Coolkenno sur­vive tough Kil­macanogue chal­lenge

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT - DANIEL HAGAN

COOLKENNO es­caped an early scare against Kil­macanogue to claim a slen­der three point vic­tory in this ding dong In­ter­me­di­ate Cham­pi­onship Group 2 clash.

Kil­macanogue were look­ing to bounce back af­ter their de­feat to a strong Ti­na­hely side in their open­ing game.

They be­gan the game the much stronger out­fit as Luke O Cal­laghan got the first score of the bout.

It was a scrappy be­gin­ning but Kil­macanogue were all over Coolkenno for the first five min­utes, as they went three points ahead.

Coolkenno posted their first score seven min­utes in through full for­ward Conor Walker.

A minute later Kil­macanogue had a goal chance as Cor­mac Kelly prob­a­bly should have taken his chance ear­lier but the at­tempt was smoth­ered by the Coolkenno de­fence.

Coolkenno did grow more into the game for the next ten min­utes, pulling it back to all square af­ter points from Walker and John Ka­vanagh.

Kil­macanogue had six dif­fer­ent scor­ers as they went six points to four up.

Coolkenno, who won their open­ing game against Ballinacor, pumped plenty of balls into their full for­ward line. Donal Tuohy swept up the ma­jor­ity of these balls look­ing head and shoul­ders above a lot of his coun­ter­parts.

Coolkenno man­aged to level the clash on 18 min­utes, and man­u­fac­tured a goal op­por­tu­nity as John Ka­vanagh had his strike par­ried away by goal­keeper Niall King.

Kil­macanogue cap­tain Si­mon Doyle led his side by ex­am­ple with his com­mit­ment and fight through­out the match.

The lead was grasped by Coolkenno for the first time on 22 min­utes as Conor Walker pointed for the third time.

But this ad­van­tage didn’t last long as Kil­macanogue hit the back of the net. Si­mon Doyle’s shot was punched off the line by Donal Doyle, but the ball fell into Sam O Cal­laghan’s chest, who fin­ished with glee.

Goalscorer O’Cal­laghan was caus­ing lots of prob­lems for the Coolkenno de­fence with his move­ment.

Kil­macanogue were re­ally up for this fight, their fight­ing spirit and tena­cious tack­ling be­ing a ma­jor fea­ture of their first half per­for­mance.

Coolkenno would have been dis­ap­pointed with their first half per­for­mance, their slow start could have been costly on another day.

With the scores 1-6 to 0-7 at the start of the sec­ond half, the clash was on a knife edge as the game could have swung in ei­ther di­rec­tion.

Kil­macanogue made an al­ter­ation at the break, with Mick Whe­lan re­plac­ing Ga­van Burke lead­ing to a tac­ti­cal change as cap­tain Si­mon Doyle drop­ping deeper.

Coolkenno opened the half with two early scores through Ea­monn Ros­siter and Conor Walker. This lev­elled up the tie.

They then took the lead with Pau­ric Cole­man scor­ing his first to make Kil­macanogue’s half time lead count for noth­ing.

Kil­mac’s Josh O’Cal­laghan had a chance to square up the game yet again but his free was poor and sailed well wide of the up­right.

They would later rue many missed chances as they hit 10 wides dur­ing the game.

If some of these had been con­verted into scores the scoreboard would have told a com­pletely dif­fer­ent story.

In fact, they didn’t post a sec­ond half score un­til the 12th minute of the half as goalscorer Sam O’Cal­laghan pointed af­ter a long burst­ing run by Donal Tuohy.

They were put ahead by their trusty cap­tain Doyle.

Donal Tuohy again showed his value to his side as he was clean­ing up so many balls.

He added drives into more at­tack­ing po­si­tions to his al­ready out­stand­ing per­for­mance.

Coolkenno were dealt a blow as their mid­fielder Pa­trick Dal­ton was forced off mid­way through the sec­ond half with an in­jury that he was strug­gling with for sev­eral min­utes.

Coolkenno’s re­place­ments didn’t weaken their side, and in­evitably this was the dif­fer­ence in the end.

Two of these sub­sti­tu­tions linked up ex­cel­lently to de­liver the killer blow to Kil­macanogue in the 51st minute. David Cole’s point at­tempt came up short, but Dal­ton’s re­place­ment Paul Mur­phy leaped high­est to punch the ball into the back of Niall King’s net.

This was the turn­ing point in the game as it gave them their largest lead of three points.

Kil­macanogue’s heads went down for the next cou­ple of min­utes af­ter their great first half per­for­mance counted for noth­ing.

Coolkenno ex­cel­lently killed off the game with their slow pos­ses­sion and play­ing keep ball.

Robert Co­nan did have a slight sniff at goal as his shot went just over the bar for a point. He could have car­ried the ball a lit­tle fur­ther to give him­self a bet­ter chance of burst­ing the net.

In the dy­ing sec­onds of the game Kil­macanogue did at­tempt to score the goal to level the match, with Mick Whe­lan com­ing clos­est.

But it was too lit­tle to late for Mark King’s side who did even­tu­ally rue their missed chances. They will be ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed with the de­feat par­tic­u­larly af­ter their strong start.

Damien McMa­hon’s team will def­i­nitely be happy to have two wins from two un­der their belt, but will have to start games stronger if they are to go all the way in this year’s cham­pi­onship.

Fi­nal Score: Coolkenno 1-13, Kil­macanogue 1-10

Scor­ers: Coolkenno – Conor Walker 0-4; Ea­monn Ros­siter 0-4 (3f); Paul Mur­phy 1-0; Pau­ric Cole­man 0-2; John Ka­vanagh 0-1; Pa­trick Dal­ton 0-1; Ben Jack­man 0-1.

Kil­macanogue – Sam O’Cal­laghan 1-3; Luke O’Cal­laghan 0-1; Niall Mel­don 0-1; Cor­mac Kelly 0-1; An­drew Mol­loy 0-1; Aaron Creavin 0-1; Si­mon Doyle 0-1; Robert Co­nan 0-1.

Coolkenno: John Cor­co­ran; Donal Doyle, Cathal Ros­siter, Shane Walker; Jim Cushe, Robert Keogh, Philip Tim­mon; Pa­trick Dal­ton, James Gre­gan; John Ka­vanagh, Ea­monn Ros­siter, Ben Jack­man; Eoghan Dolan, Pau­ric Cole­man, Conor Walker. Subs: David Cole for C Ros­siter (26 mins, inj); Don Jack­man for Doyle (38 mins); Niall Bai­ley for Tim­mons (42 mins); Paul Mur­phy for Dal­ton (46 mins, inj); Cor­mac Byrne for B Jack­man (58 mins).

Kil­macanogue: Niall King; Donal Tuohy, Paddy O’Don­nell, Michael Master­son; Ga­van Burke, Cian Raf­ferty, Luke O’Cal­laghan; An­drew Mol­loy, Robert Co­nan; Josh O’Cal­laghan, Niall Mel­don, Si­mon Doyle; Cor­mac Kelly, Aaron Creavin, Sam O’Cal­laghan. Subs: Mick Whe­lan for Burke (HT); Ben O’Cal­laghan for Mol­loy (34 mins); Mar­cus Raf­ferty for Cole­man (54 mins).

Ref­eree – Eu­gene O Brien (Aughrim)

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