St. Enda’s opponents at Croke Park on Saturday are Kilcummin
of Kerry. The Kerry champions have impressed on their way to Croke Park and
Kerry clubs have fared well in this competition in the past so they will start Saturday’s
final against St. Enda’s as favourites. Nothing new there then. St. Enda’s have
been cast in the underdog’s role throughout their Ulster campaign and again in
the All Ireland semi-final against An Spideal so Frank Fitzsimmons and his team
are unlikely to be too worried by the underdog’s tag.
A recent post on the club website read “ Kilcummin GAA club
would like to thank all those who have contributed in any way, be it financial
or moral support, to the senior team and management in its preparation for the
All-Ireland Intermediate Final next Saturday. That support is greatly
appreciated and will be acknowledged but for now we would like to wish all our
supporters a safe journey to and from Dublin and to those who travelled from
abroad as far away as Australia and USA. This is a truly historic occasion and
the messages of goodwill from neighbouring parishes and clubs has been
overwhelming, so let’s make it a day to be proud of and one that we will always
remember. Our young members have recorded a special song for the day, compiled
by Martina O’Sullivan. Learn the words and let’s raise the roof in CROKER.
St. Enda’s have a team who are quite capable of putting an
end to those celebrations before they have started and a support I expect to be
singing their own songs as the full-time whistle sounds at Croke Park on
Saturday but for now let’s take a look at the men from Kerry.
Munster Intermediate Quarter-Final (Courtesy of Kilcummin web. Site)
Kilrush Shamrocks 0-7 Kilcummin 0-10
Kilcummin travelled to Kilrush with a little trepidation,
expecting a hard battle but confident they would be up for the challenge. As it
transpired their expectations were realised in the presence of a huge support
who contributed greatly to the occasion with their burst of colour and
Kilrush had many fine players on their team and played some
really good football at times. Indeed playing with the wind they caused some
concern early on but some good defending allied to a fine save from Brendan
Kealy saw Kilcummin match them score for score. The Kerry side trailed at half
time by a single point 0-5 to 0-4 with Noel Duggan, twice from frees Shane
McSweeney and Gary O’Leary their scorers. That first half saw Daniel O’Leary
and Matt Keane being introduced in place of Sean Brosnan and Kevin Gorman
The second-half started with Kilrush scoring first and
leaving two points between the sides after five minutes but they were not to
score again until well into injury time. This was due to a controlled
performance and some good defending throughout. However scores were difficult
to come by owing to a strong defence and difficult crosswind. Matt Keane
brought the side’s level after 10 minutes
after Gary O’Leary had kicked a fine point to reduce the deficit to a single
point three minutes earlier.
Chris O’Leary put Kilcummin in front for the first time in
the 50th minute after they had wasted a number of chances and they kicked on
after that with two great frees from Philip Casey. Despite being in complete
control it was only when Noel Duggan kicked a fine score from a difficult angle
that the Kerry men could celebrate and look forward to the next round of the
competition against Waterford opposition. Kieran Murphy returned from injury replacing John McCarthy after 45
minutes. Damien O’Leary and James Nagle were also introduced late on for Ian
Devane and Sean O’Leary.
Team: Brendan Kealy, Sean Brosnan, Donal Maher, Daniel
Moynihan, William Maher, Philip Casey, Sean O’Leary, Kevin Gorman, Chris
O’Leary, Shane McSweeney. Gary O’Leary, Padraig Nagle, Ian Devane, John
McCarthy, Noel Duggan.
Munster Club Intermediate Championship Semi-Final
Kilcummin 2-17 Kilmacthomas 0-1
A comprehensive victory against the Waterford champions in
very difficult conditions saw Kilcummin now looking forward to the Munster
final. The winners played against the breeze and picked off points on a steady
basis, with Noel Duggan (0-2), Gary O Leary (0-2), Philip Casey, Shane
McSweeney and Chris O’Leary accounting for those scores. When Noel Duggan
finished off a great move to the net any chance of a rally by Kilmacthomas was
The second-half saw much of the same as Kilcummin dominated
possession and it became a damage limitation exercise for the outclassed losers.
