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From the archives...

November 8, 2018

Our last meeting with Killimordaly in Championship hurling was in 2000. We had already lost badly (hammered) to Turloughmore and Clarinbridge, so this was a must win game, as the last game to be played was against All-Ireland Champions Athenry.

Here is the extracts of the match report from The Connacht Tribune:

Killimordaly's close call in thriller but draw secures place on Co. quarter-finals

Killimordaly 2-11   ::   Kinvara 0-17

From just about the first minute the draw was made for the County Cup, this tie was marked down as one which would decide the relegation candidates from the 'Group of Death'. It probably has done that but what was hardly forseen is that this clash would also decide the other quarter-finalists from this group to go forward along with champions Athenry.

But that is what happened and Killimordaly are in the last eight for the first time in almost a decade. For every winner there has to be a loser. In this instance the unlucky loser is Kinvara who must now contain the All-Ireland champions to avoid going directly into the relegation dogfight. Somehow, they deserved far better after their performance in this cracker of a match at Kenny Park. It was a further touch of irony that these two clubs should produce a match with ranks with the best played this year.

Kinvara were the better team for most of this match. In the end it was their legs faded quicker than Killimordaly. Kinvara could not have gone off to a worse start with Killimordaly rattling their net twice in the opening 130 seconds. Then the enforced withdrawal of centre back Christy Helebert only added substance to the notion that the outcome was already decided. At this stage it was 2-2 to 0-2. However from the 12th to the 27th minutes Kinvara scored eight times without reply. For any team to do this is a big achievement, for Kinvara to do it beggars belief. But they were well worth it, hurling with spirit and conviction that suggesed a side heading for the knockout stages and not another fight with relegation.

At halftime, Kinvara led 0-12 to 2-3. Just 20 seconds after the restart and David Huban pointed his fifth free to stretch Kinvara's lead to four points. The tempo of the game, always fast and furious with not a dirty blow struck, moved even further up as Kinvara responded with another bout of great hurling. Another point from Christy Helebert, who made a Lazarus-style return before half-time, and another from Michael Curtin, had Kinvara poised nicely with a four point lead with 50 mins gone.

Killimordaly, with Paul Cooney leading from the back and Timmy Lawless and Clement Earls coming back into it at midfield, set about eating into the lead. There was eight minutes left when Clement Earls pointed a free; the roar from the stand gave further encourage and within a minute the same player soloed through and pointed. Two between them and seven minutes left and Kinvara running out of steam. Enother Earls pointed free and then with 90 seconds of normal time left, he levelled with his eighth successful free. Kinvara had a chance to win in injury time with a long range free, but it was not to be. The match ended in a draw, but there was a distinct winner and loser.

Kinvara: Pat Costello, Conor Quinn, Jonathon Kavanagh, Michael Helebert, Niall Kilkelly, Christy Helebert (0-1), John Donoghue, Gerry McInerney, Michael Kilkelly, Dara Smith (0-3), Peter Huban (0-2), David Huban (0-7, all frees), Michael Curtin (0-1), Anthony Byrne, Kieran Burke (0-2). Subs: Eric Keane (0-1) for C. Helebert, inj. 9 mins; C. Helebert for Byrne, inj 25 mins.

Killimordaly: P. Kilkenny, JP Halloran, P. Monaghan, S. OCrcoran, S. Hanlon, P. Cooney, T. Borderick, C. Earls (0-8, 0-7 frees), T. Lawless (0-1), N. Earls, T. Monaghan (1-0), M. Corcoran, N. Cooney (0-2), A. Lawless, E. Ryan (1-0). Sub; T. Madden for M. Corcoran, half-time.

Referee: JJ Corcoran (Castlegar)

To Note:

Kinvara lost their first two games, to Turloughmore 3-10 to 0-6, and then to Clarinbridge 0-15 to 1-5. After this draw against Killimordaly, we were left with the prospect of beating All-Ireland champions Athenry in order to avoid relegation (again). It was not to be. We suffered a heavy defeat, losing 4-23 to 1-9. In the relegation battle, we first lost to Kilnadeema-Leritrm, but senior status was saved, when we beat Mullagh in the relegation final, by 2-5 to 0-7. It was another 'Jekyll and Hyde' performance as we failed to score until 25 mins had elapsed, were four points adrift, but then suddenly got into top gear, notched a goal and a point to quickly draw level, and eventually stormed to victory.

Also, you will notice in the Killimordaly side at corner back was a S. Corcoran. Could this be Kinvara's adopted son Shane Corcoran, but now dons the purple and gold jersey. We'll forgive him!

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