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Intermediate Hurling Championship Final

Evening Echo Intermediate Hurling Final

17th October 2010

Result:

Ballygarvan 2-12 Kilbrittain 1-15

Kilbrittain will find it tough to lift themselves for replay
By Slán go Fóill Saturday October 23rd, 2010

 

IT'S never over till the fat lady sings. The saying came from operatic circles but is now used more in sporting terms than anything else. Coach Peter Brennan could well hang it up in the dressingroom this week so that all his players have it ingrained on their minds for next Sunday's replay. County intermediate hurling titles are hard to come by and Kilbrittain had this one in their pocket on Sunday last, but in Mark Kennefick Ballygarvan had a pickpocket to beat the prince of all pickpockets, the Artful Dodger himself.

Five points ahead with two minutes remaining, Kilbrittain had this one signed, sealed, but not quite delivered. Still, even when Ballygarvan got two late points the alarm bells weren't quite ringing. Two minutes into injury time they certainly were as Kennefick stood over that 21m free. A wall of black and amber in front of him, and the whole parish of Kilbrittain willing it out, Kennefick did the near-impossible and drilled it through the wall to the net. It's never over till the fat lady sings and the referee has sounded that long last final blast on the whistle.

Kilbrittain could be thankful that they were leading by three points and not two at that stage and that there was no more time left on the clock. They might also have paid more attention to Barryroe's exit from the championship at the hands of Ballygarvan when twice the West Cork side seemed to have won but the South-East men grabbed late equalisers. The Ballygarvan men, before they rose to intermediate ranks, had a habit of late revivals in junior hurling in their own division and quite clearly this has been inherited by the present group of players.

Of course Kilbrittain should have been out the gate and halfway home with the cup before that free was ever awarded but hitting 18 wides during the game left them vulnerable. They were by far the better team in the second half with Maurice Sexton and Jamie Wall outstanding. What a prospect young Wall is and he is one of those gifted players who excites the crowd every time he gets the ball.

It's never easy to win the same game twice but that is exactly what Peter Brennan and his team will have to do in Sunday's replay. They know now that they have the beating of Ballygarvan if they take their scores but Ballygarvan have been down the replay trail this season and will know what is needed. It promises to be a real thriller again.

We were beginning to despair of Macroom ever again winning a county title and we have always held the fate of the historical football towns fairly close to our hearts. Clonakilty, somehow, have kept the senior flag flying for eighty years but great clubs like Macroom and Fermoy have fallen on lean times since their great days and, just like hurling and the city, Cork football needs its towns to be strong. It's great to see Macroom on the way back but they too were sweating as the final minutes ticked away against Kildorrery.

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