Group 4 of the 2001 Senior Championship consisted of Kilmihil, Kilrush, Liscannor & St. Joseph’s Doora Barefield.
The first round was on 7th May 2001 at Labasheeda against St. Josephs and the game ended in a draw 1-9 to 1-9.
St Joseph’s had wind advantage in the first half and turned over 1-5 to 0-4 at half time. Kilmihil battle hard in the second half and took the lead with twelve minute remaining when Damien Devine scored from the penalty spot following a foul on Mark O’Connell. Mark increased the lead with a point but Doora Barefield refused to give up and they scored the equaliser three minutes into injury time.
Team Lineout: Alan Daly, Kieran Browne, Declan O’Shea, Leonard O’Halloran, Fergal Killoughrey, Brendan Browne, John Normoyle, Niall O’Halloran, Shane Mangan, Karl Downes, Damien Devine, Fergal Duggan, Enda O’Halloran, Mark O’Connell & Timmy Ryan.
Scorers: Timmy Ryan (0-6, 5f), Damien Devine (1-1) & Mark O’Connell (0-2).
The second round was played on 2nd June at Quilty and Kilmihil had two points to spare over Liscannor on the score of 1-10 to 0-11.
Mark O’Connell and Shane Mangan were in top scoring form and caused problems for the Liscannor defence. The crucial score came just before the interval when
Mark O’Connell ran onto a breaking ball and drilled a powerful ground shot to the corner of the Liscannor net to leave the half time score at 1-8 to 0-4. Liscannor staged a comeback in the second half with three unanswered points. At this stage Mark O’Connell was brought back into defence to help relieve the pressure. Three minutes into injury time and with just three points between the sides Declan O’Halloran pulled off a spectacular save when he deflected a shot over the bar thus securing victory for Kilmihil.
Team Lineout: Declan O’Halloran, Leonard O’Halloran, Declan O’Shea, Kieran Browne, John Normoyle, Brendan Browne, Fergal Killoughrey, Timmy Ryan, Keith Considine, Shane Mangan, Gerry Hayes, Fergal Duggan, Niall O’Halloran, Mark O’Connell & Enda O’Halloran.
Subs: Paul Reidy for John Normoyle, Eamonn Downes for Gerry Hayes and Alan Daly for Niall O’Halloran.
Scorers: Mark O’Connell 1-2, Shane Mangan 0-5 & Timmy Ryan 0-3.
By the time Kilmihil met Kilrush in the final group match both teams were already through to the play off. The standard of football was poor and Kilrush dominated for most of the game, so much so that Kilmihil failed to score in the first half. On the resumption Kilmihil upper the tempo and Timmy Ryan kicked three points from frees. Fergal Duggan kicked Kilmihil’s first point from play in the final quarter but the result was never in doubt as Kilrush ran out easy winners scoring 11 points to Kilmihil’s 5.
On 18th August Kilmihil met Eire Og in the quarter-final at Lissycasey. As the reigning Champions Eire Og were favourites to win easily particularly given Kilmihil’s poor record in recent years. Kilmihil put up a spirited and determined challenge to the champions however it was not enough as Eire Og won by a point. Final score: Eire Og 0-10 Kilmihil 1-6. Kilmihil had the advantage of the breeze in the first half and were first to score with points from frees by Timmy Ryan and Shane Mangan. Eire Og replied with a point and might have added a goal however the ball was cleared downfield and was finished to the net by Enda O’Halloran following a pass from Mark O’Connell. Fergal Duggan added a point but Eire Og replied with two points. Ten minutes into the second half and Eire Og were level after scoring three points but Kilmihil refused to yield and replied with a point to regain the lead.
Eire Og got on top in the final minutes and scored three points. Kilmihil kept on trying and reduced the deficit to one but time ran out and the champions held on to win by a point.