Kildorrery cruised into their first Munster Club JHC final with this facile 20-point victory over Butlerstown at Carriganore yesterday.
It may come as a surprise to those who did not make it to the game based on the final score, but the Waterford men put it up to Kildorrery in the first-half. Indeed the winners had to wait until the 24th minute to register their first score from play.
Their confident, free flowing and highly impressive hurling, however, was already threatening to engulf the opposition and once they clicked fully into gear on the turnover they transformed this semi-final into a rout.
Early on they were totally reliant on the freetaking accuracy of Peter O’Brien for scores and despite carrying a leg injury into the game he would emerge as Butlerstown’s tormentor-in-chief. He ended with a personal tally of 2-9 before being judiciously substituted six minutes from time.
Butlerstown enjoyed a decent share of the territorial spoils in the opening half, but with the exception of Jim Power and an industrious Richie Barron they carried little serious threat to a defensive formation that was superbly well marshalled by Michael Walsh in the pivotal role with confident colleagues all round him.
It was on the turnover, however, that Kildorrery most impressively turned on the style and, with Eamonn O’Connor and the flying Dave Kelly lending O’Brien every support, they wasted no time copper-fastening their place in that provincial decider.
Their second goal in the 39th minute was an O’Connor gem, and after O’Brien had rattled in his side’s third in the 42nd minute the rout was well and truly completed when Finbar Stapleton crashed their fourth three minutes from time.
Butlerstown’s day of disappointment was compounded all the more when they had two players, defender Conor Power and centre forward Brian Power dismissed in the closing stages on second yellow cards.
Scorers for Kildorrery: P O’Brien 2-9 (1-7fs, 1 65), D Kelly 0-5 (1f), E O’Connor 1-1, F Stapleton 1-0, W Fouhy 0-3, S Kelly 0-1.
Scorers for Butlerstown: Jim Power 0-8 (4fs), R Barron, John Power, T Costello 0-1 each.
KILDORRERY: J McEniry; N Kelly, S Fitzgerald, J Howard; L Kelly, M Walsh, R McEniry; J McCarthy, C O’Baoill; F Stapleton, E O’Connor, S Kelly; D Kelly, P O’Brien, W Fouhy.
Subs: L O’Keeffe for O’Brien (54), J Walsh for Howard (55), B Young for N Kelly (57), L McGovern for Stapleton (58).
BUTLERSTOWN: E Power; C Power, S Nolan, D Power; D Grace, H Kavanagh, P Power; C Breheny, J Francis; Jim Power, B Power, T Costello; R Barron, P Matthews, John Power.
Subs: P Lavery for Nolan (29), S Matthews for P Power (41), J Cantwell for Francis (45).
Referee: John O’Brien (Tipperary).