SIX days previously Monas-terevin looked to be on their way to booking a place in this year’s Joe Fox Tool & Plant Hire IFC decider but a late rally by Robertstown earned last season’s junior champions another bite of the cherry and on Friday last in Hawkfield that replay saw the boys from the south of county make no mistake at the second time of asking winning on a score line of Monasterevin 1-11 Robertstown 0-6.
Joe Fox Plant and tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship Semi Final Replay
That score line suggests a comfortable win and that in fact is what it was, although slow to get into their stride once goalkeeper, Colm McCabe, knocked over a 45 with ease after some 12 minutes, the hot favourites took control and dominated for long periods.
A fine attendance on a cold but lovely night for a championship game, Monasterevin, sporting the colours of Offaly’s Rhode (home club of manager Pascal Kellehan) added to their opening score after minor star, Wayne Fitzpatrick was fouled as he was about to pull the trigger and Leonard Havens did the rest.
Robertstown were struggling, particularly around the middle and when they did get possession and set up an attack they found the tight marking Monasterevin defence difficult to unlock.
Wayne Fitzpatrick made it 0-3 to 0-0 after 18 minutes and Mark Kelly added another soon after.
Last season’s junior champions were looking in real trouble and when Wayne Fitzpatrick hit a lovely curling shot off his left peg the lead had increased to five with just five minutes to the break.
Finally Robertstown opened their account when a long ball in was fielded by Aidan Dunne, who was fouled, and the no. 14 duly popped over to make it 0-5 to 0-1 24 minutes.
A heavy ‘tackle’ on David Maher saw Mark Kelly pick up the first yellow of the night before Monasterevin kicked on with points from James Gorry and another brilliant effort from Fitzpatrick to make it Monasterevin 0-7 Robertstown 0-1 at the break.
That lead was increased within 30 seconds of the resumption, Gary Kelly setting up Wayne Fitzpatrick.
Robertstown did come more into the game at this stage but still found the Monasterevin defence standing strong with John Dempsey and Mark Cornish to the fore.
A brilliant move involving the impressive Paul Kelly, Mark Kelly and Gary Kelly saw the latter fire over.
Robertstown with a fine attack involving Damien Leeson, Aidan Dunne ended with Kevin Fitzpatrick failing to find the posts before a quickly taken free saw Robertstown with a goal chance but Brian Dowling’s effort was smothered by Colm McCabe.
Robertstown finally got their second point of the match when Anthony Moran found the posts and two more quickly followed from Joe Carthy and Adrian Dunne to make it 0-10 to 0-4.
Monasterevin, however, replied with a sweeping move from the back involving four players ending with Mark Kelly filling the net to make it Monasterevin 1-10 Robertstown 0-5.
A point each was exchanged before referee Spencer brought proceeding to an end wth Monasterevin booking a final spot and a tilt with Raheens next weekend.
Monasterevin, Wayne Fitzpatrick 0-4, Mark Kelly 1-1, Leonard Havens 0-2 (2 frees), Gary Kelly 0-1, Cormac Brady 0-1, Colm McCabe 0-1 (45), James Gorry 0-1.
Robertstown, Aidan Dunne 0-4 (4 frees), Anthony Moran 0-1, Joe Carthy 0-1.
Colm McCabe; Tristan Kennedy, John Dempsey, David Maher; Paul Kelly,Mark Cornish, James Gorry; Leonard Havens, Christy Dempsey; Shane O’Loughlin, John Stapleton, Anthony Kavanagh; Mark Kelly, Wayne Fitzpatrick, Gary Kelly. Subs: Gary Holligan for Anthony Kavanagh (52 minute); Cormac Brady for Mark Kelly (60 minute).
Shane Ward; Adrian McNamee, Niall Kane, Evan Dempsey; Brian Dowling, Mark Kelly, Anthony Moran (cpt); John O’Sullivan, Damien Leeson; Peter Hogarty; Micky Moran, Kevin Fitzgerald; Joe Kavanagh, Aidan Dunne, Joe Carthy. Subs: Declan Percival for Joe Carthy (45 minute); Graham O’Sullivan for Kevin Fitzgerald (50 minute).