Kilconieron staying in senior A after decisive play-off win

Kilconieron 1-20

Portumna 0-13

By Eanna O’Reilly in Kilbeacanty

‘‘WE are staying up; say, we are staying up!’’ chanted the enthusiastic young Kilconieron supporters in Kilbeacanty on Saturday afternoon, after their side had retained their senior A status for 2024. In truth, John McGlynn’s charges were never in any danger of losing this game, as they largely outclassed a Portumna side which struggled on the day.

Kilconieron dominated this Senior A relegation play-off, producing the superior hurling and demonstrating coherent team play throughout the game. Their scoring options were more numerous in attack, and the longer the game went on, the more their defence shut out a somewhat limited Portumna side.

On a sunny afternoon in Kilbeacanty, it was Portumna who started brightest. Jimmy Heverin’s charges led by 0-4 to 0-2 after eight minutes of play. Points from Andy Smyth, Declan McLaughlin (0-2), and Joe Canning (free), got the scoreboard ticking, while Shane Caulfield (free) and Ian McGlynn replied with scores at the other end.

Kilconieron subsequently took over and hit six points without reply in a highly impressive ten minute spell. Shane Caulfield (0-3, 0-2 frees), Jack Walsh (0-2) and Seán Burke tallied the scores which gave them a lead they would never relinquish.

Joe Canning pointed two frees at the other end, either side of an impressive score from Kilconieron’s Brian Hickey, which left it at 0-9 to 0-6 with 22 minutes played. Canning added his fourth free of the first half, but Caulfield sent over three at the other end (two frees) as Kilconieron kept their opponents at arm’s length.

The final score of the half was a good effort from Portumna’s Neil Connelly from the left wing, which left the half time score at 0-12 to 0-8 in Kilconieron’s favour. They were generally winning more ball in the middle third and bringing their forwards into the game more effectively.

Pictured: Kilconieron’s Brian Hickey, pictured in action against Dean Callanan of Craughwell, scored three points from play in Saturday’s Senior A relegation play-off win over Portumna in Kilbeacanty on Saturday.

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