Ballyduff are now no longer the only holders of 25 Kerry Senior Hurling titles after Kilmoyley secured a 25th title themselves on Sunday afternoon as they defeated reigning champions Causeway 2-12 to 1-14.
The opening minutes of the first half were tight and low scoring but ultimately Kilmoyley would use possession more as they edged out their rivals by a point.
Kilmoyley’s charge toward title 25 was led by Maurice O’Connor along with a couple of points for Daniel Collins as they pushed their side onward as Causeway looked like beaten men in the opening half trailing by ten points at the break.
But after a long wait for championship action this year Causeway acted quickly from the break and they looked like a side who had finally turned up for their county final in the second period.
With their dream of back to back titles hanging by a thread Causeway brought Brandon Barrett on for the second half, and his impact was instant as he provided Causeway with a goal and then two points as he set up Billy Lyons who also got on the scoresheet.
After being down at the break by a huge margin it was impressive that Causeway levelled the game almost halfway through the second-half after being ten points down with key scores coming from Barrett, Colum Harty, Dan Goggin, substitute Sean Leahy and Billy Lyons.
In the dying embers of the game no side wanted to cost their side a moment in the spotlight and three quick unanswered points for Kilmoyley looked to have given them the momentum to push late on to see a record equalling title but the defending champions were down but not out as Keith Carmody and Joseph Diggins both found the gap between the posts to ensure that the lucky 200 inside Austin Stack Park enjoying this ‘Covid final’ would have their nerves shredded some more.
IWith seconds left on the referee’s watch it was hard to tell who would be leaving with the cup as both sides exchanged last minute scores with Daniel Collins who top scored for his side alongside O’Connor ensured Causeway were dethroned as Kilmoyley who managed only four points in the second 30 minutes ran out winners by the skin of their teeth.
Scorers for Kilmoyley: D Collins 0-8 (6fs, 2 ‘65’), M O’Connor 2-2, M Flaherty 0-1, P O’Connor 0-1
Scorers for Causeway: B Barrett 1-3 (2fs), S Leahy 0-3, C Harty 0-2, D Goggin 0-2, B Lyons 0-2 (1f, 1 ‘65’), Joseph Diggins 0-1, K Carmody 0-1
KILMOYLEY: John B O’Halloran, Seanie Nolan, Colman Savage, Flor McCarthy, James Godley, Dougie Fitzell, Tom Murnane, Matthew Flaherty, Paudie O’Connor, Kieran McCarthy, Daniel Collins, Robert Collins, Maurice O’Connor, Sean Maunsell, Philip Maunsell.
Subs: Jordan Brick for S Maunsell (45), Daire Nolan for R Collins (48).
CAUSEWAY: Tadhg Flynn, Tommy Barrett, Muiris Delaney, Sean Sheehan, Evan Murphy, Jason Diggins, Anthony Fealy, Joseph Diggins, Keith Carmody, Tommy Casey, Bryan Murphy, Colm Harty, Gavin Dooley, Billy Lyons, Dan Goggin.
Subs: Brandon Barrett for T Casey (ht), Sean Leahy for G Dooley (35), Gearoid Mahoney for B Lyons (55), Tommy Casey for D Goggin (58).
REFEREE: Donnacha O’Callaghan.