SENIOR HURLING COUNTY CUP FINAL: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 1-19 Garryspillane 2-11. A historic evening in the TUS Gaelic Grounds as our Pallas Plastering/Chill the Beans-sponsored senior hurlers brought a first piece of silverware back to the parish since 1935. 86 years ago, it was a Kildimo side that won the West Senior Championship on their way to a county final. In 2021, the parish are combined as one and it was a first Senior County Cup title in our history! It was not the trophy that we were aiming to win at the start of the year but once we knew we would be competing in the final, it was one that was targeted and we were delighted to bring the trophy home! It’s always nice to see the year out with a victory, it puts us in a good position ahead of the 2022 season and, having won a Premier Intermediate title in an empty Gaelic Grounds in 2020, it was nice to lift a trophy in front of our supporters this year!
There was one change to the team that started our previous game against Adare, as James Pomeroy, who made his Championship debut from the bench in that game, came in for his first Championship start in place of Ciarán Barry, who missed the match through illness. Despite a downpour just as the ball threw in, we started in fine fashion as we moved the ball quickly from our half-back line and midfield into our full-forward line. Inside, Kyle Hayes and Darren O’Connell caused havoc in the early stages while Barry O’Connell produced a towering first half performance, pulling the strings from outside. Barry would put us into an early lead with a point from play, before a ball was delivered into the corner for Darren O’Connell. Darren won the ball brilliantly, turned inside two Garryspillane defenders who tried to hold him up, before burying the past the goalkeeper for his second goal of this Championship campaign.
Like ourselves, Garryspillane are backboned by a very young group of players; they won back-to-back minor hurling titles in 2017 & 2018 are one of the favourites for this year’s U-21 Championship and were always going to bring a lot of fight to this contest. They hit back with a nice score from play, before a pointed free reduced the gap to just two. But then, over the next six or seven minutes, Kyle Hayes would cause absolute mayhem inside in our full-forward line. The likes of Cathal Downes, Liam Griffin and Tony McCarthy were delivering some great ball inside but Kyle was winning it high, low, every single way and torturing the full-back line. He shot over four points from play in a row which opened out a six-point lead. The pick of the scores came when a low ball came in, a Garryspillane defender was hanging off him, but he showed a sublime first touch and then great physical strength to hold off the defender while flicking the ball into his hand before bursting forward and shooting on the angle. The complete dominance that he was showing caused Garryspillane to adjust their defence slightly to try and cover the space that Kyle was exploiting in fine fashion.
This did work to some extent and it allowed them to hit back with a few scores in a row, including another placed ball. If the first quarter had been dominated by Kyle’s effectiveness in the inside line, the second quarter would belong to Barry O’Connell who seemed to be absolutely everywhere. As a playmaker, he had been involved in a number of balls being delivered into our full-forward line in the first half and when the responsibility came on his shoulders to score, he stepped up to the mark. He would hit three superb points on the trot to re-open a six-point advantage. He was winning the ball, laying it off, taking the return pass off the shoulder and popping points over the bar. Again, the pick of the scores was an absolutely amazing point when he was surrounded by Garryspillane defenders, he twisted and turned away from the crowd before getting a shot away with almost no backlift. It didn’t
seem possible that it would have the distance but it dropped over the bar with metres to spare, an incredible point!
But Garryspillane were teak tough and dogged, and although we had dominated the half until that point, they managed to hit four points of their own in a row to pull themselves right back into contention before the half-time whistle. Their inside line were looking to run at our defence to try and create goal chances but the likes of James Pomeroy, Cathal Downes and Peter Nash were involved in some big hits and excellent turnovers and we didn’t allow them escape in on goal. But the points came, first through a free, then a couple from play before they hit a ’65 to reduce our lead to just two points. We would finish the half with a score of our own, Darren O’Connell stemmed the tide with a nice point from the left wing to give us a three-point lead. We were not awarded a single free in the first half, which meant that all of our 1-9 in the first half came from open play; 0-4 for Kyle, 0-4 for Barry and 1-1 for Darren; excellent scoring from all three forwards. At times, we were finding the wet conditions difficult, Darren was deceived by the surface on a couple of occasions in that first half but would more than make amends in the second half. At half-time we led by 3: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 1-9 Garryspillane 0-9.
It had been three years since we last faced Garryspillane in a Championship encounter; on another horrible wet day in Kilmallock in 2018, they defeated us in a Premier Intermediate semi-final. They would go on to win promotion and, in that county final victory, their young corner-forward, Calum Sheehan scored two goals against Bruff which sealed the victory. He was only a minor then, he is U-21 now and he repeated that feat against us in the early moments of the second half. From our point of view, they were two poor goals to concede: for the first he ran through and deceived our defence and John Chawke with the finish while the second, we didn’t clear a high ball well enough and he finished low to the back of the net. Having been the better team in the first half, and arguably not having the half-time lead that befitted our performance, this was a quickfire sucker punch to give Garryspillane a three-point lead at the beginning of the second half.
