Carrickshock G.A.A. 19 Samhain 2016
Leinster Intermediate Club Championship Semi-Final 19/11/2016
Kiltale (Meath) 2-9 Carrickshock 2-12
Carrickshock came through a tough encounter against Meath champions Kiltale on Saturday in Trim to book their place in the Leinster Final. They knew this was going to be a tough challenge – Kiltale had racked up a score of 2-24 in the previous round while annihilating Wexford champions Oylegate by 16 points. The Meath senior champions were hoping to contest a 3rd Leinster final in a row, and in the process gain revenge for narrow defeats against Kilkenny opponents Mullinavat and Bennettsbridge in the previous deciders.
The tone for the game was set early on – a nice-to-meet-you exchange between Carrickshock’s John Murphy and Kiltale’s Mark O’Sullivan resulted in 2 yellow cards. After a couple of early points were equally shared Darragh Brennan was put through on goal thanks to a great pass from John Power and made no mistake. But Kiltale responded immediately: wing back James Kelly made a weaving run from deep and gave Jamie Power in goal no chance. 1-1 each after 5 minutes. And within a minute there were another 2 goal chances at the other end – John Power broke through on goal but couldn’t manage a clean strike and saw it go narrowly wide before he turned provider again. He somehow managed to rise the ball while on the ground himself and this time put Mark O’Dwyer through and he finished expertly. Carrickshock forwards were in control and 3 points from Michael Rice, John Butler and Kevin Farrell, all from difficult positions and under extreme pressure, left it 2-4 to 1-1 after 16 minutes
At the other end John Dalton was dominating the space in front of the Shocks goal and the Kiltale attack was literally being snuffed out. But Kiltale did start to crowd the space around the middle and limited the supply into the Shocks forwards for the remainder of the half. Coming up to half-time they finally managed to make some inroads on the Carrickshock defence and earned 2 frees to leave it 2-5 to 1-3 at the break.
On the restart Kiltale forwards showed some of the form they’d shown in their win over Oylegate – 5 points in the first 8 minutes, 4 from dangerman Jack Regan, had the sides level and Carrickshock looked to be in trouble.
But John Butler lifted the siege with a point from a tight angle after great work from Darragh Brennan. This set the Shocks off on a run that would ultimately decide the contest. They racked up 7 points without reply, and all had to be of top quality given the pressure the Kiltale backs were exerting. The highlight was when Richie Power, introduced after 12 minutes, grabbed a puckout from the clouds and created some space to rifle it over the bar. Michael Rice too was on a spree – his 3rd (4th in total) during this spell of dominance put Carrickshock 7 ahead and seemingly in the driving seat with 10 minutes left.
But Kiltale weren’t giving up without a fight – they upped their intensity and stemmed the tide. Amazingly their backs weren’t penalised during the whole 2nd half despite some tackles that were on the edge to say the least. Midfielder Padraig Kelly broke through to send over a point and bring it back to a 2 score game close to full time. It gave them a glimmer of hope. When Anthony Forde broke from midfield to be met by what looked to be a fair shoulder by John Murphy it resulted in John’s 2nd yellow. Unknown to all except the referee, almost 7 minutes of injury time were to be added and, down to 14 men, Carrickshock were going to have dig deep to hold out. A bizarre sequence saw a close-in free, then a hop-ball, then a free-in on the Carrickshock 21 in quick succession. Jack Regan, who after his earlier blitz had been well marshalled by John Cahill, drove an unstoppable shot to the net, leaving just a goal between them with 34 minutes gone.
There were another 3 nail-biting minutes in store for the travelling Carrickshock faithful before the final whistle and passage to the Leinster Final. At the end of it may have been a bit too close for comfort, but a score of 2-12, all from play, against a mean defence was a healthy return.
Celbridge will provide the final opposition on Saturday week, 3rd December , in Newbridge.
Carrickshock – Jamie Power, David Franks, John Dalton, James Grace; John Cahill, Niall Tennyson, John Murphy; Brian Donavan, Damien Walsh (0-1); John Power Stoneyford (0-1), Michael Rice (0-4), Kevin Farrell (0-1); Darragh Brennan (1-1), Mark O’Dwyer (1-1), John Butler (0-2); Subs – Richie Power 0-1 (for M O’Dwyer), Michael Rohan (for J Butler), Shane Power (for J Cahill), John Power Lismatigue (for K Farrell), Ciaran Lennon (for J Grace).
Kiltale – Shane McGann, Anthony Donnelly, David Donoghue, Ciaran Ennis; Stephen Donoghue, Ronan Ryan, James Kelly (1-0); Anthony Forde, Padraig Kelly (0-1); Eamonn Ryan (0-1), Cathal McCabe, Mark O’Sullivan (0-1); Peter Durnin, Ross Ryan, Jack Regan (1-5 frees, 0-1 play); Subs – Padraig O’Donoghue (for D O’Donoghue), Fearghal McCabe (for E Ryan).