INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 0-9 St. Senan’s 1-14. A battling performance from our Pallas Plastering-sponsored intermediate footballers ultimately fell short against a very strong St. Senan’s side in the quarter final of the Intermediate Football Championship at the weekend. But the club have broken new ground; this was the first time we had ever reached the knockout stages at this level and we went toe-to-toe with a side who were playing senior football in 2019. For 50 minutes, there was nothing between the teams, with a late goal proving crucial for the West side.
St. Senan’s did start slightly brighter and although we had quite a bit of possession early doors, our opponents were that bit more clinical in the opening stages and kicked the first two points of the day. But we settled, and began to get to grips with things in the middle third, with a towering performance from Cathal Downes one of the highlights of the day. When Conor Staff was fouled after a weaving run through the defence, Peter Nash was able to kick our opening score of the day. St. Senan’s responded with another point of their own but Darren O’Connell was beginning to cause plenty of problems in the inside forward line while the link play from the likes of Tony McCarthy, Cathal Downes and Liam O’Sullivan was impressive. Cathal was winning some kickouts phenomenally in the middle of the field and he would follow this up with an absolutely monster score off his right foot to reduce the gap to just a single point once again.
We were a point behind at the water break but started brightly on the restart. A ball was fed into Darren O’Connell who escaped his marker but the referee decided to pull the play back for an earlier foul; with the free converted by Peter Nash to level the game once again. St. Senan’s would again bounce back and would kick two scores on the trot but the next point was another fine score, one to rival Cathal’s earlier effort. Liam O’Sullivan and Darragh Deegan linked up together down the right flank and Liam unleashed an unbelievable shot which flew over the bar, with the help of the right-hand upright. It was a brilliantly-struck shot as Liam was falling to the ground as he took the shot on. This reduced the gap to just a point again but St. Senan’s would finish the half the stronger and would extend their lead by the break: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 0-4 St. Senan’s 0-7.
We were three points behind but had competed very well and knew we were well in the contest, and started the second half extremely brightly. We began to move the ball at pace, opening up the St. Senan’s defence, while we pressured their kickout extremely effectively. A fine team move saw us cut through our opponents’ defensive cover with Tony McCarthy, Peter Nash and Cathal Downes all involved before the ball was recycled back to Mícheál Cuddihy and the minor star kicked the ball high and over the bar for the opening score of the second half. And we would have the next score also. Liam O’Sullivan was a handful in attack all afternoon, and when he looked to race clear, there was no option for the St. Senan’s back but to foul him and Peter Nash again kicked the free to reduce the gap to a single point.
We had our opponents slightly worried and the likes of Lorcan O’Leary and Brian Howard in defence were beginning to get on top in their respective battles, and the platform was there for us to perform a shock. But St. Senan’s would kick the next two scores to break our flow somewhat. We had kicked one monster score in the first half and Tony McCarthy nearly bettered this in the second half into the wind, with a brilliant point from distance to cut the gap again and this was followed up with a fine point from play as Darren O’Connell linked
up with Peter Nash, who stepped away from his marker and popped the ball over the bar. St. Senan’s did hit another score as we headed into the final water break two points adrift.
We went for broke in the final quarter to try and reverse the deficit and sadly, the breaks went the way of our opponents. They would hit a goal which would prove to be crucial and as we began to chase goals of our own to get back into the game, they were also able to tag on a couple of points on the counter attack. It was a strong finish from St. Senan’s, as you would expect from such an experienced side, but it was only in those final ten minutes that any bit of a gap opened.
It was a disappointing end to what was a battling performance; but overall, this has been a positive season. We maintained our Intermediate status once again and went one step further than in 2019 by making a quarter-final. There is definitely quality within the ranks and a platform to build upon into the future. Huge thanks must go to the players for all their efforts during the season and to the management team of Killian O’Leary, Pat Galvin, John Barry, Damien O’Brien and Alan Fitzgerald. Thanks must also go to Mark Lane for his work this year and to Éanna McGarrigle for assisting with stats on matchday.
Team: Jamie Hickey; Brian Howard, Lorcan O’Leary, Ryan Kelly; Liam O’Sullivan (0-1), Peter Nash (0-5, 0-4 frees), James Pomeroy; Tony McCarthy (0-1), Cathal Downes (0-1), Shaun Barry; Darragh Deegan, Conor Staff, Paudi Hartigan; Darren O’Connell, Mícheál Cuddihy (0-1)
Subs: Keel Moloney for Paudi Hartigan; Mossy Sheehan for Mícheál Cuddihy; Barry Walsh for Ryan Kelly; Johnny McHale for Darren O’Connell; Matthew Lucey for Conor Staff
CITY JUNIOR B HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 2-12 Mungret/St. Paul’s 1-8. Our Seven Sisters-sponsored junior B hurlers marched into yet another City Final, after a victory over Mungret in a sun-drenched Crecora. Perhaps the final scoreline didn’t fully reflect the dominance that we felt we enjoyed, as there was an element of wayward shooting, but this was a comprehensive victory, limiting our opponents to just a single score in the second half.
We opened the scoring when Luke Guinane linked up with Martin Nunan, Martin firing over the crossbar for the first of many scores during the game for the inside man. We enjoyed plenty of possession in the early stages but were perhaps guilty of slightly over-complicating things and our final pass wasn’t as precise as it needed to be, after a bit of a break since our last game. Our opponents levelled the game up with a point from play, before taking the lead with another. We did have goal chances early in the half as a Luke Guinane shot was deflected out for a ’65 by the goalkeeper, minutes before Martin Nunan had half a sniff of a goal chance which went just wide. Martin did level things up with another point from play before the veteran, Mikey Dillon, landed a point from way out the field to restore our lead.
