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Senior Hurling Championship - Semi-Final 2017-09-24 21:06:00

County Kerry Senior Hurling Championship- semi-final:

It’s a Boyle over as Ballyduff stage dramatic second half comeback to knock-out holders

Ballyduff 1-17                          Kilmoyley 0-16

By Murt Murphy

A second half  metamorphous of the sporting kind turned a lame Kerry SHC semi-final at the Austin Stack Park Tralee between three in a row seeking Kilmoyley and a written off Ballyduff side into a thunderous second half that saw Ballyduff produce an incredible comeback.

The first half was a sleep fest as Daniel Collins with nine points, all but two from placed balls and a point from Sean Maunsell had Kilmoyley in cruise mode as they led 0-10 to 0-4 at the interval with Podge Boyle with two frees, and one each from Jack O’Sullivan and Daniel O’Carroll barely keeping Ballyduff in the game.

Ballyduff mentor Liam Ross provided an explanation post match on how a team could appear to meekly exiting the championship to a side that went for Kilmoyley’s jugular and possibly helped produce one of the best second half of hurling seen at the venue for years

“ Everybody had us written off that we were old and we were past it but we had good faith in our guys because that had prepared hard and did a lot of work to prepare for today. But it was 0-10 to 0-4 at half time and look they got eight frees and we knew that it was frees that was going to kill us in the finish unless we became more disciplined. So we said to the lads at half time if we could keep the free countdown to maybe four or so they would struggle to score and so it transpired as I think they only scored 2 in the second half and we said if we can reach 1-15 we will win the game”

But not alone did Ballyduff stop conceding frees but their intensity levels increased – why did Liam Ross think a team could change from one half to the other “ I think we were standing off Kilmoyley in the opening half and giving their players too much respect. We knew we had the players who could drive it on and get stuck in and win most of the physical battles.  So we knew by upping our intensity that we would be right in there with a shout. It was I would think even for neutrals the best second half of hurling in the county for years.

While Kilmoyley were battling away in the second half we had that bit more intensity and when we were going for the ball, we were getting the breaks in the second half. Look, I suppose our physique probably told in the end. The subs made a difference with Gary O’Brien using his physique inside and Paul Carroll came on and he won the break for the first point we got in the second half. I would say that it was Paud Costello’s best game of hurling he had for years and it was great considering the injuries he has been plagued with. We felt we should have beaten Kilmoyley the first day in last year’s county final but they were better in the second game and over the two games. So people were writing us off even in our own parish so the lads have been targeting Kilmoyley since then whether in a final or semi- but we are delighted to have won”

The Duffers outscored Kilmoyley 1-13 to 0-6 in the second half was Podge Boyle, Mikey Boyle, Jack Goulding, Paud Costello and Jack O’Sullivan transformed the contest and Kilmoyley were helpless to stop the onslaught.

Podge Boyle’s 35th minute goal ignited Ballyduff and they hurled as if their lives were at stake with Boyle adding another six points, Jack Goulding fired over two, while Mikey Boyle chipped in with an inspirational score as Ballyduff produced the best thirty minutes of hurling of this year’s championship

Scorers: Ballyduff:  P Boyle (1-9, 6 frees), J Goulding, J O’Sullivan, D O’Carroll (0-2 each), A O’Carroll and M Boyle (0-1 each)

Kilmoyley: D Collins (0-10, 8 frees, 1’65), T Murnane (0-2, 1 free), A McCabe (f), S Maunsell, R Collins and L Fitzell (0-1 each)


BALLDUFF: P J O’Gorman: P O’Grady, E Ross, C Kearney; D Goulding, P Costello, A O’Connor; D O’Carroll, A O’Carroll; P Boyle, A Boyle, J O’Sullivan; J Hussey, M Boyle, J Goulding

Subs: G O’Brien for a Boyle (h/t), P O’Carroll for J Hussey (h/t), L Boyle for D O’Carroll (60).

KILMOYLEY: A McCabe; S Nolan, C Savage, F McCarthy; D Fitzell, T Murnane, K McCarthy; P O’Connor, J Godley; S Maunsell, D Collins, P Maunsell; M O’Connor, A Royle, M O’Connor.

Subs: J Brick for A Ryle (38), L Fitzell for P Maunsell (40), J McElligott for D Fitzell (42)

Referee: J Mullins (Limerick)