the first of the Joe Fox Tool and Plant Hire Intermediate Football Championship relegation semi finals took place at Hawkfield on Friday evening last and it was the boys from Kilcock, who only lost their senior status twelve months ago, at least guaranteed themselves intermediate football come next season with a comfortable win over a disappointing Straffan side, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Joe Fox Plant and Tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship Relegation Semi Final
A couple of early goals for Kilcock put them in the driving seat against a Straffan XV who were without the services of their county man, Rob Kelly, understood to be away on holidays.
Still it was Straffan who opend the brigher with poins from Rory Byrne and Austin Allen.
Kilcock replied when their goalkeeper Ciarán Heneghan converting a ‘45’ with the ease of a Stephen Cluxton kick, before Kilcock made the first of their major breakthroughs.
Attacking down the left wing, Paul O’Brien, with a penetrating run, set up full forward Philip Vesey who made no mistake from close range.
Austin Allen converted a free before the Kilcock attack struck again within a minute.
Midfielder, Eamonn Fitz-patrick, gained possession around the middle and ran at the heart of the Straffan defence, before off-loading to dangerman Brian Thornton who made no misake making it Kilcock 2-1 Straffan 0-3 after just twelve minutes.
Domhnall Ashe raised a white flag for Straffan but the ever busy and dangerous Philip Vesey split the posts mid-way through.
Austin Allen and James Devane reduced the gap but Jason O’Brien, bursting out of defence at pace, set up Brian Thornton for a point on 24.
Kenny Byrne and James Davane combined with the latter converting but Kilcock hit back on the break with Thornton again converting a free to leave it Kilcock 2-4 Straffan 0-7 at the break.
Prior to the commencement of the second half Kilcock went through a warm-up routine that included a variety of sprints and push-ups and it certainly did them no harm as they came out with all guns blazing with points from Brian Thornton (free) and Mark Maguire.
Kenny Byrne, doing all he could to drag Straffan back into the game, gained possession down the left wing cut in holding off a few defendeers before punching over to leave four between them but that was about as good as it got for Straffan as Kilcock stretched their lead with points from Paul O’Brien and Brian Thornton.
Austin Allen, as ever Straffan’s main scoring threat, added two but it was Kilcock who kicked on hitting five points on the trot to ensure they remain in the intermediate ranks on a score line of Kilcock 2-13 Straffan 0-10. One just had to wonder how exactly Kilcock got themselves into relegation trouble in the first place with a good sprinkling of decent footballers at their disposal.
Straffan will now play Kill to see who goes down to the junior ranks come next season. On this display, holidays or no holidays, Straffan will need to step up a couple of gears if they are to avoid that particular scenario.
Kilcock, Brian Thornton, 1-6 (3 frees), Philip Vesey 1-1. Ciarán Heneghan 0-1 (45), Marcus Duke 0-1, Cian Flanagan 0-1, Shane O’Rourke 0-1, Paul O’Brien 0-1, Mark Maguire 0-1.
Straffan, Austin Allen 0-5 (2 frees), James Devane 0-2, Domhnall Ashe 0-1, Kenny Byrne 0-1, Rory Byrne 0-1.
Ciaran Heneghan; David Duke, Ciarán Fitzpatrick, Jason O’Brien; Marcus Duke, Austin Tighe, Eoin Powderly; Eamonn Fitzpatrick, Mark Maguire; Mark Durkan, Cian Flanagan, Paul O’Brien; Shane O’Rourke, Brian Thornton, Philip Vesey. Subs, Neil Gannon for Mark Flanagan (42 minute); Cormac Davey for Jason O’Brien (50 minute); Eoin Flanagan for Philip Vesey (56).
Matthew Duggan; Brendan Ashe, Cian Gaynor, Stephen Donovan; Maurice Hanafin, Paul Moran, John Neean; Paul Donovan, Domhnall Ashe; John Hanafin, James Devane, Rory Byrne; Paul Nonan, Austin Allen, Hugh Breen.