KILDORRERY booked their place in this year's Hibernian Hotel Premier JHC final when they defeated a gallant Ballyhooly in the second semifinal in wet conditions at Glanworth on Saturday evening.
PREMIER JHC SEMI-FINAL Kildorrery 3-11 Ballyhooly 2-10
The opening stages saw both teams start at a hectic pace. Kildorrery got proceedings underway when Peter O'Brien pointed a '65' before Ballyhooly's Jerry O'Connor scored 1-1 in quick succession that moved them into a 1-1 to 0-1 lead.
The better balanced Kildorrery side recovered well from this setback and steadied the ship when Tom Monaghan and Finbarr Stapleton combined well to set up the hardworking Jerry McCarthy for a long range point. McCarthy added another point from long range soon after while a point each by Eamon O'Connor and Dave Kelly edged them in front in the 19th minute 0-5 to 1-1.
Just when Kildorrery seemed to have the upperhand the Ballyhooly response was instant with Jerry O'Connor pointing a free while two poor Kildorrery clearances led to James Roche and Darragh O'Reilly reeling off a point apiece that was quickly followed with a fine effort from Sean Linehan that restored their three point lead by the 29th minute.
However, Kildorrery rallied well again before the half time whistle. Peter O'Brien pointed a free while in injury time Finbarr Stapleton got the first of his two goals when he finished to the net following a goalmouth scramble and had the 'Hill' ahead by a slender margin at the break 1-6 to 1-5.
On the changeover despite Peter O'Brien and Jerry O'Connor trading an early point it was Kildorrery that laid the platform for victory with an impressive third quarter where Shane Fitzgerald, Michael Walsh, Jerry McCarthy, Sean Kelly, Peter O'Brien, Eamon O'Connor and Dave Kelly impressed and between here and 44th minute they outscored their opponents by 1-4 to 0-1 to move into a 2-11 to 1-7 lead the goal coming when David Kelly and Eamon O'Connor combined well along the flank to set up Finbarr Stapleton for a well taken goal.
Like the first half Ballyhooly battled back well with key players Jerry O'Connor and Sean Linehan having a point each by the 48th minute. Over the next couple of minutes Kildorrery looked to have weathered the Ballyhooly challenge when Peter O'Brien was on hand to score their third goal but from the puckout Ballyhooly came thundering back into the tie when the hardworking Darragh O'Reilly set up James Roche for great goal 3-11 to 2-9.
In a close finish Ballyhooly went in search of goals and missed two chances late in the game when Joe Dowling was narrowly wide while Jerry O'Connor had a close in free saved off the line. However it was the Kildorrery backline that held on in a frantic finish as they ran out deserving winners to progress to their second Premier JHC final in a row.