Masterclass from Evans and Keddy
A masterclass from Luke Evans and Ronan Keddy for Kilcoole helped their side to a comprehensive eight-point victory in the Intermediate hurling championship over an underwhelming Glenealy side in Dunbur Park on Saturday evening.
Evans and Keddy scored a total of 1-14 of Kilcoole’s scores to get the better of Glenealy, who had drawn with them in the league back in March.
Glenealy were looking to make it two wins from two championship games after their tight victory over Barndarrig the previous week, whereas this was Kilcoole’s first outing in this year’s championship and after last year’s semi-final defeat to Arklow Rock Parnells, they were certainly looking to go at least one better this year.
The game was full of wides from start to finish with the sides racking up 29 wides between them, Glenealy having 10 of those and Kilcoole accumulating 19.
Lee Dutton stuck over the first point of the game after 30 seconds. Glenealy’s tactics were evident early on. Get the ball to Gavin Byrne who would then float high balls up to full-forward Alan Conyard.
Byrne got his side’s first point of the game four minutes in, his only score from play. Chris O’Carroll’s puck outs were always targeting Eoin Keddy, who would gather the ball and run at the Glenealy defence.
If the attacks weren’t coming from Eoin Keddy, they were coming from Ronan Keddy who ran the midfield battle throughout. Points from these two stretched out their sides lead.
A Gavin Byrne free and a Barry McNabb score pulled the sides level 10 minutes in. It was a rather scrappy affair with both outfits finding it difficult to do the simple things, such as lift the ball from the deck.
With a lot of danger coming from Eoin Keddy at half-forward, Glenealy moved Declan Conyard across to mark him, and he dealt well with the Kilcoole man.
The men from the Goosebank netted with 17 minutes on the clock. A breakaway started by Evans, who played Ronan Keddy through on goal and he beat the experienced Joey Driver Snr to his left with a powerful strike.
The Kilcoole joy was short lived, as they conceded a goal just one minute later. Alan Conyard bagging his first with a great swivel and finish past O’Carroll.
The game was beginning to fade before Conyard netted his second to give his side a one-point advantage. A goalmouth scramble allowed Conyard to swipe at the sliotar with his left boot beyond the stranded O’Carroll.
Their lead didn’t last long however, as three points from Luke Evans and another by Eoin Keddy gave Kilcoole a three-point advantage.
There were many stoppages throughout the encounter, with players going down with injuries on both sides, which gave players from both sides a chance to get some much-needed fluids.
Referee Eugene Doherty blew his half-time whistle with Kilcoole having a two-point lead (1-10 to 2-5) but Glenealy weren’t out of the clash.
Kilcoole came out after the interval quickly though with scores from the Ronan Keddy and Luke Evans (two) extending their lead to five. Glenealy were struggling to get forward and create any reasonable opportunities as Kilcoole’s midfield were running the show.
Glenealy were also committing a lot of silly fouls with some unnecessary digs at the opponents which led to a few mini scuffles off the ball.
Kilcoole should have been out of sight in the second period as they racked up 14 wides in the half, and many of those from decent positions. Without Alan Conyard’s two well-taken chances, Glenealy would have been dead and buried early on.
Luke Evans pointed his 10th and 11th of the match to pull out to a seven-point advantage. Glenealy were tiring late on and struggling to keep with their opposition.
Things turned sour in additional time as a brawl in the centre of the pitch was short lived as the referee blew his full-time whistle to signal the end of the clash. A very good victory for a Kilcoole side who will be looking to go all the way this year.
Scorers - Kilcoole: Luke Evans 0-11 (6f, 1 65); Ronan Keddy 1-3; Eoin Keddy 0-3; Dara Keddy 0-1; Lee Dutton 0-1.
Glenealy: Gavin Byrne 0-6 (5f); Alan Conyard 2-0; Barry McNabb 0-1; Number 8 0-1.
KILCOOLE: Chris O’Carroll; Michael O’Brien, Vinny Quigley, Paddy O’Brien; Eoin O’Brien, Toby O’Brien, Dara Keddy; Ronan Keddy, Ciaran Doyle; Eoin Keddy, Gary Coady, Lee Dutton; Shane Evans, Luke Evans, Conor Toole. Subs: Adam Cummins, Marwan Machaalani.
GLENEALY: Joey Driver Sr; Oisin O’Neill, Colm O’Neill, Tony Doyle; Mick Byrne, Lee Kavanagh, Declan Conyard; Aaron Meade, Ross O’Brien; Killian Hogan, Kevin O’Halloran, Fionn MacLochlainn; Gavin Byrne, Alan Conyard, Barry McNabb.
REFEREE: Eugene Doherty