Relegation: Pearses v Kiltormer

Kiltormer 1-17 Pearses 2-10: This Senior Relegation game played in Loughrea on Saturday afternoon was tight until the final minutes. Kiltormer came from two down, with the last six points of the game, to secure their Senior status.
Kiltormer had a best possible start when good work by David Hayes created space for Darren Hopkins to find the net in the first minute. A Derek Dervan free extended Kiltormerandamp;rsquo;s lead. Two Tomas Flannery frees got Pearses on the board, but Kiltormer had soon restored that four point lead, 1-3 to 0-2 after 13 minutes. Pearses landed the next three (Flannery and Ronan Bellew) to reduce the gap to one after 20 minutes.
Dervan (3) and Flannery shared four frees to leave the score 1-5 to 0-6 in the 27th minute. Then another injury blow to Pearses, keeper Aidan Kilkenny leaving the field. Pandamp;aacute;raic Hillary took his place. In the 29th minute a long range Ronan Bellew free deflected off the Kiltormer full-backandamp;rsquo;s hurl to the net and Pearses led for the first time, 1-6 to 1-5. Kiltormer absorbed the blow with the next two points, to go in 1-7 to 1-6 up at the break.
With Cyril Donnellan taking his place at full-forward for the second half, three points in succession (Flannery, Bellew and Ward) put Pearses two up. Two Kiltormer points levelled it, before Donnellan pointed from a tight angle to nudge Pearses back in front. Another brace of Kiltormer points swung the advantage again. Yet another injury seen Richie Lally retire. Then in the 48th minute, a Pearses penalty. Donnellan dispatched it to the net, 2-10 to 1-11.
Two minutes later a Kiltormer penalty was saved. Momentum it seemed was now with Pearses. However, Kiltormer hit six unanswered points in the final ten minutes. They led by one, when Kerrill Hardiman was dismissed on a second yellow card on 58 minutes. Patrick Cormican put Kiltormer two ahead before a Donnellan 21 was saved. Two more points for the men in blue settled it. Pearses next take on Kinvara in the dreaded Final Relegation playoff.
Pearses (starting positions): A Kilkenny; A Kenny, T Kenny, P Raftery; R Lally, D Wynne, K Hardiman; J Gelston, S Hardiman; R Bellew (1-2), T Flannery (0-6), E Cunniffe; G Lally, E Ward (0-1), N Skehill. Subs used: P Hillary, C Donnellan (1-1), T McDonagh, L Murphy, C Raftery.

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