Kilara Óg 3-14 Mallow 2-16
THREE first-half goals proved key for Kilara Óg in a thrilling Rebel Óg P2 U15 Hurling final at sun-kissed Shanballymore
Olan McCarthy hit 1-4 from play, with Tomás Maher contributing 1-3, along with Liam Óg Hegarty's efforts from midfield and an Eoghan Leddy goal, the Kilworth and Araglen amalgamation were able to hold off Mallow's heroic second-half comeback.
They got off to a dream start with early goals by McCarthy and Maher, as they led 2-1 to no score after seven minutes, though Aaron Browne was forced into a smart saved to deny Jack Roche.
Luke Buckley opened Mallow's account with a couple of frees, and further pressure yielded points for Gearoid Daly and Paddy Buckley: 2-2 to 0-4.
Maher responded with a free before Hegarty soloed through and made it 2-4 to 0-4 at the water break.
On the restart, Rory Gill added a point and then Leddy cut through but Mallow keeper Paddy Murphy saved well.
Another Buckley free kept Mallow in touch and Kilara Óg's full-back line made some very good clearances.
Then Leddy grabbed the second goal, though Eoin Dineen hit back with a point at the other end.
Leddy, now on the 40, set up Olan McCarthy for a very good point before Mallow trimmed the gap before the break: 3-7 to 0-10.
Mallow moved Luke Buckley to midfield for the second half and began the fightback.
McCarthy pointed for Kilara Óg but then Mallow hit their opening goal through Paddy Buckley, coming back to within five points before John Murphy added another point.
Maher, after Gill was fouled, and Hegarty responded with points but Mallow refused to wilt, as Luke Buckley and Cian Nugent scored.
Ben Noonan then raised their second green flag just before the water break that cut the lead: 3-11 to 2-13.
In the final quarter, it was very close and tense with every score hugely important.
McCarthy pointed again before Tomás Maher made a great catch and was fouled with Hegarty pointing the free in the 55th minute to make it a one-goal game.
Mallow had late points from Luke Murphy and Paddy Buckley to set up a grand-stand finish before Hegarty converted another placed ball in injury time.
Murphy replied for Mallow but time ran out and Kilara Óg were champions.
After the game, Denis Twomey, Rebel Óg North secretary, presented the cup to Liam Óg Hegarty the winning captain.