Cappataggle made to work hard by spirited Kilconieron

Cappataggle 2-23

Kilconieron 0-23

By Ivan Smyth at Duggan Park

Liam and Niall Collins combined for 1-15 as Cappataggle overcame a spirited Kilconieron outfit in Group 3 of the Senior Hurling Championship at Duggan Park on Sunday.

Ja Mannion also struck over five points from play to ensure Cappataggle started their campaign on a positive note. The winners looked sharp in periods, but they will need to be more consistent if they are to defeat a Loughrea side fancied by many to go one step further than last year.

In terms of shaking off the cobwebs this was a decent showing for a Cappataggle side who will no doubt be keen to atone for falling at the Preliminary Quarter Final stage last year. A fast start to this game and a dominant third quarter helped the winners come through. With Kilconieron lining out in the Senior A Championship for a second year, this was easily their best showing at the highest level as they matched Cappataggle for stretches.

After falling 2-4 to 0-5 behind after 13 minutes, Kilconieron outscored their opponents 0-10 to 0-6 for the remainder of the half. Crucially though they were never able to draw level with a Cappy side who possessed that extra bit of class up front with the Collins duo and Mannion in fine form. Despite Steven Creaven’s side only leading 2-10 to 0-15 at half time, Capptaggle didn’t panic as they outscored Kilconieron 0-7 to 0-2 in the first 19 minutes of the second half.

With the winners ahead by six points, 2-17 to 0-17, Kilconieron carved out their only goal chance when Sean Connaughton advanced through the Cappy defence. He unselfishly laid off to Luke Uniacke but the sub’s first time pull was well saved by James Skehill. Although Shane Caulfield slotted the resulting ’65, there was a sense that Kilconieron’s best chance at dragging themselves back in to the game had passed. So, it proved as Cappataggle’s defence laid the platform for the win as they only conceded three points in the first 27 minutes of the second half.

Pictured: Jack Coughlan of Cappataggle is chased by Kilconieron’s Alex Evans during Sunday’s Senior A Hurling Championship clash at Duggan Park. Photos: David Cunniffe.

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