Ian Devane opened the scoring and Noel Duggan quickly followed up but it was
another 10 minutes before Kelvin Teahan got the next score. Scoring
opportunities were wasted as Kilcummin ran out convincing winners. Noel Duggan
and Gary O’Leary added further scores before Mikey O’Shea found the net after a
quick slick passing move.
The remaining scores were an O’Leary affair with Gary, Chris
and Sean all scoring late points.
Team: Brendan Kealy, Shane McSweeney, Donal Maher, Daniel
Moynihan, Sean O’Leary, Philip Casey, William Maher, Kevin Gorman, Chris
O’Leary, Gary O’Leary, Matt Keane, Padraig Nagle, Ian Devane, Damien O’Leary,
Noel Duggan Subs: Kelvin Teahan (black card) Kieran Murphy, Daniel O’Leary,
Sean Brosnan, Mikey O’Shea and James Nagle.
Sunday 25th November
Kilcummin collected their first Munster championship title
by defeating Fermoy in Mallow. Noel Duggan opened the scoring with a free but
minutes later Fermoy were awarded a penalty from which they scored to go ahead.
After a number of missed chances by both sides Fermoy were awarded a second
penalty and it wasn’t looking that good for the Kerry champions at this stage.
This time Brendan Kealy shepherded the poorly struck effort wide of his
right-hand post. A let off for the Kerry side and Noel Duggan responded with a
fine point and when Matt Keane tapped over a beauty a minute later they were
back on level terms 0-3 to 1-0.
Trailing by a point nearing the end of the half, Sean
O’Leary had a goal chance cleared and then Gary O’Leary had a penalty claim
waved aside. Kilcummin were unfazed however and added three points before the
half time whistle. Firstly Noel Duggan levelled, Matt Keane added his second
and then Kevin McCarthy shook off his marker to kick a sublime point to leave
the half time score 0-6 to 1-1 in favour of Kilcummin.
The second half got underway with Kelvin Teahan replacing
the injured Padraig Nagle and within two minutes Matt Keane kicked his third
point to extend Kilcummin’s lead to three. Five minutes later Sean O’Leary increased
that lead to four before they lost Noel Duggan to injury. Ian Devane entered
the fray as Fermoy convert another free and it was back to three again. Fermoy
continue to probe but the Kilcummin defence repelled their best efforts with
Brendan Kealy saving superbly while William Maher cleared the follow up off the
line. Donal Maher was having a blinder while the cousins Philip Casey and
Daniel Moynihan had their opponents under their control.
With ten minutes remaining Kieran Murphy stepped up with a
massive point however back came Fermoy with another free to keep their fading
hopes alive but when the ever-reliable Philip Casey came forward to kick one of
his trademark points the Kerry side were really starting to believe. With three
minutes left Gary O’Leary landed a great score following an interception in
defence. O’Leary was shown a black card to be replaced for the final minutes by
Kilcummin finished strongly however as Daniel O’Leary gathered
in defence and set a move in motion that involves six Kilcummin players and
culminated with Ian Devane finishing to the net.
Brendan Kealy as player and captain showed once more his
All-Star class and leadership qualities. Philip Casey, Donal Maher and Daniel
Moynihan were superb and kept their direct opponents scoreless from play.
William Maher showed all his astuteness and ability to read a game so well and
his clearance off the line was crucial.
Sean O’Leary and Chris O’Leary played a massive role in this
victory as they mastered their illustrious opponents over the hour. Kevin
Gorman gave an inspirational performance throughout and executed a marvellous
catch under the crossbar late in the game. Kieran Murphy was crucial to
Kilcummin and his return to form after a long layoff from injury was welcomed. The
half forward line of Shane McSweeney, Gary O’Leary and Padraig Nagle put in a
great shift helping in defence throughout and getting forward to create scoring
opportunities for the full forward line. The inside line of Matt Keane, Noel
Duggan and Kevin McCarthy were superb and accounted for seven points between
Team: Brendan Kealy, Philip Casey, Donal Maher, Daniel
Moynihan, Sean O’Leary, Chris O’Leary, William Maher, Kieran Murphy, Kevin
Gorman, Shane McSweeney, Gary O’Leary, Padraig Nagle, Matt Keane, Kevin
McCarthy, Noel Duggan Subs Used: Kelvin Teahan, Ian Devane, Daniel O’Leary,
Damien O’Leary, John McCarthy.
