Kil­coole’s hopes alive and well af­ter vic­tory

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - MICK HA­GAN at New­cas­tle

KIL­COOLE 3-14 RATH­NEW 2-5 KIL­COOLE’S

Darcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship am­bi­tions are alive and well af­ter they recorded a com­pre­hen­sive 12-point vic­tory over a game Rath­new side in New­cas­tle on Fri­day evening.

The vic­tory sees Ciaran Dut­ton’s men bounce back from a re­cent de­feat to Dunlavin but leaves Rath­new star­ing at a rel­e­ga­tion play-off.

This was a keenly con­tested game. Both teams suf­fered de­feats last time out. Dunlavin de­feated Kil­coole in a dra­matic fin­ish in Ash­ford while Rath­new suf­fered a de­feat at the hands of Carnew Em­mets so this lat­est en­counter was vi­tal for both camps go­ing for­ward.

Kil­coole had a dream start when their first at­tack brought a goal from Lee Dut­ton in the open­ing minute and they kept the pres­sure on early with De­clan Roper and Ro­nan Keddy adding a point each.

A typ­i­cal Rath­new rally saw them surge for­ward and Johnny Byrne sent a long ball to­wards the Kil­coole goal which saw the ball hop over the bar af­ter de­ceiv­ing goal­keeper Glen Tighe to leave the score read­ing 1-2 to 0-1 af­ter six min­utes.

The pre-match favourites stepped up a gear and went on to dis­play some of the flair they have showed dur­ing the year with three unan­swered points though Jack Bel­lamy, dual player Ro­nan Keddy and Danny Ka­vanagh.

A brief rally saw Rath­new take the game to their op­po­nents, but they were un­able to break down a solid de­fence for vi­tal scores.

Kil­coole struck for the real killer blow was when top scorer Matthew Gil­bert crashed home the sec­ond goal be­fore help­ing him­self to a point from play to leave the men from the Goose­bank with a com­mand­ing lead of 2-6 to 0-1 af­ter 20 min­utes.

Rath­new, renowned for their spirit when it comes to cham­pi­onship, upped the tempo and hit a golden spell which saw Johnny Byrne add two points and fol­low­ing good work by vet­er­ans

Trevor Doyle and Stephen Byrne saw full-for­ward Keith Doyle score a goal while Stephen Byrne added a point to re­duce the deficit to 2-7 to 1-4.

Af­ter the break, Rath­new launched the first at­tack and fol­low­ing a long ball into the goal­mouth the ref­eree blew his whis­tle and, af­ter some con­fu­sion, con­sulted with his um­pires and later with the lines­man, be­fore award­ing a penalty which Dean Franey dis­patched su­perbly to leave the score read­ing 2-7 to 2-4 af­ter four min­utes of the sec­ond half.

At this stage Kil­coole took the game to their op­po­nents once more and were guilty of miss­ing some scor­ing chances be­fore Danny Ka­vanagh and Jack Bel­lamy added a point each. Then fol­low­ing a Rath­new at­tack Johnny Byrne won a free which Dy­lan Smith pointed which proved to be the Villagers’ last score with Kil­coole lead­ing 2-9 to 2-5.

The next ten min­utes saw the play flow from end to end but scores were scarce as both de­fences were on top, par­tic­u­larly the Kil­coole men as they de­nied the run­ners-up at least three goal chances.

The re­main­der of the game saw Kil­coole dom­i­nate around the field as the Rath­new chal­lenge faded. The fit­ness level of the win­ners played a big part as they ran rings around their op­po­nents dur­ing the last quar­ter and they went on to add an­other 1-4, the goal from Matthew Gil­bert.

The fi­nal round of games will see Kil­coole play Carnew Em­mets to de­cide the plac­ing in the group, while Rath­new face Donard-The Glen in a bot­tom of the ta­ble clash.

Scor­ers – Kil­coole: Matthew Gil­bert 2-2, Lee Dut­ton 1- 0, Danny Ka­vanagh 0-5 (2f), Ro­nan Keddy 0-2, De­clan Roper 0-2, Jack Bel­lamy 0-2, Eoin Keddy 0-1.

Rath­new: Keith Doyle 1-0, Dean Franey 1-0 (p), Johnny Byrne 0-3, Stephen Byrne 0-1, Dy­lan Smith 0-1 (f).

Scor­ers – Kil­coole: Matthew Gil­bert 2-2, Lee Dut­ton 1-0, Danny Ka­vanagh 0-5 (2f), Ro­nan Keddy 0-2 De­clan Roper 0-2, Jack Bel­lamy 0-2, Eoin Keddy 0-1.

Rath­new: Keith Doyle 1-0, Dean Franey 1-0 (p), Johnny Byrne 0-3, Stephen Byrne 0-1, Dy­lan Smith 0-1 (f).

KIL­COOLE: Glen Tighe; Keith Reynolds, Matthew Man­nix, Luke O’Reilly; Eoin Han­ney, Dara Keddy, Jack Bel­lamy; Ro­nan Keddy, Cor­mac Byrne; Eoin Keddy, Danny Ka­vanagh, Luke Evans; Lee Dut­ton, Matt Gil­bert, De­clan Roper. Subs: Matthew Kennedy for D Roper, David Kelly for K Reynolds, Chris Car­roll for L Dut­ton, Vin­nie Quigley for E Han­ney.

RATH­NEW: Don Doyle; Jamie O’Con­nor, Luke Cor­co­ran, Shane Man­ley; An­drew O’Brien, Philly O’Neill, Trevor Doyle; Dara Hosey, Ciaran Cof­fey; Dean Franey, Ro­nan Doyle, Johnny Byrne; Dy­lan Smith, Keith Doyle, Stephen Byrne.

REF­EREE: John O’Brien (New­cas­tle)

Michael Healy of An­nacurra un­der pres­sure from Cathal Ros­siter of Coolkenno.

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