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*Sean O’Loughlin scored Kilmaley’s only goal. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Following their disappointing first round loss to Inagh Kilnamona last Sunday, Kilmaley got their senior hurling championship challenge back on track when they overcame the challenge of Whitegate.

Kilmaley 1-24
Whitegate 2-12
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

An all round better balanced Kilmaley side got the upperhand in the second half and finished strongly, outscoring their opponents 0-7 to 0-1 in the last eight minutes to seal victory.

While Kilmaley carried the favourites tag into this tie, they were made fight all the way by a Whitegate side who were having their first outing in the campaign having had the bye in round one.

They fired over the opening two points but Kilmaley hit back strongly with points from Aidan Griffey, Michael O’Neill and Cian Moloney to take the lead by the fifth minute.

They had extended their lead to three points by the first waterbreak but within four minutes of the resumption, Whitegate had the margin down to one.

The game’s opening goal came seven minutes from half time when Sean O’Loughlin reacted quickest after Aidan McGuane’s effort for a point rebounded off the upright. Within a minute Whitegate had cancelled out that score as Paul Burke found the net at the other end and four minutes later he struck again and this goal levelled the tie, 1-10 to 2-7.

When the half time whistle sounded Kilmaley had edged a point clear, 1-12 to 2-8.

There was more urgency in the winner’s play on the resumption and they outscored their opponents, 0-5 to 0-1 in the third quarter. Whitegate failed to score from play in this half with Michael Hynes converting three frees and a sideline effort for their tally of 0-4.

Whitegate had the opening two scores of the final quarter but Kilmaley responded with six points in a row on their way to a merited win.

Colin McGuane, until injured, Conor Cleary, Aidan Griffey, Aidan McGuane, Brian Cahill and Michael O’Neill were prominent throughout for the winners while Whitegate had good performances from IanFahy, Eoin Quirke, Michael Hynes, and Paul Burke

Scorers; Kilmaley: CianMoloney (0-8 4f), Sean O’Loughlin (1-2), Michael O’Malley (0-4, 2f, 2’65); Michael O’Neill (0-3), Aidan Griffey, Joe Carmody (0-2) each; Tom O’Rourke, Brian Cahill, Daire Keane (0-1) each.

Whitegate; Michael Hynes (0-8, 6f, 2’SC) Paul Burke (2-1), Ronan Hayes (0-2), Ian Fahy (0-1).

1: Bryan O’Loughlin

4: Bradley Higgins
3: Colin McGuane
2: Tommy Barry

8: Aidan Griffey
6: Conor Cleary
9: Aidan McGuane

11: Michael O’Malley
7: Aidan McGuane

5: Tom O’Rourke
15: Michael O’Neill
24: Éanna McMahon

12: Cian Moloney
13: Sean O’Loughlin
20: Joe Carmody

17: James McGuire for O’Rourke (35)
14: Daire Keane for Carmody (46)
Carmody for C. McGuane (55) (Inj)

1: Andrew Fahy

2: Ciaran Quinn
3: Eoin Quirke
4: Dylan White

5: Brendan Bugler
6: Colm Madden
7: Ian Fahy

8: Colin Burke
9: Michael Hynes

10: Thomas Hogan
11: Conor McDermott
12: Ciaran Keenan

13: Paul Burke
14: Ronan Hayes
15: Paddy Burke

20: Tomas Quirke for Quinn (half time)
21: Thomas Holland for P Burke (46)
17: Danny Hynes for Hogan (47)

Referee: Chris Maguire (Wolfe Tones)

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