Burke does the damage as Killimorday get off to a flier

Killimordaly 0-23

Tommy Larkins 0-17

By Ivan Smyth at Duggan Park

BRIAN Burke’s haul of 14 points propelled Killimordaly to an opening round Championship victory for the first time in three years at Duggan Park on Sunday.

With the sides deadlocked at 0-11 apiece at the break, a tight encounter that would go down to the wire was anticipated. That did not prove to be the case as Killimordaly possessed an ace in the pack in Burke as they outscored Tommy Larkins 0-12 to 0-6 in the second half.

The Killimordaly dangerman gave an exhibition of free taking, including pointing one from inside his own 45m line. Burke arrowed over two excellent scores from play late on that sucked the life out of Larkins’ aspirations.

Jason Flynn’s enforced absence through a hamstring injury suffered while on inter county duty was keenly felt. Although David Hickey was reliable from the placed ball, Flynn’s ability to carve out a score for himself and ability to beat a defender was sorely missing in the second half. With Ronan Murphy also sidelined through injury and Colm Flynn absent, Tommy Larkins were fighting an uphill battle from the outset.

This win for Killimordaly, just their second championship victory in their last nine outings, is a huge boost. They have often been the nearly team in recent times, coming close to victory but falling just short of the winning line. They were facing a Tommy Larkins side who are hamstrung with key absentees but Killimordaly holding their nerve down the stretch is a positive sign going forward.

With Clarinbridge and Oranmore-Maree also in the group, an opening round victory was vital for both these sides. Tommy Larkins can take heart from their fightback after a ferocious start from Killimordaly. They trailed 0-5 to 0-1 inside five minutes but some fine shooting helped the Woodford-Ballinakill club momentarily lead by two points before the sides were tied at the interval. The second half will be a concern going forward as they grabbed only three points from play in the final 30 minutes.

Pictured: Killimordaly’s Brian Concannon is chased by Cian Daniels and Cathal Tuohy of Tommie Larkins during Sunday’s Senior A Hurling Championship tie at Duggan Park. Photos: David Cunniffe.

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