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Game won in the first half for Kilmihil

Kilmihil 0-10   Shannon Gaels 0-7

KILMIHIL will definitely play senior football in 2010, while Shannon Gaels’ future as a senior club is less certain. While the 2008 intermediate champions have a senior B semi-final to think about, their neighbours have a relegation semi-final and the spectre of demotion to dwell upon.
Kilmihil won because they made much better use of the strong wind advantage in Cooraclare last Friday evening, while they were also much more keen for battle than their opponents.

They won the game in the first half, leading 0-8 to 0-2 up at half-time. After that they decided to hold what they had, playing Mark O’Connell as an extra defender and eventually held out. However, this tactic could have backfired as they invited the Gaels onto them and were it not for nine second-half wides, the losers could have reeled in Kilmihil.
One of the wides was a decent goal chance, which John Paul O’Neill kicked wide 11 minutes into the second half. O’Neill started on the bench, although he was brought on for Michael Coughlan late in the first half. Ironically, Coughlan was playing reasonably well at the time.
Having won the toss and opted to play with the wind, Kilmihil were soon 0-4 to 0-0 up. Shane Ryan, who put over three points from play, was first on the scoreboard, followed by Timmy Ryan, who pointed a free won by Mark O’Connell.
Ryan added a point from play, after a Gaels’ kick into the wind screwed back downfield and into his arms before he kicked a free, following a foul on Paul Reidy. Placed by Coughlan, Michael O’Donoghue kicked the Gaels’ first score but Timmy Ryan, Mangan and David Ryan soon had Kilmihil 0-8 to 0-1 up.
John Dillon put over the Gaels’ second point from a free, four minutes before the break.
Shannon Gaels dominated most of the second-half possession but didn’t score enough to make it count. In fact, they trailed 0-10 to 0-5 as the game entered injury time, with Shane Tubridy, David Neylon and O’Donoghue having scored.
James Egan, following a Timmy Ryan run scored Kilmihil’s first second-half point in the fourth minute, while Mangan kicked their second from a 30th minute free.
O’Donoghue pointed the Gaels’ remaining scores from frees. Earlier Noel Kennedy, David Neylon, Shane Tubridy, Brian O’Shea and John Paul O’Neill had shot a succession of wides, while a goal effort from Tubridy was diverted for a 45’.
While neither team could claim that they played particularly well, Timmy Ryan, Shane Mangan and Mark O’Connell produced consistent displays for Kilmihil, who unlike their opponents, can relax a bit as the footballing year heads to a conclusion.

Kilmihil: Johnny O’Sullivan, Alan Normoyle, Declan O’Shea, Conor Crowley, Derek O’Connell, Karl Downes, Rory Mulhally; Timmy Ryan and Mark O’Connell; Philip Ryan, Declan Downes, Paul Reidy, James Egan, Shane Mangan and David Ryan.
Subs: Anthony Downes for James Egan, Colm O’Gorman for Paul Reidy and Enda O’Halloran for Declan Downes.
Scorers: Timmy Ryan 0-4, (0-3f), Shane Mangan 0-4, (0-1f), David Ryan and James Egan 0-1 each.
Wides: 5; Frees won: 25.
Yellow cards: Derek O’Connell, Mark O’Connell and Timmy Ryan.
“We are looking at progressing over a number of years so that we can challenge strongly at senior level,” Mick Darby, Kilmihil manager.
Shannon Gaels: Keith Ryan, Dessie Boland, David Neylon, Tomás Madigan, Brian Bermingham, John Neylon, Micheál Lorigan; Michael O’Donoghue and Noel Kennedy; John Bermingham, Shane Tubridy, John Dillon, Brian Cunningham, Declan Power and Michael Coughlan.
Subs: John Paul O’Neill for Michael Coughlan, Brian O’Shea for John Dillon, Tomás Cleary for Dessie Boland and Francis Cleary for Brian Cunningham.
Scorers: Michael O’Donoghue 0-4, (0-3f), Shane Tubridy and David Neylon 0-1 each, John Dillon 0-1f.
Wides: 11; Frees won: 20; 45’s: 1
Yellow cards: Brian Bermingham and John Bermingham.
Red card: Brian Bermingham
“It will be hard to get lads going now but we have no choice. It’s a dog fight now to avoid relegation,” Josie O’Shea, Shannon Gaels manager.
Referee: Michael McGann (Michael Cusacks).

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