A CLASSY performance from Kevin’s Ciaran Comerford proved too hot to handle for St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh as they just missed out on the division four hurling Feile in Parnell Park last Sunday.
That was despite a superb showing from Cillian Hayes, while Sean Clerkin almost forced extra-time with the last play of a high-octane final.
Plunketts had emerged from a group featuring St Peregrine’s, Na Fianna and Kilmacud Crokes on Saturday on home turf before reaching Sunday’s final.
There, they played out a hugely competitive tussle with the Dolphin’s Barn club but could never quite reel in the deficit after Comerford and Joseph Mowlds had given them an early jump.
Plunkett’s almost replied with a goal when Ian Sherry fired goalward only to see his shot brilliantly saved while David Phelan followed up but his first-time batted effort slipped just wide.
Hayes did get his side on the mark but a monster 65 from Comerford and another effort from the midfielder helped build a 0-4 to 0-1 lead with the wind at Kevin’s backs.
Another great chance, built by Cian Gibbons’ clever diagonal ball, flashed across the face of goal from the hurl of Hayes though he did chip in with his second point just before the break to leave the deficit at 0-4 to 0-2.
And he added another when Phelan went on a surging run, only to be fouled in a threatening position. Hayes clipped over the ensuing free to reduce the gap to the minimum.
It left the game in the balance. The Plunkett’s defence put in a stellar shift while Liam Keenan pulled off some superb saves, but they were powerless to prevent a pair of Comerford points on the half hour.
They put Kevin’s three points clear going down the final stretch and while Plunkett’s rallied, Clerkin’s last gasp shot was scrambled just around the post to deny them extra-time.