We are at the mid-way point of the Senior and Intermediate Leagues in Kilkenny, and the group tables in both grades are taking shape with the weekend throwing up some interesting and indeed unexpected results.
The Senior League matches got underway on Friday night with the clash of Rower-Inistioge and Mullinavat in Thomastown, and Mullinavat produced an unlikely comeback from a most unlikely position.
After 42 minutes, Rower-Inistioge were coasting to an unassailable victory having led 2-12 to 1-3 , but Mullinavat slowly began to crawl their way back into contention. Two goals in the space of three minutes left 4 points between the teams with 9 minutes remaining, and the gap had been halved by the 60th minute, before scoring two injury-time points to complete an astonishing comeback.
The manner of relinquishing a 12-point lead will have been a sickening blow to Rower-Inistioge, and the next game in early July against O’Loughlin Gaels will be huge to see what scars that result will have.
On Saturday, the two other two games in Group A saw Erins Own crucify their neighbours St. Martins 1-24 to 0-11 to go joint top with O’Loughlin Gaels and put themselves in pole position to reach a quarter-final.
O’Loughlin Gaels bounced back from the Mullinavat draw to defeat Carrickshock 2-15 to 0-16 in a game in which we brought full commentary on kclrfanzone.com.
Goalkeeper Stephen Murphy gave O’Loughlin Gaels a perfect start with a well taken penalty, but Carrickshock responded and completely took over to lead 0-10 to 1-1 after 20 minutes.
However, O’Loughlin’s responded and they scored four unasnwered points, before a bizarre Mark Bergin goal from a free gave the County Champions a lead that they never surrendered.
The O’Loughlin’s forwards constantly had the Carrickshock defence under pressure while in possession with David Burke in particular a real handful, but the game was still in the balance entering injury-time with O’Loughlins ahead by two points.
Burke pointed along with Mark Kelly and Conor Bergin to seal the deal as O’Loughlins closed the game to wrap up the points.
In Group B, Dicksboro continue their perfect start to the season as they blitzed aside Danesfort 5-13 to 1-9, Clara overcame their neighbours Bennettsbridge 1-16 to 0-18, while after two straight defeats Ballyhale Shamrocks defeated James Stephens 3-17 to 2-13.
Even more significantly, Michael Fennelly made his return to competitive action and played the full 60 minutes which is most encouraging for Kilkenny supporters.
In the Intermediate section, there are three teams on top of Group A with 4 points.
On Friday night, Glenmore struck with two goals inside the final quarter as they defeated Tullaroan 3-12 to 2-11 to respond after their defeat last time out against Graigue-Ballycallan, while the Kilmanagh outfit themselves recorded a 2nd straight victory as they defeated Dunnamaggin 1-14 to 1-11.
Meanwhile, Tullogher-Rosbercon blitzed aside Fenians 2-20 to 1-9 to get their first win of the campaign.
In Group B, Young Irelands are the only team in the Intermediate section with three straight victories and the surprise packets made it a hat-trick of victories blitzing aside St. Lachtains of Freshford 1-23 to 2-10.
Meanwhile, Thomastown overcame St. Patricks Ballyragget 3-14 to 1-19 to record their 2nd victory and join their opponents in joint 2nd place in the table, while Lisdowney got off the mark as they defeated Mooncoin 1-18 to 0-16.
The next round of games in the Senior and Intermediate grade take place on the weekending 7th-9th July.