Kilrush ensure winner-takes-all tie with Kilmore

Kilrush 2-17 Naomh Éanna (Gorey) 1-10

ILRUSH faced off in a showdown with Kilmore for the last place in the Quarterfinals of Group B of the Whizzy Internet Intermediate ‘A’ Football Championship after defeating Naomh Éanna in Monamolin on Sunday.

They came into this game knowing that a failure to perform would put them in a bad position going into the final round of games.

However, it’s all ahead of them now after comfortably sawing off the Gorey side.

There will be some relief that relegation is completely off the table for Kilrush now and they can perhaps relax and play their best against Kilmore.

A draw won’t be enough given the opposition’s favorable points difference, but they would have taken that position before the start of the weekend.

Here, too, Gorey had the opportunity to slow down to be on the safe side. However, that loss means their final game against St Mary’s (Rosslare) is nothing more than a glorified challenge game with eyes firmly set on a relegation shootout against the group bottoms in a couple of weeks.

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Kilrush is a fun team that attacks with speed and outnumbers. They make themselves vulnerable to quick counterattacks, but their strength probably lies in being aggressive and trying.

They appeared to be in complete control after 29 minutes of that game. The teams were even after 12 minutes as Shane Tomkins, Seán Kirwan and James Byrne all met Kilrush while Eoin Conroy, Eoin McGuckin and Jack Cullen responded at the other end.

However, when PJ Nolan’s dipping mark broke off Stephen Kenny and “Tucker” Kinsella blitzed home, Kilrush took a lead they would never lose.

It was 3-1 to 4-0 at the end of the first quarter, but with PJ Nolan, Kenny (two), Kinsella, Seán Bookey and Garry Doran all on target, their side extended that lead to six.

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When Kirwan ran through and Tomkins fed in for the second goal in the 29th minute, Kilrush looked on course for a comfortable win. However, Gorey had a purple blotch spreading to either side of the interval.

McGuckin and Gearóid Cullen reduced the deficit to six at halftime (2-9 to 0-9) and Kilrush scored just two points in the first 14 minutes of the second period when their radar went off.

Meanwhile, Gorey’s long ball paid off and McGuckin hammered Conroy’s searching pass into the net in the 41st minute.

When McGuckin slammed past two minutes later, only four separated the sides (2-11 to 1-10). But Gorey failed to score in the last quarter as Kilrush sauntered clear, with Kirwan (two), Byrne, PJ Nolan and substitutes Colm Fortune and Martin Byrne all on target as they clinched the win.

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Kilrush: Eoghan Murphy; Peter O’Neill, Frank Lancaster, James Lancaster; Garry Doran (0-1), Tommy Devereux, Tom Byrne; Shane Tomkins (1-1), Edmond Kenny; Seán Kirwan (captain, 0-3, 1 free), James Byrne (0-3), Tomás Kinsella (1-1); Seán Bookey (0-1), PJ Nolan (0-3), Stephen Kenny (0-2, 1 mark). subs. – Colm Fortune (0-1) for F. Lancaster (49), Martin Byrne (0-1) for PJ Nolan (55), Jack Nolan for S. Kenny (55), Tomás Kirwan for G. Doran (57).

Naomh Eanna: Mick Molloy; Oran Fitzpatrick, Cian Kenny, Eoin Conroy (0-1); Paddy Dwyer, Darragh Cullen, Daragh Canavan; Jack Cullen (0-1), Jack Cushe; Sean Doyle (0-1), Gary Molloy, Shane Flood; Gearóid Cullen (0-3, 2 frees), Eoin McGuckin (captain, 1-4, 0-2 frees), Philip Murphy. subs. – Lee Cushe for Dwyer (31), Larry Cullen for Kenny (55), Seán Delaney for McGuckin (60), Thomas Wheatley for J. Cushe (60).

Referee: John O’Loughlin (Monageer-Boolavogue).

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