Carnew continue their winning ways
GAELIC GAMES INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Carnew 3-9, Kilbride 0-10: Whatever was to happen elsewhere in a tight finish to the Intermediate football championship there was going to be no slip by the favourites – and no fairytale ending for the underdogs at Baltinglass on Friday night. Robert Doyle’s pep-talk before the ‘off’ told us that much.
Goals at crucial times gave Carnew victory over Kilbride and saw them top their group and go straight into the final. In an incredible finish to the League four teams were fighting it out for the last place in the semi-finals. Score difference was going to be allimportant so the last three matches had to be played at the same time at different venues.
Carnew were through anyway but needed to beat Kilbride to be sure of finishing on top of the table and the manager was making sure they were fully fired-up for the task on hand. A win for Kilbride could have put them into a three-way battle for that one qualifying spot.
Two points by Seánie Kinsella got Carnew off to a great start but Kilbride came back with points by Niall Donohue and Ciarán Jones.
Joe Murphy pointed a free for Carnew but Ciarán Jones had another Kilbride point and the sides were level after 18 minutes.
Wing-back Brian Osborne powered through for a great goal on 20 minutes and Carnew were in front to stay.
Around the field a lively Kilbride team were winning a lot of ball and were putting a lot of pressure on the Carnew defence.
Two points by Ciarán Jones left only a point between the sides again but with a minute to go to half-time Owen Coleman struck for Carnew’s second killer goal.
Wing-back Martin Donoghue closed the first-half scoring with a good point for Kilbride but the Wexford border side went in leading by 2-3 to 0-6 at half-time.
Ciarán Jones boxed over an early point in the second-half to leave two between the sides and for a time it looked as if Kilbride could still get the win they needed.
However, points by Owen Coleman (2), Brian Osborne and Timmy Collins saw Carnew pull away again.
Kilbride staged a late rally and points by Paul Keogh, Jones and Mick Kelly saw them cut the deficit again.
Carnew were not to be denied; the ever reliable Joe Murphy pointed a free and when sub John Kavanagh struck for their third goal it was all over.
The Carnew defence was very sound and left no way through for the goal that Kilbride so badly needed. Vinny Flaherty did a good job of marking on the dangerous Ciarán Jones while Willie Collins, just back after a long lay-off; Mark Collins, and Shane Doyle were equally good. Teenager Brian Osborne gave a man of the match display in the No. 7 jersey, scored one of the best goals witnessed at the venue this year and added a point when it was most needed in the second-half.
Carnew did not have their expected superiority at midfield, mostly because the pace of Patrick Donoghue and Niall Toolis caused them problems. All six Carnew forwards had their moments with Seánie Kinsella the early star and Owen Coleman taking over that role in the second-half. Graham Keogh was back for his first football championship match since his bad injury at work.
Kilbride put up a good show and on this form will have no trouble in holding on to their place in the grade. Austin Tisdale, Diarmuid Haughian and two very lively wing-backs Martin and Niall Donoghue were best in defence. Ciarán Jones was again their top scorer up front.
Carnew lost their goalie Ted Kennedy with a hamstring injury early on but his position was filled more than adequately by that veteran of many battles John Joe Myers.