Kildimo-Pallaskenry v Glenroe
Kildimo Pallaskenry Team Photo John Mortell

A brace of goals, one in each half, from dynamic full forward Darren O’Connell played a major part in helping Kildimo-Pallaskenry to be crowned Limerick intermediate hurling champions for a historic first time at Páirc Sean Mhic Ghearáilt, Kilmallock on Saturday.
O’Connell struck with specials at critical junctures just before half time and midway through the second half as Glenroe were struggling to stay in touch with Chris Sexton’s fine-tuned, fired-up charges.
Kildimo-Pallaskenry were full value for their success and not even the most partisan from Glenroe could deny them that.
It was the winners’ maiden voyage in the final of the competition and they made it a successful one, while for Glenroe success in the competition continues to prove tantalisingly elusive as they were appearing in a fifth final and have yet to etch their name on the silverware.
Kildimo-Pallaskenry, after near misses in 2015 and 2016, timed their run perfectly this year, peaking in the semi-final win over Dromin-Athlacca and in Saturday’s final. For the most part they controlled this final and once they got in front in the run-up to half time, they found a new gear and swagger.
It is a measure of the mastery enjoyed by Barry O’Connell and his team mates that they restricted Glenroe to just three points from play over the hour and to just two points from frees for the entire duration of the second half.
Lady Luck deserted Glenroe on a day in which they hit the woodwork three times and lost talisman Mike O’Brien to injury before half time. Jimmy Barry Murphy and David McCarthy met the woodwork in the first half and a minute after half time when the game was in the balance Barry Murphy’s powerful first timer rebounded off the woodwork and a follow up effort was blocked by goalkeeper John Chawke.
2017 Limerick Long Poc champion, John Chawke is a very important element of Kildimo-Pallaskenry’s armoury with his long puck-out and his huge relieving delivery from frees in his own half, some of which go over.
Kildimo-Pallaskenry are now promoted to Premier Intermediate for 2018 and on this display they will be anything but out of place.
A special day was made more special for Kildimo-Pallaskenry late in the game when they introduced Cian Hayes for a cameo appearance. Hayes, a Munster under 21 medal winner with Limerick in 2011, has been sidelined for a long period due to injury.
After a very even and lively opening ten minutes, the sides were deadlocked at 0-3 apiece, David McCarthy, Mike Mansell and Mark O’Connell all raising white for Glenroe with Darren O’Connell and a pair of Robert McKeogh frees replying for Kildimo-Pallaskenry.
It was still stalemate after 23 minutes after the sides had doubled their respective tallies, Mark O’Connell (2) and a sublime effort from David McCarthy for Glenroe and Robert McKeogh (2) and Barry O’Connell on the mark for Kildimo-Pallaskenry.
Robert McKeogh nudged Kildimo-Pallaskenry into the lead before they took a grip on matters in the 27th minute. Full back Eoin O’Brien fielded a puck-out and delivered long into the right corner, into the path of the roving Darren O’Connell who picked up and the full forward single mindedly careered through for a cracking goal and for the first time daylight was appearing between the sides.
Mark O’Connell and Conor Staff traded late points as Kildimo-Pallaskenry carried a four point cushion to the dressing room at half time 1-8 to 0-7.
Points from Robert McKeogh and Tony McCarthy stretched Kildimo-Pallaskenry’s lead before Mark O’Connell opened Glenroe’s second half account with a free from distance.
Substitute Mark Nunan and O’Connell traded points before Nunan offloaded to Darren O’Connell who careered through for his second major to put Chris Sexton’s men firmly in the driving seat 2-11 to 0-9 as the game entered the final quarter.
Glenroe, to their credit, threw everything at Kildimo-Pallaskenry in the final quarter but could not find faultlines or break through a defence that was growing in confidence with the scent of victory in their nostrils.
Frees from John Chawke and Robert McKeogh were the only alterations to the scoreboard in the final fifteen minutes.
Before the game, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the great and long-time Ballylanders, Glenroe and South Board stalwart, Bill Fox who passed away earlier in the week.
Scorers: Kildimo-Pallaskenry: Darren O’Connell 2-1; Robert McKeogh 0-7, 7fs; Barry O’Connell, Conor Staff, Tony McCarthy, Martin Nunan, John Chawke free 0-1 each.
Glenroe: Mark O’Connell 0-6, 5fs, 1-65; David McCarthy 0-2; Mike Mansell 0-1.
Kildimo-Pallaskenry: John Chawke; Eoin O’Brien, Eoin O’Brien, Kevin O’Connell; Robert McKeogh, Keel Moloney, Lorcan O’Leary; Tony McCarthy, Peter Nash; Barry O’Connell (Captain), Conor Staff, Kyle Hayes; Ruairí Maher, Darren O’Connell, Mikey Dillon.
Subs: Martin Nunan for Dillon (40), Adrian Garvey for E. O’Brien (corner back) (55), Cian Hayes for Maher (58).
Glenroe: Michael John Farrell; Pádraig Gallahue, Patrick McSweeney, Maurice Kelly; Stephen Fox, Stephen Walsh, Diarmuid McCarthy; Brian O’Connell, Jimmy Barry Murphy; Mark O’Connell, Darren McCarthy, Eoin Walsh (Captain); David McCarthy, Mike O’Brien, Mike Mansell.
Subs: Ciarán Kelly for O’Brien (28), Jason Leigh for E. Walsh (51).
Referee: Martin Doherty, Rathkeale.