Cashel attacker Gavin Kelly gave the Kenagh backs a torrid time in the first round of the Intermediate Football Championship played on a splendid Clonbonny pitch in Lanesboro on Saturday evening last.
Based on the manner of this fine performance, Cashel are clearly strong contenders to win the Gerry Hennessy Cup under the guidance of Ciaran Fox. Hot favourites going into the game, Cashel indicated their intentions from the start, as, within the first four minutes they had four points on the scoreboard before Kenagh got their opening score, a point in the 5th minute from a free converted by Rory Connor.
At the half-time whistle Cashel had extended that lead to 1-10 to 0-3 and the game was all over as a contest. Gavin Kelly, who scored 1-4, was supplied with a steady supply of ball from the strong midfield pairing of Luke Casey and James Rowan. Kelly was everywhere and his ability to win and lay off ball led to many scores for his fellow forwards.
When the game was there to be won Gavin was ably assisted by the hard working Niall Casserley. Time and time, particularly during the first half, Cashel cut the Kenagh defence to shreds but they battled manfully right to the bitter end.
A fightback from Kenagh was expected in the second half but try as they might the superior strength of Cashel pinned them back time and time again. Kenagh gave all they had and were trying to reduce the deficit, with goals, right to the final whistle.
But Cashel defended stoutly, having as many as 12 players back behind the ball when Kenagh attacked, and a feature of the winners gameplan was their ability to move the ball swiftly from defence to attack and to create and take scores.
The Cashel defence will surely face sterner tests in the weeks ahead but as a group they defended as a solid unit. Their midfield was strong throughout and their forwards, of which five of the six scored, were impressive and will be very difficult to contain.
Kenagh battled hard for most of the match and were well served by Shane and Gary Doyle, David Jones, when in the midfield area, Sean Canavan and Rory Connor.
CASHEL: G. Nealon; R Farrell, A. Farrell, R. Muldoon; M. Farrell, P. Farrell, C. Casey; J. Rowan (0-1), L. Casey; G. Dennigan (0-1), T. Delaney (0-1), N. Casserly (0-3); G. Kenny (0-7), K. Carberry, G. Kelly (1-4). Sub:- S. Bannon for T. Delaney.
KENAGH: J. Rowan; J. McGann, W. Jones, M. McCormack; I. Farrell, A. Jones, G. Kenny; G. Doyle, M. Nolan; S. Canavan, S. Doyle (0-3), C. Carberry; A. Carberry, D. Jones (0-1), R. Connor (0-3).
Subs:- J. Gill for G. Kenny; E. McGann for M. McCormack; S. Kenny for C. Carberry.
Referee: M. Farrell