Kil­coole too strong

Goals from Evans and Ka­vanagh prove fa­tal for Laragh

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE at Aughrim

KIL­COOLE will take on Dunlavin in the Darcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nal af­ter Ciaran Dut­ton’s men proved clin­i­cal in dis­pos­ing of Decky Byrne’s Laragh in their qau­rter-fi­nal bat­tle in Aughrim last Sun­day morn­ing.

Goals from Luke Evans and Danny Ka­vanagh and strong per­for­mances from De­clan Roper, Cor­mac Byrne, Eoin Keddy and Matt Gil­bert en­sured that the men from the Goose­bank would not be suf­fer­ing a sec­ond heart­break af­ter they were dis­patched from the In­ter­me­di­ate hurl­ing by Barn­dar­rig at the semi-fi­nal stage with week pre­vi­ous.

Laragh will be dis­ap­pointed with their over­all per­for­mance here. They were un­able to find the key to un­lock a well-or­gan­ised Kil­coole de­fence mar­shalled by the sturdy Matt Kennedy at six and Matt Man­nix at full-back while Jack Bel­lamy and Dara Keddy of­fered plenty of threat up the wings.

A very help­ful 1-1 in the open­ing five min­utes helped Kil­coole get off to a great start. A Ronan Keddy ball af­ter 20 sec­onds was col­lected by Matt Gil­bert at full-for­ward and he swung it over off the trusty left.

A long ball from De­clan Roper to Luke Evans saw the half-for­ward in space and he dis­patched sweetly be­yond Peter Mer­ri­gan in the Laragh net with Decky Byrne’s men get­ting off the mark through a John Nolan free in between both Kil­coole scores.

This was a very en­gag­ing game with Laragh ask­ing plenty of ques­tions but rarely find­ing the an­swers they were look­ing for while Kil­coole, faced with the head-scratch­ing co­nun­drum that is Steve Olo­han play­ing as sweeper in front of his full-back line, proved that they have the in­tel­li­gence and foot­balling abil­ity to dis­man­tle the ma­jor­ity of de­fen­sive plans set out to thwart them.

A foul on the nippy and nat­u­ral tal­ent Jack Bel­lamy by Jack Dunne gave the roam­ing Danny Ka­vanagh a chance from a free and he obliged su­perbly to open up a 1-2 to 0-1 lead af­ter 10 but David Mi­ley bagged a won­der­ful score to lift Laragh hearts be­fore Stephen Con­way added an­other to make it 1-2 to 0-3 and com­plete a rea­son­able re­cov­ery from a night­mare start.

It al­ways seemed in this game that Kil­coole could find their scores with sig­nif­i­cantly more ease than their Laragh coun­ter­parts who were forced to work re­ally hard to break down that Kil­coole de­fence.

A Danny Ka­vanagh free was an­swered by a Mark Mi­ley mi­nor from play with 27 gone be­fore De­clan Roper turned on the style and hoisted over two mas­sive scores in the con­text of the game as Kil­coole went look­ing for a re­ally strong fin­ish to the half where they had en­joyed the strong breeze at their backs.

A Mark Mi­ley shot dropped short and a David Mi­ley wide were fol­lowed by a Danny Ka­vanagh pointed free and the men from the Goose­bank took a 1-6 to 0-4 lead into the break with a bat­tle an­tic­i­pated in the sec­ond half.

Laragh were level within eight min­utes as they set­tled into the sec­ond half with the wind at their backs. Points from David Mi­ley and Jack Dunne were fol­lowed by a Steve Olo­han goal from the penalty spot with eight on the clock and it was game on big time in the county grounds.

A blis­ter­ing run from Eoin Keddy got Kil­coole up and run­ning on the score­board in the sec­ond half and re­turned them to the lead they would never re­lin­quish for the re­main­der of this game and they pushed on to open up a 1-10 to 1-6 lead af­ter 21 min­utes through points from the al­ways im­pres­sive Ronan Keddy, Danny Ka­vanagh mo­ments af­ter Matt Gil­bert had al­most cracked the cross­bar with a rasper at the Red­nagh Hill end, and Gil­bert him­self from a free.

Time was start­ing to run out for Laragh in a big way.

They cre­ated a mag­i­cal goal chance on 23 but David Mi­ley’s shot was mag­nif­i­cently saved by Glen Tighe in the Kil­coole goal. John Nolan pointed to make it 1-10 to 1-7 and leave just a ma­jor between them but Ki­coole were just that bit bet­ter on the day and a Danny Ka­vanagh con­verted penalty af­ter 29 knocked the stuff­ing out of the Laragh chal­lenge.

John Nolan kept bat­tling un­til the end and had a goal chance go abeg­ging late on be­fore clos­ing out the scor­ing with a point to make it 2-10 to 1-8 in favour of Kil­coole who go on to face the men of Dunlavin in the semi-fi­nals in what should be an ex­cel­lent game of foot­ball.

Scor­ers – Kil­coole: Danny Ka­vanagh 1-4 (p, 2f), Luke Evans 1-0, Matt Gil­bert 0-2 (1f), De­clan Roper 0-2, Eoin Keddy 0-1, Ronan Keddy 0-1.

Laragh: David Mi­ley 0-3, Steve Olo­han 1-0 (p), John Nolan 0-2 (1f), Stephen Con­way 0-1, Jack Dunne 0-1.

KIL­COOLE: Glen Tighe; Luke Reilly, Matt Man­nix, Keith Reynolds; Dara Keddy, Matt Kennedy, Jack Bel­lamy; Ronan Keddy, Cor­mac Byrne; Eoin Keddy, Matt Gil­bert, Luke Evans; Lee Dut­ton, Danny Ka­vanagh, De­clan Roper. Subs: Vin­nie Quigley

LARAGH: Peter Mer­ri­gan; Bren­dan Ward, Gary Cullen, Ian Mer­ri­gan; Aaron Lyn­ham, Craig McCoy, Jack Dunne; David McDon­ald, Damien Han­lon; David Mi­ley, John Nolan, Mark Cullen; Steve Olo­han, Mark Mi­ley, Stephen Con­way. Subs: Shane Whit­low.

REF­EREE: Bren­dan Fur­long (Ti­na­hely)

Kil­coole man­ager Ciaran Dut­ton ad­dresses his troops.

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