Kilmore given hope before must-win tie
A fine second-half performance into the strong wind and rain helped Kilmore power to their best display of the campaign and a five-point victory over neighbours St. Fintan's in this Ashdown Park/Amber Springs Hotels Intermediate football championship Group B game at Tagoat on Sunday.
Kilmore 1-8 St. Fintan's 0-5
Kilmore may have won the bragging rights but they still face into a relegation play-off to preserve their status against St. Joseph's. Meanwhile for St. Fintan's, despite losing their second consecutive game they are through to the quarter-finals but not without huge concern as to their recent slump in form.
This was always going to come down to which side showed the real desire in dreadful weather conditions. True to say it was Kilmore who, despite their relegation plight, strove to produce a competent 60 minutes of football, being fully deserving of their six-point victory.
And it should stand to them in their relegation game, whereas for St. Fintan's their recent slump in form must be a huge concern, particularly with a difficult quarter-final facing them against Bannow-Ballymitty.
St. Fintan's opened impressively into the wind and rain with early points from Conor Sinnott and a Tomás Power free, while in between Power saw a goalbound lob rebound off the upright before eventually being cleared to safety.
Points from Liam Shannon and Tom Byrne had the sides level after ten minutes, but with St. Fintan's failing to score from the sixth minute, Kilmore powered on and added points through Paddy Byrne, Aaron Goff, Aaron Kielthy and Alan Jones to lead by 0-6 to 0-2 at the interval.
One expected St. Fintan's to ask questions of their opponents on the resumption after Paddy Byrne and Shane Sinnott had exchanged points.
But Kilmore were looking particularly strong all over the pitch, with Stevie Cousins, William Carley and Denis Kenny being particularly outstanding in defence, while Paddy Byrne, now operating in attack, and Aaron Goff carried a real threat.
After a Niall Moore 37th-minute point had reduced the deficit to 0-7 to 0-4, Byrne got on the end of a fine move to keep his composure before picking his spot in the corner of the net, leaving his side leading by 1-7 to 0-4 after 38 minutes.
As the half progressed Kilmore were always one step better than St. Fintan's who had Jack Pettit straight red carded on 50 minutes, following verbals with the referee.
Kilmore went on to remain in control despite having Tom Byrne dismissed on a second yellow card close to the finish, as Paddy Byrne (free) and Conor Sinnott exchanged late points.
Kilmore: Kevin Casey; Peter Shannon, Stevie Cousins, Martin Frayne; William Carley, Denis Kenny, Aaron Kielthy (0-1); Paddy Byrne (1-3, 0-1 free), Kevin Keating; Conor Moore, Tom Byrne (0-1), Derek Miskella; Liam Shannon (0-1), Aaron Goff (0-1), Alan Jones (0-1). Subs. - Graham Mernagh for Miskella, Rory Cardiff for L. Shannon.
St. Fintan's: Patrick McDonnell; Adrian Murphy, Frank Staples, Jimmy Staples; Peter Goldsmith, Jack Pettit, Kevin Day; Paddy Keane, Pádraig Doyle; Pádraic Rossiter (0-1), Conor Sinnott (0-2), Niall Moore (0-1); Shane Sinnott (0-1), Cathal O'Brien, Tomás Power (0-1 free). Subs. - Robert Coakley for Day, Jason Pettit for Doyle, Davy Moore for N. Moore.
Referee: Derek Murphy (St. Martin's).