Playing their fourth game in the space of just ten days in the Under 21 Football Championship, Colmcille are through to the ‘A’ final against Killoe after scoring a comfortable win over Cashel/Killashee at the Young Grattans grounds on Sunday last.
Coming through three play-off fixtures against Longford Slashers (twice) and Fr. Manning Gaels, Colmcille were strongly fancied to overcome the challenge of the Southern Gaels amalgamation who had only played one game to get this far in a competition that lacked a proper structure.
The reality of the situation is that the Cashel/Killashee amalgamation were not near strong enough to compete in the ‘A’ Championship but were left with no choice after Dromard and Mullinalaghta withdrew from the competition.
Colmcille inflicted all the damage in the first half of the semi-final at Dunbeggan Park to build up a commanding 2-8 to 0-2 lead at the break and there was no way back for the gallant losers despite a spirited performance on the changeover.
Cashel/Killashee were trailing by 0-7 to 0-2 before they suffered a shattering blow in the 19th minute when Barry McKeon finished the ball to the net from close range and they then conceded a soft second goal soon after when a speculative dipping shot from Cathal McCabe caught out the opposing keeper Gary Egan.
McKeon and county minor McCabe proved to be a constant threat in the first half, scoring 2-4 between them, while also on target for the superior Colmcille side were Cormac Hughes, Cathal Reilly, Shea McKeon and Vinny Hourican.
Mark Rossiter fired over the opening score for Cashel/Killashee in the 5th minute while their other point in the first half came from the boot of Shane Bannon - both excellent efforts.
With the match all over as a contest at the break, very little happened in the second half and lethargic Colmcille were restricted to just two more scores - a free converted by Barry McKeon in the 49th minute while substitute Jack Harkin shot over the bar with time almost up.
Having said that, it took a fine point-blank save from the Cashel/Killashee keeper Gary Egan to prevent Vinny Hourican from scoring a third goal for Colmcille in the 47th minute while Barry McKeon shot against the upright with the rebound just evading the grasp of Cathal McCabe.
Cashel/Killashee, to their credit, battled it out to the bitter end but they were unable to get the goal they so badly needed with a decent chance falling to Mark Rossiter while Eoin Flood had a shot saved under the crossbar by the Colmcille keeper Colm Kilbride.
The amalgamation managed to register just three points in the second half, a brace from Gavin Kelly (free and play) while Eoin Flood also got his name on the scoresheet.
COLMCILLE: Colm Kilbride; Shane Gray, Enda Macken, Aaron Jones; Gerry Mulligan, Martin Mulligan, James Gorman; Vinny Hourican (0-1), Cathal Reilly (0-1); Mark Mulligan, Barry McKeon (1-4, three points from frees), Cormac Hughes (0-1); Conor Hawkins, Cathal McCabe (1-1), Shea McKeon (0-1).
Subs:- Fergal Sheridan for C Hughes (49 mins); Jack Harkin (0-1) for V Hourican (57 mins); Sean Mulligan for Mark Mulligan (59 mins); Ronan Williams for C Reilly (60 mins).
CASHEL/KILLASHEE: Gary Egan; Mel Farrell, George McDermott, James Campbell; Stephen Weafer, Shane Cosgrove, Niall Casserly; Mark Murtagh, Andrew Farrell; Eoin Flood (0-1), Conor Farrell, Mark Rossiter (0-1); Gavin Kelly (0-2, one free), Shane Bannon (0-1), Quentin Lee.
Subs:- James Skelly for M Murtagh (ill, half-time); Darragh Flood for Q Lee (injured, 36 mins); Fergal Casserly for M Rossiter (59 mins).
Referee: Michael Farrell