While Rathcline are through to meet Sean Connolly’s in the Intermediate Football Championship semi-final, they were fortunate to survive in the play-off and extra-time was required before a brave Killashee side were eventually knocked out.
Just a solitary point separated the neighbouring rivals in a real ding-dong battle watched by a small but enthusiastic crowd at a wet Emmet Park, Killoe on Friday night last and it was confident corner-forward James Hanley who fired over the winning point.
Time was running out in the additional period and a replay looking likely before Rathcline were awarded a free following a foul on Shane Donoghue. Up stepped Hanley to slot the ball over the bar and St. Brigid’s wasted one last chance to keep their title hopes alive when former Rathcline player Padraig Shanley failed to convert a free from a tight angle.
The deadly accurate James Hanley was very much the matchwinner for Rathcline, clocking up 1-7 (four frees), with his goal coming just before the half-time break in normal time. After capitalising on a misdirected kick-out from Killashee keeper Pat Farrell, the always alert Hanley found the roof of the net with a dipping shot.
That left the Lanesboro outfit (minus the injured county minor captain Shane Kenny) leading by 1-5 to 0-5 at the break with Hanley scoring three of the points while Aaron Madden and defender Michael Hanley were also on target.
Johnny Casey kicked three points for Killashee in the first half with Mark Rossiter and Willie Skelly also getting their names on the scoresheet while a goal chance fell to Enda McKiernan in the early stages of the game but his close range shot was saved.
St. Brigid’s made a bright start to the second half with a point from Francie Dolan but then had a lucky escape when Rathcline forward Kevin Chapman blasted the ball over the bar when a goal was there for the taking.
Back came Killashee with a couple of fine scores from Emmet Skelly and Padraig Shanley to close the gap to the minimum of margins before Rathcline substitute Mel Shanley (a brother of St. Brigid’s player Padraig) landed a very good point in the 38th minute.
Killashee then went on to enjoy a great spell, which yielded three cracking points through Willie Skelly. wing back Darren Cosgrove and Padraig Shanley in quick succession, and Rathcline were now behind (0-11 to 1-7) with 18 minutes played in the second half.
But they managed to regain their composure and after James Hanley converted a free to level matters in the 52nd minute, the same player was on target from play in the 60th minute after a great run through by Ryan Fallon set up the lead score.
But there was still time for St. Brigid’s to snatch a draw and Mark Rossiter came to the rescue to register the equalising point after receiving the perfect pass from Padraig Shanley.
The final whistle blew seconds later with the sides deadlocked (0-12 to 1-9) and the extra-time period produced five more points to settle the issue. Three for Rathcline through midfielder Michael Morrissey (a great long range strike) and a brace of frees from James Hanley. Francie Dolan and Padraig Shanley (a terrific effort from a tight angle) replied for the unlucky losers Killashee who really gave it their best shot with wing back James Willis playing particularly well.
RATHCLINE: David Mulvihill; James Carroll, Kevin Connaughton, Shane Donoghue; Eamon Farrell, Blain Fallon, Michael Hanley (0-1); Shane Casserly, Michael Morrissey (0-1); Kevin Chapman (0-1), Kevin Hanley, Derek Casserly; Aaron Madden (0-1), Eoin Sorohan, James Hanley (1-7, four points from frees).
Subs:- Ryan Fallon for A Madden (half-time); Mel Shanley (0-1) for K Hanley (half-time); Kevin Sorohan for E Farrell (40 mins); Gareth O’Reilly for E Sorohan (53 mins).
Extra-Time: David Rooney for B Fallon (half-time); Barry Clarke for M Hanley (13 mins).
KILLASHEE ST. BRIGID’S: Pat Farrell; Enda McPartland, Tony Dooner, Shane Cosgrove; James Willis, Kealan Cox, Darren Cosgrove (0-1); Gerard Evans, Emmet Skelly (0-1); Francie Dolan (0-2), Johnny Casey (0-3), Mark Rossiter (0-2); Willie Skelly (0-2), Enda McKiernan, Padraig Shanley (0-3).
Subs:- Extra-Time: Ronan Skelly for F Dolan (injured, 11 mins); Ogie Campbell for E McKiernan (16 mins).
Referee: Frank Toher (Killoe Emmet Og).