Mulryan Construction IFC Semi-Final: Kilmore 0-15 Fuerty 2-8
A point from former Roscommon underage star Colm Garvey in the third minute of stoppage time saw Kilmore complete a quite incredible late surge to qualify for the Intermediate Championship Final at the expense of Fuerty in what was a heart-stopping thriller at Enfield.
Kilmore’s legendary championship spirit and refusal to lie down was plain for all to see in what was a nail biting final ten minutes. Indeed Fuerty looked to have secured a place in the final when the best player on the pitch, Niall Kilroy scored a quite breathtaking point on the run in the 60th minute to edge his side ahead.
But not to be outdone, Kilmore surged downfield and another former Roscommon minor star, Paul Garvey (brother of Colm) levelled the scores with a fantastic point from 40 metres with the outside of his left foot. Surely it would be a draw now. But no, Kilmore had one more trick up their sleeves. Derek Connellan lined up a free 45 metres out in the 63rd minute. Incredibly, Colm Garvey was lurking 20 metres away with not a Fuerty player in sight. A simple pass from Connellan and Garvey did the rest. Indeed, Fuerty could have salvaged a draw less than a minute later but Gearóid Ennis’ effort for a point drifted wide and Kilmore were through in a welter of excitement.
Pre-match favourites Fuerty had only themselves to blame as they gave away the ball easily far too often and up front they were relying almost totally of the brilliance of Niall Kilroy and it just wasn’t enough on the day. But all credit to Kilmore, what a championship team they are, and who will bet against them in the final now?
Played in very blustery conditions with frequent squally showers, the sides served up a very entertaining game. Fuerty had the edge in the opening half and against the breeze they went in leading by three points 2-3 to 0-6.
The goals came in the 13th minute, a brilliant solo effort from Niall Kilroy, and in the 19th minute when Darragh Mullen found the top corner after a long ball in from Brendan Mullen. Kilmore were second best, although they were keeping in touch with Derek Connellan on song from frees (3) and Paul Garvey kicking two fine points from play.
But Kilmore dug in on the restart and made it a real battle. By the 45th minute the sides were level at 2-5 to 0-11 with Derek Connellan (2 frees), Paul Garvey (2) and, Ray Caslin on target for Kilmore, while Niall Kilroy kicked two great points for Fuerty.
It was nip and tuck from there to the finish as both sides looked for those all important scores. Peter Kellehan (a super point) and Niall Kilroy (a fisted effort) gave Fuerty the edge by the 51st minute. But Kilmore were on a roll and would not be denied. Derek Connellan pointed a free, and then when Dara Feeley stroked over a ’45 into the wind you knew that there would be a tight finish. Niall Kilroy thought he has won it with that brilliant point but the Garvey brothers had other ideas and Kilmore came late to snatch that final place.
Best for Kilmore on a day they will not forget in a while were Colm Garvey, Jack Sharkey, Dermot Foley, Derek Connellan, Dara Feeley and Paul Garvey who was in superb form. For a shell-shocked Fuerty, Philip Neilan played well at full-back, Tom Bannon, Peter Kellehan and Thomas Clayton were also impressive in defence. Niall Keenan did well in snatches at midfield while up front Niall Kilroy played superbly but he had little assistance and there lies one of the main reasons why Fuerty are now out of the Intermediate Football Championship.
Kilmore: Ollie Burke; Mark Connellan, Jack Sharkey, Damien Tiernan; Joe Garvey, Colm Garvey (0-1), Kevin Caslin; Dermot Foley, Pat Caslin; Ray Caslin (0-2), Gary Connellan, Derek Connellan (0-6, 5 frees); John Donohue, Dara Feeley (0-1,’45), Paul Garvey (0-5, 4 frees). Subs: Liam Caslin for G Connellan (47), Cathal Carney for Pat Caslin (49).
Fuerty: Luke Byrne; Adam Whyte, Philip Neilan, Peter Kellehan (0-1); Sean Melia, Tom Bannon, Thomas Clayton; Brendan Mullen, Niall Keenan (0-2); Peter Leahy, Eamon Bannon, Darragh Mullen (1-0); Gearóid Ennis, Niall Kilroy (1-5, 1 free), Aengus Lyons. Subs: Eoin Whyte for Melia (h/t), Fran Hanlon for T Bannon (47), Christy Leahy for P Leahy (51), Sean Melia for Keenan (61, black card).
Referee: Brendan Beirne