Kilmaley 1-17 Inagh-Kilnamona 2-11
THE switch of Diarmuid McMahon to midfield and the introduction of 17-year-old Dara Keane to the attack helped Kilmaley to a merited three-point win over their neighbours Inagh-Kilnamona in their senior hurling quarter-final at Cusack Park on Sunday.
McMahon and Colin Lynch dominated around the middle of the field in the final quarter, while Keane had a memorable senior championship debut, scoring 1-3 from play.
The goal came after great work by McMahon and Lynch, who combined well, before Lynch got the ball inside to the minor star.
Inagh-Kilnamona made the better start and after going behind to the game’s opening score, a point from a Kenneth Kennedy free in the first minute, they struck for 1-2 without reply, the goal coming from another of the county’s up and coming young stars, 17-year-old Niall Arthur.
The goal helped Inagh-Kilnamona to lead by the minimum margin at half-time when the score was 1-6 to 0-8. Another notable feature of the opening half were the points scored by Niall Arthur and Kenneth Kennedy from line balls.
When the second half got underway, Inagh-Kilnamona had points from Dermot Gannon and Tony Carmody to stretch their lead to a goal.
Three points on the trot from Lynch, Diarmuid McMahon and Keane had the sides level, 0-12 for Kilmaley to 1-9, as the game moved towards the three-quarter stage.
Inagh-Kilnamona went back in front when Tony Carmody rose highest to powerfully strike a cross from a Niall Arthur line ball to the net but within a minute they were level again, thanks to Keane’s goal. Kenneth Kennedy then put Kilmaley in front but Ger Arthur levelled from a 65’ and they were level with 10 minutes to play.
Kilmaley now had the upperhand and the combination of experience and youth was proving too much for their neighbours. McMahon and Lynch were dominating at midfield and Keane was causing huge problems up front.
The trio had the final four points of the game for their team with the last two coming from Keane as his side sealed a merited win and moved himself, Colin McGuane and Michael O’Neill a step closer to a minor and senior double.
Indeed, Kilmaley’s winning margin should have been greater but with only goalie Patrick Kelly to beat, O’Neill shot straight at the Inagh-Kilnamona keeper in the final minute.
Others to impress for the winners were Alan Markham and Colin McGuane. Inagh-Kilnamona’s best were David Hegarty and Eamonn Glynn, while Dermot Gannon and Cathal Lafferty got through some good work in the opening half.
Kilmaley: Seamus Hurley; Seán Talty, Anthony Cahill, Noel Casey; Eoin Burke, Alan Markham, Colin McGuane; Conor McMahon, Colin Lynch; Diarmuid McMahon, Conor Clancy, Brian McMahon; Padraig Talty, Kenneth Kennedy, Conor Neylon.
Subs: Dara Keane for P Talty (40 minutes), Dermot Neylon for Clancy (57 minutes) and Michael O’Neill for C Neylon (60 minutes).
Scorers: Dara Keane (1-3), Kenneth Kennedy (0-6, 0-4f, 1 line ball), Colin Lynch (0-3), Diarmuid McMahon (0-2), Alan Markham (free), Brian McMahon and Conor Neylon (0-1 each).
Frees for: 11. Wides: 7.
Bookings: Conor McMahon (47 minutes).
“Inagh-Kilnamona are a very good team. We had gone through their team and we saw that they had lots of talented players. Our second half improved from the first, which is what we wanted. Dara Keane made an immediate impact.” Eugene McMahon, Kilmaley.
Inagh-Kilnamona: Patrick Kelly; Milo Keane, Jamie Davin, Dermot Lynch; Eamonn Glynn, Ronan O’Looney, David Hegarty; Colm Pilkington, Tony Carmody; Dermot Gannon, Cathal Lafferty, Tomás Kelly; Niall Arthur, Ger Arthur, Conor Tierney.
Subs: Eoin Vaughan for Pilkington (47 minutes), Brian Glynn for O’Looney (50 minutes), Shane Griffin for Gannon (56 minutes) and Gary Lafferty for Davin (inj, 60 minutes).
Scorers: Ger Arthur (0-5, 0-3f), Niall Arthur (1-1, 0-1 line ball), Tony Carmody (1-1), Dermot Gannon (0-3) and Patrick Kelly (0-1f).
Frees for: 12. Wides: 9. 65s: 1.
Bookings: Dermot Gannon (34 minutes) and Eoin Vaughan (50 minutes).
“We are only two years in existence and we need to step up more. We have to be cuter and smarter on the ball. It doesn’t happen overnight. We must keep working and our day will come but right now, we are gutted.” Eugene Foudy, Inagh-Kilnamona.
Referee: Johnnie Healy, Smith O’Brien’s.