INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 1-10 Mountcollins 0-15. And so our first ever year at the Intermediate grade in football comes to an end! It ends on a disappointing note, but safety is secured and our Intermediate status for 2020 is preserved. Mountcollins started the brighter and they kicked the first two scores of the game, but from that point, we had much the better of the first half. Conor Staff kicked our first score of the game, a lovely effort with his left foot which landed just over the crossbar. Darragh Deegan then had a goal chance saved shortly after, but the ball was eventually worked back to Conor, to level the game with his second point, this time off his right foot. We took the lead when Cathal Downes was fouled and Peter Nash popped the free over the bar.

We were getting joy with strong running through the centre of the Mountcollins defence, the likes of Darren O’Connell, Cathal Downes and Dylan Corrigan able to burst holes through the middle. When Darren was fouled just outside the ’45, Cathal converted with an absolutely beautiful strike off the ground. He repeated the trick a few minutes later from even further out, again after another foul on Darren. This was a great weapon to have in our armoury but we were also creating goal chances, and Dylan Corrigan was unfortunate to see his delicate effort come back off the post with the keeper beaten. Darren O’Connell soon extended our lead out to four points with an excellent point, which meant that we had scored six without reply.

Mountcollins finally got in on the act again with a point from play, before Peter Nash kicked his second free of the game. We were well in control at this point, but this was perhaps not reflected on the scoreboard, particularly after Mountcollins added two points in quick succession as we approached the break. The men from the West were doing a decent job at subduing our lively inside forward line but we were posing questions elsewhere and the work rate from the likes of Dylan Corrigan, James Pomeroy and Cathal Downes was exemplary.

Those two points coming into the break were a blow, but we then struck for the game’s only goal in what was the move of the game. Cathal Downes drove at the heart of the Mountcollins defence again, leaving defenders for dead, he linked up with Kyle Hayes who popped the pass to Dylan Corrigan in space and this time Dylan made no mistake, burying the ball past the keeper. We had another sniff of a goal chance moments later as Darragh Deegan bore down on goal but his left-footed effort went right across the face of goal and wide. Mountcollins would go on to get the last point of the first half to leave the half-time score: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 1-7 Mountcollins 0-6.

We had been the better side in the first half and perhaps the extent of our dominance wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard but to be fair to Mountcollins, they were certainly the better side in the second half. They were really fighting for their lives and roared into the second half with renewed vigour and intensity. They upped the pace to a ferocious level and we weren’t able to live with it in the opening minutes of the second half as they rattled over a handful of scores in quick succession. They put us under severe pressure and kicked a number of points without reply. We had to dig deep to stem the tide and a turning point did eventually come when Mountcollins got a goal chance of their own.

They worked the ball through the lines at pace, eventually popping the pass to the man in space in front of goal but John Chawke produced a magnificent save, tipping the ball around

the post for a ’45. It was a superb save which kept us in the game, as a goal at that point would have given them a six-point lead, which may have been a killer blow. Mountcollins did land the ’45 to move ahead by more than a single score for the first time. However, around this point, we began to exert a bit of control around the middle again but unfortunately kicked a couple of wides when the chances presented themselves. Mountcollins kicked another point, but would then not score for the remainder of the game as they produced a heroic rearguard action.

Darragh Deegan got us back in action with a powerful run down on the right and a lovely clipped point on the angle and we really started to pressurise their kickout again. However, with time ticking away, it always seemed likely that a goal would be needed and Mountcollins were happy to concede frees as long as a goal chance was not created. Cathal Downes landed another free to reduce the gap to just a goal again. We threw everything at them and won a free 20 metres out. Mountcollins put everyone on the line so Peter Nash kicked the point and again, we looked to pressurise the kickout. Twice Kyle Hayes reached into the skies to win clean possession on the Mountcollins kickout, but we weren’t able to work that final, clearcut goalscoring opportunity as Mountcollins defended valiantly.

The referee, Kieran O’Flaherty, blew his final whistle which meant relief for Mountcollins as they avoided relegation following a powerful second half performance. Well done to Mountcollins, they were deserving winners on the day. It was a disappointing way to end the season, particularly after a very promising first half, but we came up against a side who showed all their experience at this grade in the second half.

There are a huge number of learnings to take from this first year of Intermediate football, the step-up in standard from Junior is absolutely huge. We were more than competitive but mistakes are certainly more brutally punished at this higher level. However, we are not far away and there were certainly a lot of positives to take, as we stepped up to compete with some of the best and most experienced teams at this grade. We did play an attractive brand of football, a lot of young players came in to play Championship for the first time in 2019 and there is plenty to build on for next year! Many thanks to the management team of Mark Lane, Killian O’Leary, John Barry, Damien O’Brien and Alan Fitzgerald for their efforts throughout the year and obviously, many thanks to the players for what they have given the club. We look forward to another of Intermediate football in 2010!

Team: John Chawke; Kevin O’Connell, Shaun Barry, Barry Walsh; James Pomeroy, Lorcan O’Leary, Mossy Sheehan; Tony McCarthy, Conor Staff, Darren O’Connell (0-1); Dylan Corrigan (1-0), Darragh Deegan (0-1), Cathal Downes (0-3, all frees); Peter Nash (0-3, all frees), Kyle Hayes

Subs: Liam O’Sullivan for Barry Walsh (47 mins)

Panel: Paudie Walsh, Jack Mullane, Michéal Keating, Darren Lane, Matthew Lucey, Mark Curran, Naoise McGarrigle

PREMIER INTERMEDIATE HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Our hurlers return to action next Saturday afternoon as they take on Cappamore in the Gaelic Grounds at 4.15pm, as the first part of a double header: the senior clash between Patrickswell and Adare is set to follow. Cappamore have won two games on the bounce and are back in the hunt for a place in the semi-final, which, luckily, we have already secured. We last faced Cappamore in

Championship in a pair of matches back in 2015, where they defeated us in an Intermediate Quarter-Final replay which, coincidently, was also played in the Gaelic Grounds prior to a clash between Patrickswell and Adare. Cappamore came out on top in a 6-goal thriller that day but hopefully the honours will be going our way on Saturday!

MINOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 6-16 South Liberties 1-3. Our minor hurlers had a big win in the City/East Minor Hurling Championship on Friday night, as they travelled to South Liberties and racked up a big score in the process. We also received a walkover from Cappamore on Tuesday nights. This means that we have picked up four points in the space of a week, and these two wins mean we are right in contention for a place in the semi-final with two games remaining. We still have Caherline and Pallasgreen to play, and wins in these two games would mean that we are guaranteed a place in a semi-final.

CLUB LOTTO: The numbers for this week’s club lotto in the Corner House were 6, 17, 29 and 31. There was no winner of the overall draw, and the prize fund increases to €3,100 for next week’s draw in Clancy’s. The winners of the €25 lucky dips were: Ciadagh Kelly, Audrey Kenrick, David O’Connor and Dominic Quilty.

Please continue to support the club lotto, a vital source of income for the club!

CLUB LIMERICK DRAW: We had a winner in the July edition of the Club Limerick draw as M & A O’Sullivan took home €250! There is no better way to support both and show our players that you are supporting them all the way! Kildimo Pallaskenry GAA is very fortunate to have a number of players involved with county teams in both hurling and football across a number of grades. Join the CLUB Limerick Draw online or with any club committee member. Support your club and county teams!