FOR the fourth year on the trot a Kildare team will contest the final after the AIB Leinster Intermediate Club Football Championship after Monasterevan got the better of Dublin champions Cuala in a bitterly cold and wet St Conleth’s Park last Sunday afternoon, writes Ruth Chambers.
AIB Leinster Intermediate Club Championship Semi Final
The Blues, managed by former Offaly star Pascal Kellaghan, had seven points to spare over their Dublin rivals and were full value for the victory after a classy display.
Young Wayne Fitzpatrick was Monasterevan’s star attraction on the day. He chipped in with five points, four of those from play and one of those, just before the break, that was the score of the game.
During the early stages of this provincial semi final the teams were neck-in-neck, however by the end of the first quarter Monasterevan had opened up a 0-6 to 0-2 advantage.
Then followed Cuala’s purple patch though. The side from the capital hit four points in as many minutes to restore parity but there after the home side took control. By the break Monasterevin led 1-8 to 0-6 and after the turnaround Cuala, quite simply, had no answer for the Blues.
Cuala, who had lost the Dublin IFC final in 2010 and 2011, beat Fingallians in this year’s decider and would have been fancied to make a real impact at provincial level this year. However, on Sunday last they were forced to start without their star man Michael Fitzsimons, who was ruled out after having key hole surgery on a hip injury, and his talents were sorely missed. That said one wonders even had Fitzsimons been playing if Cuala could have coped with the power and talent of the Kildare team.
It was the Dalkey based side that got their names on the score sheet first last Sunday when David Treacy split the posts with four minutes on the clock but their early lead was short-lived when, a minute later, James Gorry’s free picked out Anthony Kavanagh and he split the posts.
Monasterevan soon got their noses in front when the mercurial Wayne Fitzpatrick got of the mark with six minutes played but Cuala responded through their goalkeeper Darren McBrien, who converted a free from 43 metres out to leave the score at 0-2 to 0-2.
The next four points went the way of Monasterevan, courtesy of Fitzpatrick (two), Lenny Havens (free) and Paul Kelly (free) to leave the scoreboard reading 0-6 to 0-2.
Monasterevan’s purple patch was followed directly by something similar from Cuala. The Dublin team struck four points in a row to leave the teams deadlocked with eight minutes of the half remaining.
Monasterevan though pounced for goal two minutes later and enjoyed a comfortable interlude advantage. A pass from Paul Kelly picked out Anthony Kavanagh, who spotted David Maher and he struck to the net to give his side a 1-6 to 0-6 lead.
Before the interval Kavanagh tagged on another before Wayne Fitzpatrick produced the score of the game when he struck over from out on the right sideline to leave the score at 1-8 to 0-6 at half time.
After the turnaround Monasterevan drew first blood when Shane O’Loughlin grabbed his first of three before John Sheanon responded for the Dubliners. Cuala’s challenge was well curtailed by the Kildare champs in the second, as Monasterevin dominated throughout. By the end of the third quarter the team in blue led 1-11 to 0-8 and further points from Mark Kelly, O’Loughlin and Fitzpatrick ensured a comfortable victory for Monasterevan.
They now march on to the final on December 2 against Louth intermediate champions O’Connell’s, a game that will most likely be played in Drogheda.
Monasterevan, Wayne Fitzpatrick 0-5 (1f), Shane O’Loughlin 0-3, David Maher 1-0, Anthony Kavanagh 0-2, Lenny Havens 0-2 (1f), Paul Kelly 0-1 (1f), Mark Kelly 0-1.
Cuala, David Treacy 0-3 (1f), Niall Carty 0-2 (2f), John Sheanon 0-2, Darren McBrien 0-1 (1f), Paul Schutte 0-1, Luke Keating 0-1.
Colm McCabe; Tristan Kennedy, John Dempsey, David Maher; Pau Kelly, Mark Cornish, James Gorry; Lenny Havens, Eoin Stapleton; Shane O’Loughlin, Anthony Kavanagh, Christy Dempsey; Mark Kelly, Wayne Fitzpatrick, Gary Kelly. Subs: Cormac Brady replaced G Kelly 58 mins, Gavin Holligan replaced M Kelly 62 mins.
Darren McBrien; Ronan Murdock, John Fitzsimons; Eoghan Breathnach, Conor Mullaly, Mark Schutte, Adam Hudson; James Power, Scott O’Brien; Luke Keating, David Treacy, John Sheanon; Paul Schutte, Niall Carty, Conor O’Brien. Subs: Donal Lehman replaced J Power 30 mins, James Power replaced N Carty 54 mins, Sean Moran replaced A Hudson 58 mins.
Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).