Kilmallock will play host to the Junior A Hurling Championship final this Sunday as Caherline and St Kierans meet in a novel decider.
Neither side was touted as a pre-competition favourite but both have improved as the championship progressed and are now only sixty minutes from intermediate hurling.
The winner will also have the added caveat of the return of the Munster club championships next
Path to the Final
- Rd 1: bt Templeglantine 3-22 to 1-19
- Rd 2: bt Old Christians 0-24 to 2-11
- Rd 3: lost to Ballybricken Bohermore 1-17 to 0-17
- Rd 4: bt Drom Broadford 4-11 to 1-9
- Rd 5: bt Crecora Manister 1-21 to 1-16
- Quarter-Final: bt Ballybrown 2-19 to 2-14
- Semi-Final: bt St Pats 1-13 to 0-13
- Rd 1: lost to Kilteely Dromkeen 4-18 to 1-14
- Rd 2: bt St Pats 2-12 to 0-15
- Rd 3: bt Garryspillane 2-16 to 2-10
- Rd 4: bt Monagea 3-9 to 1-9
- Rd 5: bt Ahane 5-15 to 0-8
- Quarter-Final: bt Doon 1-11 to 0-11
- Semi-Final: bt Ballybricken Bohermore 2-12 to 0-14
Caherline were victorious in round one having nine points to spare against Templeglantine and
followed on from this with a win over Old Christians. They were beaten by Ballybricken Bohermore
in round three before bouncing back in style with a 4-11 to 1-9 win over Drom Broadford. That set
up a round five clash with Crecora Manister where the winners were guaranteed to progress.
Caherline were impressive in securing a 1-21 to 1-15 win and a place in the last eight.
In the quarter-final, just a week later they proved too strong for group four winners Ballybrown,
coming out on top by virtue of a 2-19 to 2-14 win on the Chiders Rd.
That set up a semi-final clash with St Patricks. In an even contest, the sides exchanged the first six
scores of the day to go into the water break level.
They were also level at 0-4 apiece but three on the trot from Pats had them 0-7 to 0-4 clear at the break. Three more followed on the bounce from the City men with Andrew Brennan’s reply making it a five point game at the final water break. Brennan hit back with a pair but a double from Pats maintained the five point gap with seven to play.
But Pats weren’t to score again as Caherline took over. Brennan had their ninth point of the day with Aaron Power’s goal making it a one point game five to play. Brennan levelled and then gave them the lead in injury time. Paraic Wixted moved them two clear before Brennan added the insurance point to seal their place in the final with a 1-13 to 0-13 win.
In group two, St Kierans began their campaign with a reversal at the hands of Kilteely Dromkeen,
losing out 4-18 to 1-13. The West side regrouped with a three point win over St Pats and made it two on the bounce with a six point win over Garryspillane. Kieran’s saw off the challenge of Monagea while a fourth successive win in the final round saw them seal top spot as they powered past Ahane with a 5-15 to 0-8 win.
After topping the group, they were paired with Doon in the quarter-finals where they overcame the East side with a 1-11 to 0-11 win in Kilmallock. That result booked a semi-final clash with Balybricken Bohermore.
A brilliant first half set the scene for St Kieran as they took a 2-9 to 0-7 lead into the half. Kierans
began with a flurry as they quickly raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead inside the first ten minutes. The West
side had their first goal of the day after 11 minutes with their lead established at 1-6 to 0-2 at the first water break. A scramble led to Kieran’s second green flag after 21 minutes helped them into an eight point advantage at the short whistle. St Kierans furthered their lead to ten in the third quarter holding a 2-12 to 0-8 lead at the final waterbreak.
Ballybricken Bohermore launched a late comeback and kept their opponents scoreless in the final
quarter but it proved too little too late as six unanswered wasn’t enough for the East side as Kieran’s
moved into the final.
Last Ten Limerick JAHC Winners
2020: Croagh Kilfinny
2017: St Patricks
2016: Na Piarsaigh
2015: Drom Broadford
2013: Feenagh Kilmeedy
2012: St Kierans
Kieran’s will be looking to emulate the success of 2012 when they were crowned champions in the grade after defeating Monagea by a point in the decider.
Caherline have to go further back to their last success in the final of the Junior Championship after they earned promotion in 2007 with a win over Effin.
This will be the first meeting of the sides since their clash in the group stages of the 2020 competition as Caherline ran out 1-17 to 0-9 victors but that will count for little this Saturday.
And whoever is crowned victorious on Saturday will look forward to playing Munster Club Championship against the Cork champions on Leeside on the weekend of December 11/12.
But for now, the small matter of the Junior A Championship remains the sole focus for both sides.
St Kierans take on Caherline this Saturday in the Junior A Hurling Championship final in Kilmallock at 2pm!