Last year’s Intermediate champions Killashee St. Brigid’s maintained their senior status for another year after scoring a convincing win over Sean Connolly’s in the relegation play-off final at Allen Park on Friday night last.
It now means that the Ballinalee side will play in the Intermediate Championship next year and with their poor performances and heavy defeats in this year’s Senior Championship it has come as no surprise.
There was very little between the sides in a tight first half with Killashee going in at the break in front by just one point, 0-6 to 0-5, but in the second half they got on top in working the ball well and opened up the Connolly’s defence time and time again.
Bobby Farrell opened the scoring for Killashee inside the first minute and then disaster struck for Connolly’s two minutes later when Martin Brady had to go off injured after he hurt his knee.
James Willis got St. Brigid’s second point in the 4th minute and then one minute later Connolly’s got off the mark when Trevor Murtagh converted a free. A good score from David Brady levelled matters in the 7th minute.
Killashee went back in front in the 12th minute through Michael Farrell but the sides were level again in the 13th minute when Gregory Masterson fired over a great score. In the 14th minute Connolly’s took the lead for the first time through Adrian Brady.
It was all square for the third time when James Willis landed a neat score in the 15th minute. Points were traded between Trevor Murtagh and Michael Farrell to leave it level again in the 21st minute but five minutes from the break Killashee took the lead through a Michael Farrell free.
St. Brigid’s had much the better of the exchanges in the second half and barely 30 seconds had gone on the changeover when substitute Emmet Skelly got on the scoresheet and the influential midfielder was a real driving force for his side. Shane Cosgrave pointed one minute later and moments later Michael Farrell converted a free.
Cosgrove got his second point of the game in the 37th minute with a fantastic effort before Skelly was on target again in the 38th minute to put six between the sides. Then Connolly’s keeper John McKenna pulled off a very good save in the 40th minute to deny Shane Cosgrove from grabbing a goal.
A nice point from Darren Reilly increased the Killashee advantage and after going 26 minutes without a score Connolly’s got their sixth point of the game in the 44th minute through Stephen Lynch.
Another St. Brigid’s score followed from a Michael Farrell free in the 54th minute before Connolly’s fired over a couple of consolation points from Daniel Waters and David Brady.
Just a few seconds into additional time the winners got their goal when James Willis played in Darren Reilly and he fired a low shot into the back of the net to finish off a fine Killashee performance.
KILLASHEE ST. BRIGID’S: Pat Farrell; Eamon Farrell, Tony Dooner, Enda McPartland; Kealan Cox, Michael Magan, Michael Skelly; James Fallon, Ogie Campbell; Shane Cosgrove (0-2), Bobby Farrell (0-1), James Willis (0-2); Michael Farrell (0-5, three frees), Darren Reilly (1-1), Johnny Casey.
Subs:- Emmet Skelly (0-2) for O Campbell (26 mins); O Campbell for J Fallon (50 mins); Alan Milton for D Reilly (52 mins); D Reilly for B Farrell (56 mins).
SEAN CONNOLLY’S: John McKenna; James Vesey, Michael McGlynn, Dominic Waters; Kevin Reynolds, Andy McNamee, Thomas Keogh; Stephen Lynch (0-1), Trevor Murtagh (0-2, one free); Adrian Brady (0-1), Mark Diffley, David Brady (0-2); Brendan Treacy, Martin Brady, Gregory Masterson (0-1).
Subs:- Ciaran Brady for M Brady (injured, 3 mins); Daniel Waters (0-1) for T Keogh (41 mins); Thomas O’Neill for K Reynolds (43 mins).
Referee: Benny Reilly (Clonguish).