Connemara men edge past Kilconly in entertaining tieJune 28, 2012 - 7:00am
An Cheathrú Rua 1-16
Caomhan O’Connell at Pearse Stadium
The patrons of Pearse Stadium who persevered for the final tie of a triple-header on Sunday afternoon were rewarded with an enthralling encounter that was worthy of drawing the curtain on a weekend of high-drama in the Senior Football Championship.
An Cheathrú Rua squeezed past a manful Kilconly effort, with the combined 1-13 kicked by brothers Cillín and Ciarán de Paor and Niall Ó Briain providing too much of a hurdle for the plucky underdogs to surmount.
An Cheathrú Rua made a good start which was well illustrated by their taking of the lead after just 14 seconds, Niall Ó Briain converting a sharp pass by Cillin de Paor to raise the first white flag. Livewire wing-forward Antaine Ó Conaighle epitomised the craft and determination of the Connemara men in the early exchanges and was involved in their next two scores.
He carried the ball at the heart of the Kilconly defence with gusto, combining with Seamus Ó Loideáin to allow for Ciaran de Paor to point before assisting for Cillin de Paor to set-up Peadar Ó Conghaile for the third of three impressive points in five minutes.
The fine early work of the men in red and black was quickly cancelled out as an industrious forward line of Kilconly rose quickly to the challenge. The talented John Paul Steede had already kicked a free in the third minute and then proceeded to kick a high-quality point from play five minutes later.
Padraic Moran similarly impressed with a well-taken brace of points which moved Kilconly in front in the 12th minute, by 0-4 to 0-3.
Seconds later, the margin should have been extended to four points.
Adrian Murphy bore down on goal but became bottled up by a scrambling defence. He slipped a hand-pass across to Moran whose quick-draw effort was gallantly blocked. This inspirational moment rejuvenated the attack of An Cheathrú Rua.
Ciaran de Paor drew the sides level with a free, before the Ó Briain tried an audacious lob which bounced off the top of the bar and went over for a point. Ó Briain was not to be denied for long as within a minute he had netted.
A hopeful long ball was misjudged by the Kilconly full-back line and Ó Briain found himself clean through on goal 25 yards out. Ó Briain – now operating at full-forward – stole through and drove the ball emphatically past Fergus Daly to put his side four points ahead.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.