Out-scoring their opponents five points to one during the final ten minutes the favourites Kiladangan needed all of their experience to salvage a hard-fought win over a gallant Portroe side at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh last Saturday evening.
Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship
Kiladangan 1-22 Portroe 1-18
Having opened a 1-11 to 0-5 lead by the 21st minute Kiladangan were then pulled back to level pegging at 1-17 each with nine minutes remaining on the clock before their extra firepower helped them over the line thanks to late scores by Bryan McLoughney and Paul Flynn to seal the win.
Victory gave Kiladangan their second win in the group, but if Kiladangan are to reach the quarter-finals they will need all of their experience to overcome Borris-Ileigh in the third round.
The game was just twenty four seconds old when Dan O’Meara had the Portroe net bulging. By the 20th minute six other Kiladangan players had got their name on the scoreboard through Bryan McLoughney (two frees), Alan Flynn, Johnny Horan, Tadgh Gallagher Andy Loughnane and Ciaran Kelly.
Meanwhile Portroe’s John Sheedy was their leading marksman picking up four frees with midfielder James Ryan adding one from play.
Accuracy from frees was vital for Portroe thanks to John Sheedy (twice) and Kevin O’Halloran (from long-range) Port were back into the frame, but Kiladangan always had the edge with Ciaran Kelly and man of the match Alan Flynn finding the target to push Kiladangan eight to the good before Ruadhan Mulrooney and Robert Byrne (two of Port’s best players) nabbed a point each to make it 1-13 to 0-10 at half-time.
Kiladangan resumed the second half with Bryan McLoughney increasing their lead, but Mark Gennery and a sideline ball from Kevin O’Halloran kept Portroe within touching distance.
Two more Kiladangan points by Andy Loughnane and Dan O’Meara made it 1-16 to 0-12. Paul Flynn was introduced, but the game reached a pivotal point when John Sheedy sent Barry Hogan the wrong way with a successful penalty in the 40th minute.
Port’s comeback continued with two Sheedy frees leaving two between the teams and reaching the 51st minute it was level at 1-17 each after Robert Byrne equalised.
Kiladangan's Billy Seymour tested Portroe 'keeper Darren Gleeson, but the pendulum had swung towards Kiladangan and they hit three quick points through McLoughney (free), Billy Seymour and a brilliant score by Andy Loughnane.
Ruadhran Mulrooney brought the lead back to two, but McLoughney replied and Barry Hogan made a vital save before Kiladangan held sway when a Paul Flynn score sealed the win.
Kiladangan: Barry Hogan, Martin Minehan, Darren Moran, Fergus Hayes, Declan McGrath, Joe Gallagher, Jack Loughnane, Johnny Horan (0-1), Alan Flynn (0-4), Andy Loughnane (0-3), Tadgh Gallagher (0-3), Ciaran Kelly (0-1), Bryan McLoughney (0-5, 0-3 frees), Dan O’Meara (1-2), Billy Seymour (0-2). Subs: Darragh Egan for J Horan (29th), Paul Flynn (0-1) for Kelly (37th), David Sweeney for J Loughnane (52nd), Darragh Flannery for T Gallagher (61st).
Portroe: Darren Gleeson, Cormac Keating, Colm Gleeson, Michael Breen, Michael Creamer, Christopher O’Riordan, Robert Byrne (0-3), Jimmy Creamer, James Ryan (0-1), Aidan Willis, Kevin O’Halloran (0-3, 0-1 sideline), Mark Gennery (0-1), Jack Moloney, Ruadhran Mulrooney (0-3), John Sheedy (1-7, 0-5 frees, 1-0 penalty). Subs: Paddy O’Flaherty for J Creamer (ht), Anthony Bourke for J Moloney (52nd), David Gleeson for James Ryan (61st).