Kilanerin best with late brace
Kilanerin 0-10 Raheens (Kildare) 0-8
Kilanerin overcame the dismissal of Matty Forde with six minutes to go to advance past Raheens of Kildare and into the AIB Leinster Club Intermediate football championship semi-final at Páirc Uí Shíocháin on Saturday.
The former All Star was on thin ice already and was given a final warning just seconds before his dismissal after delaying an opponent's free, a move that also earned him a shot in the face from the lucky yellow card recipient Alan Igoe.
However, after the throw-in to re-start the game, the most innocuous of fouls saw Forde off and sent the Kildare champions into somewhat over-eager celebrations. In truth, it threw them more than Kilanerin and it showed in the remainder of a game that was then tied at 0-8 apiece.
In the 61st minute Peter Hughes kicked a stunning point from the left wing after good build-up work by Niall Breen and Denis Jones. Then, three minutes into added time, Niall Hughes sent over a booming free to clinch the win and a place in the last four.
In all honesty the first-half was more fire and brimstone than classy fare. It was niggly, it was unnecessarily tetchy, and neither side really got into a rhythm. The Kildare men looked to go long with diagonals to Liam Power initially but soon abandoned that plan for a measured approach.
Kilanerin did nothing spectacular or different to their norm, despite this really being a step into the unknown, in terms of quality of opposition. They stuck to their usual approach and it paid dividends in the end.
Old warhorse Forde opened the scoring with a free in the second minute, but Raheens responded with a pair of placed balls from the boots of Paddy Woodgate and Alan Igoe.
Both Kilanerin midfielders scored classy points to leave their side 0-3 to 0-2 ahead at the end of the opening quarter, but Raheens dominated the next 15 minutes. They levelled through David Fitzpatrick but missed a simple free when Igoe cracked the upright from in front of the posts.
David Malone gave his side their second lead before Rory Hannick made it 0-5 to 0-3 in first-half added time. It was the only time, apart from when Hughes added the 63rd-minute clincher, that either side led by more than a point but the advantage lasted just seconds.
With the last kick of the first-half Mark Boland popped over a dead-ball after he was felled to leave the minimum between the sides at the break. Within six minutes of the re-start, Forde had turned a 0-5 to 0-4 deficit into a one-point lead with a brace.
Rory Donnelly hit back to level after four Raheens wides in a row, but Dean O'Toole put Kilanerin back in front. Again Malone equalised and his side looked to be in a position to push on when Liam Power made it 0-8 to 0-7 in the 49th minute.
Colm Kavanagh's point meant the game was tied for the seventh time with eight minutes left. The flashpoint that saw Igoe yellow-carded for a strike to the face of Matty Forde ended with a last warning for the Wexford man.
Mere seconds later he committed a run-of-the mill foul and was dismissed. However, Raheens lost focus completely in the final few minutes and Kilanerin moved clear to book a last four meeting with Westmeath side St. Mary's of Rochfordbridge.
Kilanerin: Tom Hughes; Aidan Jones, Brendan Hobbs, Richard Hughes; Gavin O'Toole, Colm Kavanagh (capt., 0-1), Denis Jones; Niall Breen (0-1), Niall Hughes (0-2, 1 free); Mark Boland (0-1 free), Matty Forde (0-3, 2 frees), Mark Gethings; Bobby Hughes, Peter Hughes (0-1), Dean O'Toole (0-1). Subs. - Tommy Boland for B. Hughes (28), Tomás Owley for R. Hughes (45), Emmet O'Toole for D. O'Toole (52), Conor Devitt for Gethings (58).
Raheens: Declan Campbell; Shane Crowley, Matthew Betts-Symonds, Tom Earley; John Jennings, Conor Earley, Thomas Dore; Rory Hannick (capt., 0-1), David Fitzpatrick (0-1); Alan Igoe (0-1 free), Paddy Woodgate (0-1 free), David Malone (0-2); Colm Power, Liam Power (0-1), Rory Donnelly (0-1). Subs. - Mark Waters for C. Power, black card (35), Gareth Byrne for Jennings (45), Michael McMahon for Malone, black card (60+2).
Referee: John Hickey (Carlow).