Kilkenny was inspired by the returning Derek O’Gorman as it came back from 3-0 down to draw in a hockey renaissance that bordered on biblical.
Dead but not buried, our Cats did a Lazarus, snatched a point and went oh so close to putting its opponents to the sword.
The game was played at an immense pace with both teams looking to grab the three points.
Yet a draw was the fairest outcome.
Kilkenny started the brighter playing fluid hockey and putting Three Rock Rovers on the back foot.
O’Gorman settled into his first match of the season controlling the play and creating openings that, unfortunately, the Kilkenny team couldn’t convert.
Tristan Lynas smashed against the post after O’Gorman split the Rovers defence with a wonder pass.
Kilkenny could smell blood with Dave Wall pushing up from left back supporting Alex Firbank and Hugh Dagg popping up in dangerous spots.
A goal was inevitable.
But, t was Three Rock who snatched the opener.
Kilkenny was left wide bare as the visitors hunted for an opening. Caught on the break, the Kilkenny defence was exposed and, from the top of the circle, goalkeeper Corrigan was left with little chance.
The quarter closed with a Kilkenny short corner, but once more the Kilkenny men failed to capitalise on the opening.
Undaunted, Kilkenny pushed forward and, with the introduction of Jack Bennett, chances continued to be created.
At the same time Eric Comerford and Gordon Peppard tightened up at the back as most attacks came from the home team.
Ross Comerford nearly added his second goal of the season but was denied as the Three Rock defence scrambled the ball off the line.
However, as much as Kilkenny battled, the equaliser eluded gallant efforts and the Cats were cruelly punished late in the second half.
A ball hammered in from outside the circle was neatly deflected into the roof of the net. No fault could be attributed to Corrigan.
Frustratingly, the second half continued much in the same vein.
Kilkenny pushed forward,
Three Rock defended tightly. Kilkenny was hit on the break, 3-0.
Or so it looked.
Kilkenny rallied and drove forward. Inspired by Evan Hughes, Kilkenny once more upped its effort in the final quarter.
Hughes won a short corner and O’Gorman stepped up. Hugh Dagg controlled the injection.
O’Gorman stepped inside the first runner and slipped a lazy dink to the goalkeeper’s right.
This process was repeated five minutes later. This time Kybas scored from his knees, to the keeper’s right.
At this point it was a matter of Kilkenny drawing or winning. Tristan Lynas played the captain’s roll finishing after Ross Comerford put a goal on a plate for him.
Still Kilkenny pushed on.
A scramble on the line prevented Lynas from snatching all three points at the death.
Yet, without the intervention of Corrigan, Three Rock would have snatched a late winner.
A fine shot to Corrigan’s left was goal bound but he was equal to the effort and the final whistle was blown.
Kilkenny Squad: Andrew Corrigan, David Wall, Alex Firbank, Gordon Peppard, Hugh Dagg, Luke O’Donnell, Nigel Dagg, Ross Comerford, Tristan Lynas, Jack Bennett, Kieran Delaney, Eric Comerford, Evan Hughes, Derek O’ Gorman.
As always new players are always welcome at training: Tuesday (7.30-9pm) and Thursday (7.30- 8.30pm)