Kilmallock leave it late to keep season alive as they overcome Ballybrown in SHC

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BALLYBROWN will now face Na Piarsaigh in round three of the SHC needing a win to advance into the knockout stages.

Kilmallock didn’t take the lead until the second minute of injury time but it was enough for a 0-27 to 2-20 win over Ballybrown who were featuring in their season opener.

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After falling to Na Piarsaigh last week, Kilmallock found themselves in a perilous position within four minutes as the City side ran into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead with Aidan O’Connor finding the net.

At the water break, the lead was reduced to 1-6 to 0-5 as Kilmallock found their feet.

The Balbec continued to eat into the lead and with Micheal Houlihan accurate from placed balls, the deficit was just two, 1-8 to 0-10 at the half.

But as they did in the first, Ballybrown were electric in the opening minutes as they hit 1-2 without reply, Intercounty star Colin Coughlan with the goal.

The teams swapped a number of frees with O’Connor and Houlihan imperious in front of goal.

And heading into the final quarter, Ballybrown’s lead was four.

Kilmallock continued to inch their way back into the game but a brilliant score from Coughlan kept Ballybrown three clear with ten to play.

But Ballybrown wouldn’t score again for almost ten minutes as three Houlihan scores brought the sides level for the first time in the 57th minute.

An O’Connor free gave the City side the lead heading into injury time but that was to be their final score as scores 15 and 16 from Houlihan secured the narrow win.

Na Piarsaigh take on Ballybrown next weekend with a win for the defending champions enough to see them into the semi-finals with Kilmallock into the quarters.

Ballybrown need a win to avoid the relegation play-off and potentially make it into the knockout rounds.

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