It shows that we are still learning at the senior grade, you have to remain totally focused and concentrated against teams at this grade or you will be punished, but we showed maturity in the way we re-asserted control of the game. It didn’t come immediately, the wet and slippery conditions made it difficult for either side to put together moves of real quality but in the aftermath of the second goal, Barry raced through the middle before unleashing a shot from distance which was well-saved by the goalkeeper and Darren was unable to turn the rebound home. Again, this could have left us a little jittery but Darren would soon get a point from play to narrow the gap. Garryspillane hit back almost immediately to restore their three-point lead but although they seemed on top at this point, they would only score one more point for the rest of the game. This is testament to our defensive work, the likes of Peter Nash really grew into the game, sweeping up ball, as did the likes of Tony McCarthy and Liam Griffin.
Slowly but surely, we began to win the breaking ball and worked our way back into the game. We also finally started to win some frees, primarily through Kyle Hayes, who was not being allowed the same space as he was given in the first half. But although, he wasn’t firing over the same number of scores himself, the net effect on the scoreboard was the same. Shaun Barry stuck over two frees won by Kyle, as well as one that was won by Darren O’Connell. We had been a little wasteful in the first half, and this continued into the second half as we hit some wides that we would normally expect to score and it wasn’t until after the water break that we finally found our true accuracy. Shaun’s three frees had drawn us level by the water
break, but we knew that there was another level in us and, much like the final quarter in our 2020 county final victory, we powered home in the final 15 minutes to take the victory!
If the first quarter had been dominated by Kyle, the second by Barry, the final quarter was certainly dominated by our other intercounty star, Darren O’Connell. He had already hit 1-2 from play heading into that water break but, by his own admission, could have had more. He really turned on the style in the Championship minutes, hitting 0-5 from play in the final quarter, to finish with an absolutely outstanding 1-7 from open play. The best players deliver in the biggest moments and there is no doubt that Darren delivered to help us bring this trophy home. He was helped, no doubt by the ball coming in from outside, which was of excellent quality. Martin Nunan came in to partner him inside in the full-forward line and his movement was excellent, while Garry Sheehan was also making use of the space by making some lungbursting runs into space. Cathal Downes, Kyle Hayes and Liam Griffin were among those picking out the balls into the space for Darren to exploit and when he got the run on his man, and turned, he was making no mistake with his shooting.
Sometimes, you have those days when everything you touch turns to gold and by the end, some of the crowd were in disbelief at the shots were over the bar. Darren would collect the ball, ship a hit, turn inside and fire over the bar from every angle. His last three scores were absolutely superb, shots from way out the field off his right side, all very similar and all of the highest quality. Interspersed between Darren’s scoring spree was a point for Garryspillane, their only score of the final quarter, as well as a lovely score from Kyle Hayes, his fifth from play in the game. Darren possibly could have had a goal when he turned his marker and handpassed to Martin Nunan; the ball slipped away from Martin but Darren recovered it himself and had a shot on goal but was only diverted by an absolutely superb saving block by the Garryspillane centre-back who dived at full-stretch to deny us a second goal.
We were a joy to watch in those final moments as, despite the less-than-ideal conditions, we moved the ball at pace into space and took our scores with ease. The relentless tide finally broke Garryspillane’s resistance and we took a five-point victory. Garryspillane knew they would need another goal to save the game but, having been burnt already, our backline stood firm, repelling all resistance. We also had another Championship debutant, when Barry O’Connell was forced off with an injury, Jack Mullane was introduced for his first Championship appearance. Jack has had an excellent 2021 to date, with some huge displays for our seniors in challenge matches and also for our juniors, and it was great to see him get a deserved Championship debut, becoming our fifth debutant of the season! This really shows that we are largely a very young panel and obviously it was a first year of senior club hurling for every one of these players, with the five getting their first taste of Championship action at any level! Our strong finish to the game saw us home to victory and when referee Mike Sexton blew the final whistle, we were able to share in the delight of winning a senior trophy in front of our superb support!
Having done so the last day, I won’t go through everybody name-by-name again but a huge thanks to all the players, management, backroom team, the club themselves and all our supporters; each one of these parties has played a part in our journey to senior hurling and we have now a piece of silverware to show for it. This was our first year back at this grade, we are an ambitious club and we have big plans for the future; we will not be resting our laurels. It may be the end of our senior hurling season but there are some huge matches upcoming at U-17, U-19, U-21 and junior level as well as an intermediate football semi-final. The club is
in a good place, we need to keep the upward trajectory going, so a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed, it’s always nice to see the reward for our efforts!
