities and this was best exemplified by the point we worked to put the lead back out to three points. John Chawke had come up to strike the long-range free but with the wind rising, he picked out Shaun Barry, who drew the man, returned it to John who found Lorcan O’Leary who made moved into space on the right wing. Up from right wing-back and having performed his defensive duties well throughout, Lorcan drove the ball over the bar from the Pallasgreen ’65 to put us three up again.

But approaching injury time, Pallasgreen rallied again and a free from deep inside their own half was dropped in around the square and a flick saw it diverted into the back of the net for their third goal which meant the teams were level for the first time since the opening minutes! It was another blow, in a match where we had definitely looked to be the better team on the balance of play, but once again, we did not panic. We did put in a huge shift in the second half, the likes of Shaun Barry winning a lot of dirty ball around the middle third while Conor Staff, Jack O’Keeffe and Dylan Corrigan made some notable interventions in our forwards. We kept working to create the opportunity in injury time, and a combination of Adam Butler and Darren O’Connell worked to dispossess a Pallasgreen back, Darren nipped in to take the ball and was fouled for the seventh occasion around the 20 metre line. Adam again fired the ball over the bar to give us the narrowest of leads into injury time.

The referee gave Pallasgreen the opportunity to equalise and although they won the resulting puckout, our backs worked brilliantly to swallow up the man in possession; three players got in around the ball to win the free and that saw us see out the victory! With a couple of injuries coming into the game, and another during the game, this was a vital two points to pick up and one we really had to dig deep for to get that last minute score. We bounced back from each of the soft goals conceded and showed an impressive maturity from such a young side. We are out again on Thursday evening against Blackrock, which is currently fixed for Bruff at 7pm

but keep an eye on social media and the Limerick GAA website for any updates! Well done to all involved for moving top of the table, best of luck next weekend and once again, we’d like to wish Liam Griffin all the best in the recovery from his injury.

Team: John Chawke (0-1, free); Luke O’Keeffe, Tony McCarthy, Kevin O’Connell; Lorcan O’Leary (0-1), Cían Hayes, Keel Moloney; Conor Staff, Barry O’Connell; Kyle Hayes (0-2), Liam Griffin (0-4, frees), Cathal Downes; Darren O’Connell, Shaun Barry, Adam Butler (1-7, 0-7 frees)

Subs: Jack O’Keeffe for Liam Griffin (26 mins); Dylan Corrigan for Conor Staff (53 mins)

JUNIOR A HURLING LEAGUE: Our junior hurlers are entering the Junior A Hurling League this year and their first match is against our neighbours Ballybrown! The match is currently fixed for Tuesday April 30 at 7pm in Ballybrown. This will be our juniors’ first match of the year and we’d like to wish them the very best of luck for the season ahead!

U-14 FÉILE FUNDRAISER: Thanks to all who supported our table quiz fundraiser for our U-14 Féile team on Friday night. There is still quite a lot of fundraising to do to get our U-14 footballers to Mayo in the summer but this was a great start. Thanks to the Corner House for their generosity as always, thanks to everyone who donated spot prizes for the raffle and thanks to Pat McGarrigle, Éanna McGarrigle, Sean Cuddihy, Trish O’Dowd and Niall Kelly for their involvement in organising the quiz and raffle.

There is another fundraiser arranged for the Féile team on Monday April 22 in a bagpack in Dunnes Stores in the Jetland Shopping Centre.

LIMERICK MINOR FOOTBALLERS: Clubman Mícheál Cuddihy and the Limerick minor footballers were unlucky to only draw with Waterford in the Munster Championship, as a last-gasp equaliser for the Deise secured the draw.

TEAM LIMERICK CLEAN-UP: Thanks to all club members who were involved in the Team Limerick Clean-Up on Friday!

CLUB LOTTO: The lotto numbers on 15 April 2019 in the Beer Garden were 4, 23, 24, 26.

There was no winner of the overall draw and the lucky dip winners were Siobhan Hamid, S. Warner, John O’Brien (Pallaskenry) and Joshua McDonald. Thanks to all lotto sellers and everyone who continues to support the draw.

The jackpot has risen to €16,200 for the bank holiday weekend, with the draw taking place in De Bucket. Please continue to support the club lotto, which is the most vital source of funds to fund all our teams from U-6 up to adult grade! An annual subscription is just €100 (€50 for 6 months, €25 per quarter or €8.50 per month) and a subscription form can be requested from any lotto seller or committee member.

REGISTRATION: The deadline for registration has now passed; anybody who has not registered or paid, please do so as soon as possible as unregistered players are ineligible to take the field or to train with the club.

CLUB LIMERICK DRAW: As championship for both club and county draws nearer, there is no better way to support both and show our players you’re right behind them all the way. Kildimo Pallaskenry GAA is very fortunate to have a number of players involved with county teams in both hurling and football across a number of grades.

Join the CLUB Limerick Draw online or with any club committee member. Support your club and county teams!