Gavin Kelly on the attack for Cashel in a bid to evade the challenge of Sean Connolly's opponent Daire Duggan. Action from last year's Intermediate Football Championship semi-final. Pic: D Gilmore
For the second year in succession Cashel and Sean Connolly’s clash in the semi-final of the Intermediate Football Championship and another tight contest is likely to materialise at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park this Saturday evening, throw-in 5.15pm.
Time was running out when a late goal settled the issue in favour of Cashel (1-7 to 0-6) at the penultimate stage of the Gerry Hennessy Cup last season and the men in ‘red and black’ will be hard beaten in the rematch on the evidence of their performances so far in the current campaign.
Cashel made a strong start with a 1-12 to 0-11 victory over neighbouring rivals Rathcline after building up a commanding eight points lead at the break and never looked like letting the game slip from their grasp.
Easy wins followed against Legan and Grattans as Cashel cruised through to the last four as group winners but are now facing a serious test against Sean Connolly’s who will be hoping to gain revenge for the disappointment of losing to the same opposition in the 2016 semi-final and particularly so with the significant return of Paddy McDonnell this year.
The Ballinalee side beat Ballymore with considerable ease in the opening round of this year’s Intermediate Championship but were made work a good bit harder in the next group fixture against Kenagh.
Connolly’s trailed by the minimum of margins at the break (1-3 to 0-5) but got their act together to take over completely in the second half and won by the comfortable margin of seven points in the finish.
So with a game to spare in the group stage of the championship a semi-final spot was secured for Connolly’s and it mattered little when they were subsequently beaten by Ardagh/Moydow so you cannot read too much into that result.
The Intermediate Championship semi-finals in recent years are generally close affairs and Cashel may just have the edge over Sean Connolly’s.