Team: John Chawke; Luke O’Keeffe, Cían Hayes, James Pomeroy; Liam Griffin, Tony McCarthy, Cathal Downes; Peter Nash, Conor Staff; Jack O’Keeffe, Barry O’Connell (0-4), Shaun Barry (0-3, frees); Darren O’Connell (1-7), Paudi Hartigan, Kyle Hayes (0-5)
Subs: Garry Sheehan for Paudi Hartigan; Martin Nunan for Shaun Barry; Jack Mullane for Barry O’Connell; Luke Guinane for Jack O’Keeffe
Panel: James Mason, Ciarán Barry, Aaron O’Donovan, Naoise McGarrigle, Liam O’Sullivan, Darragh Walsh, Matthew Lucey, Ryan Kelly, Jai Chaudri, Marc O’Shea, Ciarán Downes, Eoin Sexton, Adam Butler, Ruairí Maher, Dylan Corrigan, Dean O’Neill
Backroom: Natal O’Grady, Ger Downes, Darragh Hayes, John Barry, Jim Maher, Éanna McGarrigle, Alan Fitzgerald, Brendan O’Shea, Danny O’Sullivan, Sean O’Donnell, Adrian O’Brien, Mark Melbourne, Darren O’Shea, Ciarán McMahon, Davy Fitzgerald
JUNIOR B HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 6-23 Claughaun 0-5. Our Seven Sisters-sponsored junior hurlers have booked their place in the City semi-final following a victory over Claughaun. First and foremost, we would like to thank Claughaun for fulfilling the fixture. They were down a number of players, had a Senior Football Championship match yesterday and it can’t have been easy for them to fulfil a fixture in Kildimo at 6pm on a Monday evening, leaving work and college early. They would likely have known that the scoreline was not likely to go in their favour, given we have a number of players involved who are on the verge of our senior team, but we need matches and we are delighted we got one under our belt this evening.
We have a huge group of players this year and trying to get gametime for all as we head into the knockout stages is an almost-impossible task. This was a one-sided affair, and we had control from the off. Mikey Dillon would open the scoring; he scored three of our first four scores and would finish the first half with 0-4 from play. When a ball dropped just under the crossbar, the Claughaun keeper batted it away from goal but Brendan Meskell was there to drive it into the back of the net from close range. Claughaun then struck a nice point from out the field before Aaron O’Donovan put together a nice run of scores, hitting 1-2 from play in the space of a couple of minutes.
Darragh Walsh was annoyed that a shot he believed went over the bar was waved wide, but he got on the scoresheet shortly after a Jack Mullane point. Aaron collected a ball and raced through on goal to hit the back of the net for a second time shortly after he had scored another point. Ryan Kelly then got in the act, followed by Darragh Walsh before Claughaun struck over free. Aaron was picking up a lot of space and he was able to add a couple more points before Claughaun hit another free. Mikey rounded off his half and Ryan Kelly also got in on the act before the end. The likes of Jai Chaudri and Evan Considine were delivering nice ball to the forwards, who were moving nicely.
In the second half, Liam O’Sullivan made an instant impact as he rattled the back of the net with his first touch before Claughaun hit another point from play. Another sub to make a big impact was Marc O’Shea, who put in a towering performance, and he burst forward from wing-back to fire the ball over the bar. Ryan Kelly added another before Tom O’Shea,
another sub to get through a huge amount of work, added his first since coming off the bench. Tom got a second shortly after as we put together probably the move of the match. Marc O’Shea did brilliantly to win the ball, he fed Naoise McGarrigle, who burst forward out of defence before laying off to Tom, who made no mistake with the finish.
Kieran O’Brien really thundered into the game into the second half, getting on a lot of breaking ball, linking with the likes of Keel Moloney and Ryan Kelly, and he would soon add a point also. He would then threaten goal when we made a great run from midfield in behind as Aaron O’Donovan cut a sideline across to Ryan Kelly. Ryan attempted to lay a pass off for Kieran but the ball travelled all the way to the back of the net, deceiving the goalkeeper! Ryan was operating nicely as a linkman and he would also set up a point for Liam O’Sullivan, who scored two in very quick succession.