The team has a nice blend of youth and experience but it was two of the wise old heads who linked up for the next score, with Mikey again involved. He found Brendan Meskell in around the 20 metre line; Brendan showed great hands to catch cleanly before swivelling and converting the score. Brendan O’Shea and Adrian Garvey were getting on a lot of ball around the middle of the field, while Evan Considine was holding things together well at the edge of the square while the pace of Darren Whelan was a real threat down the left flank. Mungret responded with a free from play before Martin hit his third point of the first half. Our opponents would then enjoy their best spell of the game and hit two points in a row, one from play and one from a ’65 to level the game once more.
It looked like Darren Whelan had hit a goal just before the water break but it was adjudged to have gone wide by referee Eamonn Phelan but Darren made amends just after the water break. This was a wonderfully-slick team move which showed the team’s full capabilities: James Mason found Danny O’Sullivan with an excellent puckout and Danny knocked it down for the run of Brendan O’Shea. Brendan raced through the middle before offloading to Darren Whelan, and Darren rattled the back of the net for the game’s first goal! However, Mungret responded immediately with a green flag of their own! They came straight down the field, opened our defence and up before their forward sent a shot low into the bottom corner. And only the reactions of James Mason denied them a second goal moments later, as he diverted the shot away from goal!
But Mungret were enjoying a period of dominance and it looked as if some of our profligacy in front of goal was going to come back to haunt us. Mungret took the lead with a point from play before opening a two-point advantage when they followed that up with a free. However, Martin Nunan settled us again when he danced away from his marker and popped his fourth point from play over the bar. And just before the break, the game turned on its head once more as Mikey Dillon brilliantly caught a puckout amongst a group of players before launching a ball towards goal. The sliotar travelled all the way through and into the back of the net to give us a two-point half-time lead: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 2-6 Mungret/St. Paul’s 1-7.
Although we would hit a lot of wides in the second half also, we exerted complete control of the game and completely snuffed out Mungret’s attacking threat. We dominated on puckouts on both sides of the pitch and this gave us the platform to really control the match. Darragh O’Brien battled excellently throughout, Matthew Lucey was constantly out in front of his man while the likes of substitutes Brian Howard and James Pomeroy got on a lot of ball and linked up well with Adrian Garvey and Darren Whelan. Luke Guinane opened the scoring in the second half to give us a three-point lead and he would be denied a goal shortly after, with Martin Nunan going close with the follow-up.
James Pomeroy made an immediate impact when he came off the bench, scoring a point with his very first touch, but his pace and energy caused our opponents serious problems, especially in the severe heat. He would be involved in our next score aswell, another lovely team move. Keel Moloney took the ball out of defence, left it off to James, who drew the man before finding Adrian Garvey and Adrian made no mistake by splitting the uprights. And we would go six points to the good when Martin Nunan got his first score of the second half. Mungret would get the next score, their one and only point in the second half, and a fine point it was too, a superb effort from long range.
We did see a couple more efforts go astray but Martin Nunan was in deadly form in around the full-forward line and he would finish the game off style, with his sixth and seventh points from play; a fine tally at any level and one which capped off a fine individual performance but there were fine displays all over the pitch, and still a lot more to come from this group as they look forward to retaining their City title next weekend! Well done to all players and management, and best of luck next week against the winners of Na Piarsaigh and Ballybrown!
Team: James Mason; Jai Chaudri, Evan Considine, Matthew Lucey; Kieran O’Brien, Keel Moloney, Darragh O’Brien; Brendan O’Shea, Adrian Garvey (0-1); Mikey Dillon (1-1), Danny O’Sullivan, Darren Whelan (1-0); Luke Guinane (0-1), Brendan Meskell (0-1), Martin Nunan (0-7)
Subs: Brian Howard for Danny O’Sullivan (34 mins); James Pomeroy (0-1) for Mikey Dillon (34 mins); Ryan Kelly for Luke Guinane (47 mins); Martin Neville for Matthew Lucey (47 mins); Naoise McGarrigle for Brendan Meskell (55 mins)
MINOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 2-15 Glenroe 4-13. Our minor hurlers played out a classic against Glenroe on Wednesday evening but unfortunately came out on the wrong side of this result in Mick Neville Park. It is also heartbreaking to come out on the wrong side of a final but this was a performance from which they can take a lot of heart, despite the defeat. We had enjoyed victory against Glenroe earlier in the campaign and the men from the South had learned from that match, and were just able to edge past us in this encounter. But well done to all players and management for their efforts throughout the season!
U-14 HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 2-11 Knockaderry 3-2. Our U-14s enjoyed another fine win as they defeated Knockaderry on Wednesday evening which means they have made it four wins from four in the group stages. Well done to all players and mentors!
U-16 HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Our U-16s, in the top tier of Championship, have a vital encounter against Cappamore to look forward to on Wednesday evening; with a win being enough to see them into the knockout stages. Best of luck to all involved!
U-16 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD FINAL: Our U-16 footballers also have a Shield final to look forward to this week as they take on Mungret/St. Paul’s on Monday in Old Christians. Best of luck to all involved!