Match report of County Intermediate final   07/11/2012


KILLIMORDALY 0-17.......................AHASCRAGH-FOHENAGH 0-14

The 2012 County Intermediate Title goes to Killimordaly as they regain the title last won in 2006, and in the process head upwards to the senior grade for 2013. With every winner there must be a loser, and what a gallant performance it was from the Ahascragh-Fohenagh side who played with great heart and determination that one is sure that they will be back on the big stage again soon.

This game was one of the finest of the year in Galway club hurling and much credit to all involved. To the groundsmen in Kenny Park who had the pitch looking and playing great, and to the managment and players of both clubs who trained so hard all year to get into such a condition to do some of the wonderful hurling and skills we saw. Also special mention to the colourful supporters of both clubS involved as they really added to such a great atmosphere.

This game started off at a frantic pace with 7 points from play in the opening 7 minutes. Ahascragh-Fohenagh quenched any notions of stage fright as they came hot out of the traps and by the 3rd minute held a 0-3 to 0-0 lead, thanks to points from Kevin Gavin, Ciaran Mannion and Cathal Mannion. Paul Madden got the winners off the mark a minute later but Cathal Mannion pointed again on the 5th minute. The next two scores came from Killimordaly as both Niall Earls and Tomas Madden raised white flags to leave the score 0-4 to 0-3 in favour of Ahascragh-Fohenagh.

A point from wing back Luke Cosgrove doubled the east Galway's men lead, but that seemed to bring out the best of Killimordaly as they outscored their opponents by 0-8 to 0-2 for the rest of the half. That could even have been more as on the 11th minute Eanna Ryan had a great goal chance opportunity, but that was followed by points from Niall Earls (free), Eanna Ryan and Niall Earls from play. Ronan Kelly did get a response in on the 17th minute, but again Killimordaly pulled together a sequence of strong play that resulted in five unanswered points with Niall Earls (2), Clement Earls, Eanna Ryan and Paul Madden all hitting the target.

With the first half in injury time and his side down by 5 points, young Cathal Mannion slotted over a free to leave the half-time score: Kilimordaly 0-11, Ahascragh-Fohenagh 0-7.

Three points down at half-time against a team of such experience as Killimordaly, it was never going to be easy for the newcomers, and the fear was that Killimordaly could run away easy. But the Ahascragh-Fohenagh lads are a determined bunch and they hurled themselves right back into this match. They slowly started eating into the lead, and by the 20th minute of the second half they had levelled the tie. Now the doubt was on the Killimordaly side.
Ciaran Mannan and Luke Cosgrove got Ahascragh-Fohenagh off to a flying start after the interval with two well taken points. Niall Earls kept the Killimordaly scoreboard ticking over with a '65, but Cathal Mannion responded with two points for his side. Another Niall Earls free after 15 minutes had his side in front 0-13 to 0-11, but another Cathal Mannion free alongside a 3rd point from Ciaran Mannion levelled this tie with 10 minutes remaining. Killimordaly's Eanna Ryan did push them back in front on the 21st minute, but on the 26th minute Cathal Mannion with another free had it all square again. The game was now on a knife-edge with an apparent momentum with Ahascragh-Fohenagh.

There is no doubt that Killimordaly must have thought about last years lead lost to Moycullen and was it to happen all over again. But if they thought like that, they also thought that there was no way it would happen two years in a row. They played the final minutes of the game as if nothing was going to deny them their title with the positioning of Paul Madden into the inside line proving decisive. He scored a point on the 27th minute and another on the 28th minute. On the stroke of full time he missed a great goal chance and another point chance, but Eanna Ryan sealed the win with his 4th point of the day.

The final whistle blew to the jubilation of all in the green and white of Killimordaly, as the hurlers of Ahascragh-Fohenagh can proudly look back at a great year in which they have put their club firmly back into the minds of all in Galway hurling.

Paul Kilkenny, Conor McDonagh, Iomar Creaven, Alan Lawless, Paul Concannon, Keith Kennedy, David Concannon, Nigel Daly, Tomas Madden 0-1, Paul Madden 0-4, Declan Connolly, Eanna Ryan 0-4, Niall Earls 0-7 (0-3f, 0-1 '65), Clement Earls 0-1, Andrew Daly.
Subs: Conor Daly, Peter Monaghan, Shane Concannon, Darragh Cooney, David Skehill, James Daly, John McDonagh, John Duane, James Coen, Fergal Duane, David Broderick, Padraic Daly, Niall O'Kane, Aidan Heavey, Eanna Daly.

Donal Kelly, John Finnerty, John Kelly, Paul Gavin, Laurence Tully, Finbar Donellan, Luke Cosgrove 0-2, Michael Reynolds, Trevor Barrett, Kevin Gavin, Ronan Kelly 0-1, Cathal Mannion 0-7 (0-4 frees), Anthony Griffin, Ciaran Mannion 0-4, Jason Lohan.
Subs: Francis Mitchell, Padraic Mannion, Colm Freyne, Simon Doyle, Cormac Dervan, Michael Kelly, Stephen Smyth, Joe Bannerton, James Birch, Peter Birch, Emmet Brennan, Fergal Mulryan.

By The Man with the Cap
in Kenny Park, Sunday 4th November 2012

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