Claughaun hit another free before Kieran finally got his goal, taking his man on the outside, shipping a belt before crashing the ball to the back of the net. We would round off the game with two more points from Aaron O’Donovan, the final one being a free, which meant that 6-22 of our 6-23 scored came from play. This was a good display following our draw with Patrickswell, and the result means that we now top the group due to score difference, and expect to play Mungret in a semi-final! There will be tougher contests ahead but this was a nice victory to get under our belts.
Team: James Mason; Brian Howard, Evan Considine, Eoin Sexton; Keel Moloney, Naoise McGarrigle, Jai Chaudri; Jack Mullane (0-1), Kieran O’Brien (1-1); Mikey Dillon (0-4), Aaron O’Donovan (2-7, 0-1 free), Matthew Lucey; Ryan Kelly (1-3), Brendan Meskell (1-0), Darragh Walsh (0-2)
Subs: Mícheál Cuddihy, Marc O’Shea (0-1), Adrian Garvey, Tom O’Shea (0-2), Liam O’Sullivan (1-2), Adam Butler, Ciarán Galvin, Danny O’Sullivan
INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL: We have been drawn against St. Senan’s, the side that knocked us out last year, in the semi-final of the Intermediate Football Championship. Having already beaten one side who defeated us last year, we hope to now repeat that feat. The game has been fixed for Saturday, October 16 at 4pm in Askeaton.
JUNIOR B CITY HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL: The semi-final against Mungret/St. Paul’s has been deferred until next weekend. Keep an eye on social media, Team App or the Limerick GAA website for details of the fixture.
U-19 HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL: Our match against Ballybricken/Bohermore has been fixed for Wednesday, October 6 at 7.30pm in Doon. Best of luck to all involved.
CLUB DEVELOPMENT GROUNDWORKS LAUNCHED: We were delighted to have three-time All-Ireland winner, Kyle Hayes, at the launching of the groundworks of our club development plan during the week. Our ambitious plans include a 27m ball wall, a 27×25 enclosed all-weather training area, secure perimeter fencing as well as floodlighting for all year round use. This will be a huge asset for the club, will allow us to secure a training base for the winter months while allowing our players of all ages to hone their skills.
While stage one of these works have begun, we still need further assistance from the community in order to bring all these plans to conclusion. We are asking our friends, members, parishioners and supporters to assist with this project so that we can create future All-Ireland winners in the club! Contact any committee member to pledge your support!
KILDIMO/PALLASKENRY GAA & CAMOGIE FRIDAY NIGHT ACADEMY: We are delighted to announce the return of our Friday Night Lights academy programme which will take place in Kilcornan Hall & Astro from Friday, October 8 until Friday, December 17 with a break for the October bank holiday. The academy programme will cover skill development, fun games, fundamental movement and more and is suitable for children from U-7 all the way up to U-17, with different time slots for the various ages! We will be joined by club coaches and senior players throughout the programme. All details and updates will be posted via the Team App. The cost for the 10-week programme is €25 per child. Registration will take place on the first night, Friday October 8 from 5.30pm.
CLUB LIMERICK DRAW: Congratulations to John Chawke who was a winner in the Club Limerick draw for August but unfortunately we had no winners in the September draw. This is a great way to support both your club and county, so please join the Club Limerick draw for 2021! You can win up to €10,000 monthly with 30 cash prizes and an exclusive star prize given out each month! Join the Club Limerick draw by visiting “supporting the future success of our clubs & county teams”.
PITCH SIGNAGE: If you or business is interested in supporting your local GAA club, give us a message on social media for details of pitch signage options in both Kildimo and Pallaskenry GAA grounds.
CLUB LOTTO: The winning numbers in this week’s lotto draw were 1, 3, 6, 28. There was no winner of the overall draw. The €25 lucky dip winners were 1. Liz Hickey; 2. Mairead Ryan; 3. Mary O’Shea (Court); 4. Tom O’Connell. The jackpot rises to €11,700 for next week’s draw.
Our lotto has moved online and can be played at with options to play weekly, monthly or as often as you like! Six-month and annual lotto subscriptions are also now available. With ongoing restrictions our club lotto is the most vital fundraising and income source for the club, even more so now when all other fundraising activities remain suspended and not possible to run. We are continuing to reach out to members, supporters, friends of our club to please consider joining and playing the lotto online in order to support the ongoing costs of running our club. The best way to support the club right now is through the lotto!
Tickets are also available in Mace Kildimo, Gala Pallaskenry, the Seven Sisters, the Beer Garden, De Bucket, the Corner House and Clancy’s Bar and from our weekly lotto sellers. Please continue to support your local club!
TWITTER: The club also have a new twitter account which can be found by searching Kildimo/Pallaskenry GAA or by the twitter handle @kildimopallas. Give the club a follow to keep up to date with all the latest club news.