Category: Archive

N.Y. GAA Kilkenny hurlers rally past Limerick in thriller

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Limerick 2-8, Kilkenny 1-12 This had the potential to be an exciting game, and, thankfully, both sides lived up to the expectations of all Sunday at Gaelic Park. The reason for such excitement was the fact that this tie saw last year’s championship winners, Limerick, pit themselves against 1998’s knockout champions, Kilkenny. Limerick’s phenomenal Dave Sims opened the scoring for his side with two frees early in the first half, only to see the combative instincts of Kilkenny’s Vinny Norton strike, first a long-distance shot over the bar, and then a point resulting from a long solo run to even the tie.

Limerick regained their control, however, due to a mix-up in the Kilkenny backline, which the free-scoring Sims took full advantage of to fire home a goal from close range to the delight of the Limerick supporters. This regained the lead for his side, though for a short period. The Cats immediately counterattacked and a shocked Limerick side suddenly found themselves with a game on their hands when Richie Hogan fired in a goal to level the tie once more.

The game was delayed for a number of minutes when Kilkenny’s Brian Barcoe seemed to trip and landed awkwardly on his shoulder. As Barcoe regained his footing and trudged wearily past a worried Kilkenny bench, he was heard to cheerily say, "Sure, I’ll live." Tony Spillane came on in place of the injured Barcoe and immediately saw action, teaming up with Aidan Ryan, for Ryan to open his account for the season and in the process, give Kilkenny the lead for the first time.

Kilkenny went further ahead before the break, with Peter Breen venturing forward to score a point, and Kevin Corbett hitting a good point from midfield for his side, to give Kilkenny a 2-point lead going into the interval.

Limerick regained the lead in the second half thanks to a good opportunistic point from Tom Canty, and some great telepathic hurling from Canty and Sims. Canty hit a long line ball into the Kilkenny box, where having been caught by Sims, it soon found a home over the bar to give their side a 2-point lead. Joey Browne hit one for Kilkenny to bring the deficit to the narrowest of margins, but after some end to end action, Sims blasted the sliotar over the Kilkenny line to give his side a seemingly daunting 4-point lead.

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Daunting for some, but not Kilkenny. Four quick-fire points from Browne, Hogan, Edge and another from Hogan brought the sides level, but only for some fantastic goalkeeping from Kilkenny’s James Joyce, the tie would have gone beyond his side’s reach. Sims scored two points for Limerick to level the scores, but in the final minute Richie Hogan hit the winning point for his side after a long swerving run, to provide Kilkenny with a1-point win, and one of the more memorable comebacks in recent Gaelic Park history. It is worth noting that but for some fine hurling from Kilkenny’s Mark Kennedy and goalkeeper Joyce, this tie could so easily have gone the other way.

Limerick: Finbarr Flood, John Noonan, Tom Sims, John Riordan, Tom Canty (0-1), Cathal Kenny, Brendan Cagney, Vincent Ruane, Eamonn Shiels, Danny Grealish (0-1), Vinnie Ryan, Tim Kelly, Dave Sims (2-6).

Kilkenny: James Joyce, Ciaran Gaughan, Mark Kennedy, Peter Breen (0-1), John Nolan, David Brennan, Kevin Corbett (0-3), Vinnie Norton (0-2), Richie Hogan (1-3), Jerome Edge (0-1), Joey Browne (0-1), Brian Barcoe, Aidan Ryan (0-1).

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