Kepak Roscommon SHC Semi-Final
Tremane 1-10 Four Roads 0-11
Tremane’s hurlers have qualified for their first senior hurling final in 25 years after surprising the hot pre-match favourites, Four Roads, in the first of this year’s semi-finals at Athleague last Sunday.
In very difficult conditions, with torrential rain falling for most of the game, Seamus Qualter’s men stuck to their task throughout and when Four Roads’ Donal Kelly was sent off on a second yellow card offence in the 42nd minute, the underdogs kicked on and got a vital match-winning goal from sub Noel Gately with ten minutes to go.
Tremane had immense performances from some of their main players to help see them over the line for this deserved win. Joe Brennan was majestic at centre half-back, halting a number of Four Roads attacks. Peter Kellehan was superb in midfield and up front Niall Kilroy was at his very best, causing the Four Roads defence no end of problems throughout. What a club player he has been in hurling and football over the past decade.
The terrible weather ensured that scores were hard to come by. By the first water break Tremane led by 0-4 to 0-3, with Kilroy on target with three points. The second quarter belonged to Four Roads. Micheal Kelly was playing well in defence and Mikey Lohan knocked over a couple of great points from play. At half-time the ‘Black and Amber’ led by 0-7 to 0-4.
On the resumption, when James Fitzmaurice and Cathal Dolan (free) extended the Four Roads lead, it looked as if they would pull away. But then Kelly was red-carded (he picked up two yellow cards in four minutes) and everything changed.
Three points on the spin from Kilroy (2) and Padraic Brennan narrowed the gap to two by the second water break, and with ten minutes to go Tremane made the vital breakthrough. Joe Brennan’s long ball broke to sub Noel Gately, and although he seemed to lose possession, he managed to steer the ball into the net while on his knees. Now Tremane were ahead for the first time in the game.
Two pointed frees by Cathal Dolan and a long-range free from Kilroy ensured that it was level (0-11 to 1-8) with four minutes left. Extra-time beckoned. However, Tremane would not be denied, and Kilroy pointed a free from 45 metres in the 58th minute. Then in injury-time Peter Kellehan lofted over a great score from 50 metres out.
Four Roads tried desperately to get the goal they needed if they were to avoid an unexpected defeat, but Tremane held out well. The final whistle brought the kind of celebrations that one normally only sees after a county final win, as players, management and supporters rejoiced in a famous victory for the club.
It will be Tremane’s first appearance in a final in 25 years, and they haven’t won it since 1980. They will get a chance to bridge that gap on Sunday week next.