BLACKROCK will play senior hurling for the first time since 1998 after capturing their first Limerick Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship after beating Kildimo-Pallaskenry 1-18 0-16 in their replay at the LIT Gaelic Grounds.
After two draws including one emphatic final three weeks ago, it’s the Rockies from South Limerick who edged out in today’s encounter thanks to a goal in the second-half from Colm O’Keefe and eight points from captain Paudie Leahy.
Discipline and the wind were the two main factors in the tie, Kildimo-Pallaskenry had complete control in the first half playing with the wind at their backs. Shaun Barry racked up seven points in the first half all coming from frees and puck outs conceded by Blackrock.
Points from Dave Moloney, Kyle Hayes and Darren O’Connell alongside Barry’s impressive first half placed Kildimo-Pallaskenry ahead by two points 0-10 to 0-8.
After being on the receiving end of two yellow cards at the start of the half, Blackrock turned on the style and discipline in the second half.
Some lovely hurling from open play allowed Dylan Dawson, Ruarí O’Shaughnessy, Gavin O’Loughlin to score some points and the scoring prowess of their skipper Leahy lay the foundations for the eventual comeback for the South Limerick side.
The turning point of the match came at the 48th-minute mark, as Blackrock were a point behind, Dawson’s long ball found Palmer inside the box who then handed it to Colm O’Keefe who slotted it in the back of the net putting Blackrock in the lead for the first time in the match since the opening two minutes at 1-13 to 0-15.
After five unanswered points from Blackrock’s Kevin Palmer, David Moloney, Liam Cooke, followed by two more frees from Paudie Leahy, the green tassels were tightly knotted around the handlebars of the trophy.
Goalkeeper John Chawke earned a consolation for his parish when his short-range free went over the bar in injury time with a final score of 1-18 to 0-16.
Blackrock will now enter the Munster Club Intermediate Hurling Championships next Saturday, November 3, where they will meet Cork’s Father O’Neills at Kilfinane.