Boys ensure parish double
Kilrush 2-8 Blackwater 2-6
Kilrush and Blackwater battled it out to the end in a thrilling final of the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn 'B' hurling competition in St. Patrick's Park.
Spectators were treated to a match full of all the ingredients that make hurling such a special game, and as the final whistle approached few could have predicted a winner.
The skill levels and striking were a joy to watch despite the damp conditions.
Early scores came from both far and near as both teams went at each other.
Blackwater midfielder Ciarán Clarke impressed with two early scores, as did Kilrush forwards Robbie Quinn and Colm Fortune.
On ten minutes, the entire Kilrush half-forward line went up a gear and enjoyed a hugely successful period of play. Wing-forwards Robbie Quinn and Jack Mackey clipped over two points.
Centre-forward Colm Fortune then struck off the hurl under pressure and saw his shot slip into the back of the Blackwater net. The excellent service provided by Charlie O'Sullivan and Seán Kenny gave the Kilrush forwards plenty to work with.
Blackwater responded to finish the half very strongly. They created many chances but had to make do with a Joseph Rossiter point off the post and another Ciarán Clarke free.
Whereas Kilrush were clinical and ready to pounce on any errors from their opposition, the Blackwater boys missed many of their own chances and this would prove to be the tale of the match.
Kilrush started the second-half with two important scores. Colm Fortune put over his first free and Jack Mackey continued his good form with a vital point.
Ciarán Cashe put over two long-range frees to put just a point in it but this hard work was undone once again when Kilrush got another fortunate goal from distance. A second Colm Fortune free put five between the teams and all looked lost for Blackwater.
Some great play from Blackwater corner-forward Callum Corrigan ensured a grandstand finish. Brilliantly getting his hand on the wet sliothar, he held tight and took on the Kilrush defence to win a close-range free.
Ciarán Clarke duly stepped up and drove a low shot past half of Kilrush standing on the line.
Kilrush had come too far to slip up at this stage though and held their nerve during a tense closing minutes to seal the deal on a delightful boys' and girls' double for the parish.
Kilrush: Niall Mimnagh, Adam O'Donohoe, David Kirwan, John Joe Murphy, Brian Kirwan, Charlie O'Sullivan, Darragh Dee, Seán Kenny, Pa Mahon, Robbie Quinn, Colm Fortune, Jack Mackey, Robert McCrea, Daniel O'Neill, Piaras Murphy, Micheál Kinsella, Páiric Guinan, Dean Black, Mark Devereux, Darragh O'Toole, Luke Regan, Tom Kirwan, Conor Dillon, Marc Kavanagh, Ryan Bailey, Tom Mackey, Thomas Mahon, Cian Lancaster, Shay Doran, Calum Ryan, Conall Butler, Ben Walsh, Eoin Lancaster.
Blackwater: Jamie Lambert, Barry Whelan, Adam O'Connor, Tristan Cashe, Ultan O'Reilly, Eugene Clarke, Ronan Malanowski, Ciarán Cashe, Rian Sammon, Caolan Sammon, Aidan Malanowski, Callum Mooney, Seán O'Brien, Joseph Rossiter, Callum Corrigan, O.D. Carroll, Phillip Byrne, Callum Corrigan, Callum Byrne, Ciarán Byrne, Darragh Byrne.