Coolkenno survive tough Kilmacanogue challenge
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)