Kinsale 4-12, Shamrocks 2-9
Shamrocks and Kinsale played in the first round of the championship in Ballygarvan and while Kinsale deserved the win, Shamrocks can count themselves unlucky to be beaten by that 9 point margin. A lack of scoring power when it mattered most cost them and they contributed hugely to a competitive game.
Kinsale had an early goal after the ball should have been cleared in defence. Shamrocks kept plugging away and a few points from free from Andrew O’Grady and Seanán Collins and from play from John Boylan and David Andrews had Shamrocks back in the contest 1-5 to 0-5 behind after 20 minutes. Again Kinsale got in for a goal that should have been cleared and they went in at HT leading 2-7 to 1-6, Jason Browne with the Shamrocks goal on 22 minutes that had levelled matters. Shamrocks had played with the wind which died down in the second half.
Kinsale kept their noses in front by 3 or 4 points for the first 15 minutes of the second half. Shamrocks just couldn’t reduce that gap. The Kinsale free taker was unerring from frees all night and any fouls committed by Shamrocks were punished. The key middle 10 minutes of the second half saw loads of Shamrocks possession but the scoring rate was very slow and Kinsale broke at the other end and scored a goal. There followed a goal each from both sides (Mark Hitchmough for Shamrocks) but it was the third Kinsale goal really that killed off Shamrocks after all their possession. They battled on until the end but they needed 4 goals at that stage and the game petered out to its inevitable conclusion.
The Shamrocks players on the night showed that with more pure hurling training and proper application and attitude they can do better things in this championship – Friday nights game was the first time that all those players were together proper as a team and you don’t win any championship game like that even though they showed glimpses of what they are capable of.
Team: B. Sweeney, S. Andrews, D. Barry, S. Kelleher, F. O’Neill, S. Collins, B. Mulqueen, M. Hitchmough, D. Andrews, S. Downey, J. Boylan, A. McCarthy, N. Hayes, A. O’Grady, J. Browne. Subs – R. Twomey, C. Kidney, J. Wilson, C. O’Grady, C. Scriven, M. Fleming.