Sean Connolly's defender Cian Coyle facing the challenge of Killashee forward Mel Shanley. Action from the Intermediate Championship first round game. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Despite missing many players for different reasons in a serious struggle this season, Sean Connolly’s were still good enough to beat a most disappointing Killashee side in the Intermediate Football Championship first round game at Pairc na nGael in Dromard on Saturday evening last.
Sean Connolly’s . . . 1-10 St Brigid’s Killashee . . . 1-4
It must be said that St Brigid’s are also fairly depleted at the moment and with remaining fixtures in Group 1 to come against Cashel and Ballymahon the battle to avoid a relegation play-off is going to be extremely difficult for Paddy Dowd’s charges.
Spearheaded by the twin threat of Daire Duggan and Daniel Reynolds in the full-forward-line, Connolly’s got off to a great start when a speculative shot from Duggan ended up in the back of the net with just three minutes gone on the clock after Reynolds got a vital touch to claim the goal.
Killashee hit back with a good point from Killian Lee in the 6th minute and he was the one player to cause problems for the Connolly’s defence with his penetrating runs.
The Ballinalee outfit established a tight grip on the game with three fine points in a row through Duggan (2) and Reynolds before St Brigid’s eventually scored again when James Campbell shot over the bar in the 17th minute.
Killashee had a strong claim for a penalty dismissed in the 20th minute for what looked like a blatant foul on Mel Shanley.
Connolly’s keeper Fergal Brady then produced a crucial point-blank save to prevent Killian Lee from scoring a goal for St Brigid’s in the 24th minute and just before the break Daniel Reynolds landed a well struck ‘45’ to leave five points separating the sides at half-time, 1-4 to 0-2.
It was a poor match, to say the least, and it did not get any better in the second half as Killashee tried hard to get back into contention.
Dylan Farrell converted a free to close the gap and St Brigid’s were denied a goal with four minutes gone on the changeover when the Connolly’s netminder Fergal Brady made a great save to stop a shot from the inrushing Killian Lee.
A further point apiece from Daniel Reynolds (free) and Daire Duggan extended the lead for Seamus Quinn’s side but Killashee were thrown a lifeline when they got a badly needed goal in the 49th minute.
A shot from Ogie Campbell struck the crossbar with the ball deflecting off Connolly’s defender Kevin Reynolds into the back of the net.
That should have given St Brigid’s a big lift but it did not happen as Connolly’s came storming back to score another four points despite the dismissal of Paddy Reynolds for a second yellow card in the 54th minute.
Frees were converted by Stephen Lynch (3) and Daniel Reynolds to clinch the deserved victory with Shane Cosgrove scoring a consolation point for Killashee in the 58th minute.
SEAN CONNOLLY’S: Fergal Brady; Cian Coyle, Thomas Keogh, Kevin Reynolds; Paddy Reynolds, Gregory Masterson, John McKenna; Stephen Lynch (0-3, all frees), Evan Tully; Sean Farrell, Eugene Murtagh, Sean Kenny; Conor Blessington, Daire Duggan (0-3), Daniel Reynolds (1-4, two frees, one ‘45).
Subs:- Frank Reynolds for S Kenny (49 mins); Brendan Treacy for C Blessington (53 mins); Darragh Airlie for E Murtagh (60 mins).
ST BRIGID’S KILLASHEE: Gary Egan; Shane Cosgrove (0-1), Quentin Lee, John Lee; Enda McPartland, Keelan Cox, Killian Lee (0-1); Ogie Campbell, Craig Gorman; Gerard Evans, Mel Shanley, Diarmuid Hegarty; Pat Farrell, James Campbell (0-1), Dylan Farrell (0-1, free).
Subs:- Jack Magan for D Hegarty (26 mins); Mark Rossiter for C Gorman (43 mins); D Hegarty for J Campbell (black card, two minutes into stoppage time).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (St Mary’s Granard).