Kilcormac-Killoughey 2-22 Naomh Eanna 0-14
By Ronan Fagan at Chadwicks Wexford Park
Kilcormac-Killoughey stormed Wexford champions Naomh Eanna in the early stages of the second-half at at Chadwicks Wexford Park on Sunday to blast through to the semi-finals of the Leinster Club SHC.
Despite a 12 week break since their county title triumph, Naomh Eanna appeared in good shape when breaking ahead by 0-11 to 0-9.
But, aided by a fortuitous 37th minute goal from James Gorman, and a quick-fire addition from teenager Adam Screeney, the midlanders’ soared past Gorey to a last-four clash.
Concerns for Naomh Eanna after their long break since regaining the Wexford crown in mid-August came into focus as Kilcormac-Killoughey, four weeks after regaining Offaly honours, opened confidently with four unanswered points inside as many minutes through Colin Spain, teenagers Adam Screeney (free) and Charlie Mitchell, together with Conor Mahon.
Jack Doran responded for Gorey after seven minutes, and the home-side were twice foiled in goaling efforts over the next four minutes, as full-back Oisín Mahon deprived Conor McDonald, while the Kilcormac-Killoughey ‘keeper saved from midfielder Aodhán Doyle.
Cathal Dunbar and McDonald lifted Naomh Eanna with long-range scores as they got within 0-4 to 0-3 after 13 minutes, before Jack Cullen twice converted placed-balls to tie matters after 16 minutes (0-5 apiece).
And after sharing the next four scores, Naomh Eanna returned to the dressing-room with a slight pep in their step after closing placed-ball submissions from Pádraig Doyle and Cullen carved out a 0-11 to 0-9 lead.
But Kilcormac-Killoughey blew their rivals off course when hitting 2-5 without reply to transform matters utterly after 43 minutes (2-14 to 0-11).
James Gorman and Adam Screeney levelled matters for a fifth and what proved final time after six minutes (0-11 apiece) before they struck for those two goals inside a minute.
Full-forward James Gorman got the deftest of touches on a long-range delivery from ‘keeper Conor Slevin to land a fortuitous 37th minute breakthrough.
And within seconds he touched the ball down for Adam Screeney to angle an unstoppable drive to the net as the Offaly men blasted 2-11 to 0-11 clear, before half-backs Enda Grogan and Cillian Kiely helped swell the margin to nine points after 43 minutes.
Moments later Cathal Dunbar landed Gorey’s first score of the half. But Kilcormac-Killoughey weren’t relenting, although they had to foil several spirited goaling bids before ending Offaly’s search for a first win in the competition since 2018.
That was the last campaign when Wexford posted a victory in the competition, when Naomh Eanna were first-time champions on Slaneyside.
Scorers for Kilcormac-Killooughey: Adam Screeney 1-7 (5fs), James Gorman 1-3, Cillian Kiely 0-3 (2 frees), Colin Spain, Charlie Mitchell 0-2 each, Jack Screeney, Conor Mahon, Enda Grogan, Lochlann Kavanagh, Thomas Geraghty 0-1 each
Scorers for Naomh Eanna: Jack Cullen 0-4 (2 ‘65s, 2fs), Cathal Dunbar 0-3, Jack Doran 0-2, Pádraig Doyle 0-2 (2fs), Conor McDonald, Charlie McGuckin, Aodhán Doyle 0-1 each.
Kilcormac-Killoughey: Conor Slevin; Brecon Kavanagh, Oisín Mahon, Tom Spain; Jordan Quinn, Cillian Kiely, Enda Grogan; Colin Spain, Damien Kilmartin; Leigh Kavanagh, Conor Mahon, Jack Screeney; Charlie Mitchell, Adam Screeney.
Subs: Thomas Geraghty for C. Mahon (51), Ter Guinan for L. Kavanagh (55), Lochlann Kavanagh for Gorman (55), James Mahon for B. Kavanagh (59), Ger Healion for Mitchell (60+2).
Naomh Eanna: Jack Cushe; Cian Molloy, Tom Stafford, Cian Ó Tuama; Charlie McGuckin, Cathal Stokes, Brendan Travers; Seán Doyle, Aodhán Doyle; Cian Browne, Cathal Dunbar, Jack Doran; Pádraig Doyle, Conor McDonald, Jack Cullen.
Subs: Rian Fitzpatrick for Stafford (49), Seán Óg Whelan for Browne (52), Eoin Conroy for Travers (59), Darragh Canavan for McDonald (60+3).
Referee: Seán Cleere (Kilkenny).