Kilcoole too strong
Goals from Evans and Kavanagh prove fatal for Laragh
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.