All Ireland medal winner with Tipperary on Sunday, Mark Kehoe impressed with the big ball for Kilsheelan against Aherlow
Aherlow and Kilsheelan Kilcash shared the spoils in their County SFC Group2 clash at New Inn this evening.
A youthful Kilsheelan side were eight points behind at one stage in the first half but showed tremendous resolve to battle their way back into the game.
But the experience of Aherlow was crucial as they fought gamely to maintain their advantage.
Following fluctuations throughout the second half, the West Tipp men had pulled two points clear again with Barry Grogan pointing two frees.
As the game entered injury time it looked like Kilsheelan were out of luck but they never gave up, with Brendan Martin from a free reducing the margin and with the last kick of the game Paul Maher sent over the equaliser from a tight angle.
A draw was a fitting result but that looked a long way off for the South men in the first half when they trailed 2-5 to 0-3 after twenty minutes.
The sides were level twice before three points in a row from Bernard O'Brien and two from Lawrence Coskeran put Aherlow 0-5 to 0-2 in front.
Then in a great move Tom O'Donoghue put Bernard O'Brien through on goal and he gave Kian Quinn no chance in the Kilsheelan goal with a shot to the corner of the net.
Kilsheelan hit back with a point from a Mark Stokes free but Aherlow struck for their second goal in the space of three minutes when a misplaced Kilsheelan pass in midfield gifted possession and Shane Neville hit a ball across goal for Barry Grogan to palm to the net and make it 2-5 to 0-3.
But with All Ireland senior hurling medal winner Mark Kehoe prominent, Kilsheelan fought back in terrific style, pinning Aherlow into their own half and outscoring the West men by six points to one over the next ten minutes to trail by just three at the break, 2-6 to 0-9.
Aherlow lost keeper Gordon Peters to injury just before the interval and Kilsheelan squeezed up on the kickouts of replacement netminder Patrick O'Donoughue in the early stages of the second half and points from two Brendan Martin frees reduced the margin to just one after eight minutes.
Aherlow needed a score to settle and they got it from Shane Neville thirteen minutes into the half.
For the final quarter it was the pressing game of Kilsheelan against the more measured approach of Aherlow for whom former county star Barry Grogan was in superb form.
Aherlow didn't have the movement of the South men but they compensated with guile and experience and looked like they might have won by going two clear with time almost up.
But Kilsheelan kept running and probing until the very end and were deservedly rewarded with the two late scores to draw.