All Ireland Semi-Final
Kilcummin 0-11 Two Mile House (Kildare) 0-10
Kilcummin booked a place at Croke Park on February 9th to
contest the All Ireland Intermediate club final after an extremely hard earned
but deserved one-point victory over an excellent Two-Mile House on Sunday last
in Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds. Their opponents came with a good reputation having
won the All-Ireland Junior Club Championship in 2014 and it showed in the first
10 minutes of this game.
They started confidently and were three points up after
eight minutes. However, the opposition lost a key performer in Peter Kelly for
a drag back on Kieran Murphy as he was encroaching on goal and this gave a
considerable boost to the Kilcummin lads. Kevin Gorman became very influential
in midfield and the team responded with some fine positive play resulting in
two points from Matt Keane and Noel Duggan to level things up at 3 points each
after 15 minutes. Noel Duggan kicked the next two scores but another free from
Two Mile showed they had no intention of lying down.
Indeed, it was a very physically demanding encounter and
with space at a premium and both defences on top, scores were very hard to come
by. Gary O Leary’s second point in the 20th minute saw Kilcummin lead by 0-6 to
0-4 but they needed big interventions from Sean O’Leary and Donal Maher to keep
the advantage. The last 10 minutes of the half saw the Kerry men create several
chances and play some fast and precise football but they had only two further
points from Matt Keane and Noel Duggan to show for them while Two Mile House
landed two long range efforts to stay in touch.
Half time arrived with the scoreline 0-8 to 0-6 in the
Munster sides favour but as the two teams left the field to great applause, we
knew that the second half was going to be a titanic struggle. The Kilcummin defence
was particularly outstanding in that first half and despite a nervy start they
settled well and every man played a part in them being ahead, having played
against the breeze.
As in the first-half Two Mile started the brighter and were
level after 40 minutes. Kilcummin missed a good number of scoring opportunities
before they were dealt a serious blow in the 42nd minute when Kevin Gorman
received a second yellow and they were down to 14 men. This seemed to be a huge
wake- up call and the team responded accordingly. Kieran Murphy took a grip at
midfield and showed his intentions with a fine long-range point to give his
team the lead again after 45 minutes and settle the nerves of the supporters.
Shane McSweeney made some fine interventions when needed and
the Kerry champions appeared to have
weathered the crisis of being a man short. The game was intense now with both
set of supporters driving on their team and not afraid to let the referee know
what they thought of him. Kelvin Teahan replaced Padraig Nagle as Dan Moynihan
came to his team’s rescue once more in defence.
Kilcummin rang the changes with Daniel O’Leary and John
McCarthy being introduced and both were to make telling interventions in the
latter stages with driving runs at their defence. Despite having the greater
share of possession they found it hard to break down a determined Two Mile
defence who themselves depended a lot on breaking from the back. Chris Healy
was their constant target and it took some great defending at times from Chris
O’Leary to keep him at bay.
Approaching full time Philip Casey landed a difficult free
to see Kilcummin push ahead again but Two Mile were awarded a free in front of
the posts which they scored to level affairs at 10 points apiece. The tension
was unbelievable as extra time beckoned.
Kevin McCarthy entered the fray in extra-time, but it was
the lion hearted, yet cool Philip Casey that landed the winning score as the
1000 or so Kilcummin faithful held their breath many not even able to watch.
When the referee blew his whistle there were tears of joy amid the marvellous realisation
that their team were going to Croke Park.
Team: Brendan Kealy, Sean O’Leary, Donal Maher, Dan
Moynihan, Philip Casey, Chris O’Leary, William Maher, Kieran Murphy, Kevin
Gorman, Shane McSweeney, Gary O’Leary, Padraig Nagle, Noel Duggan, Ian Devane,
Matt Keane, Subs used: Kelvin Teahan, Daniel O’Leary, John McCarthy and Kevin
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT KILCUMMIN?
Matt Keane and Gary O Leary have received All Star awards at
the East Kerry GAA Banquet. In July Kieran Murphy captained the Kerry Juniors
to All Ireland success with Gary O’Leary also collecting his winner’s medal.
August saw Kilcummin promoted to Division 1 following an 11-game campaign
finishing second to Austin Stacks.
Sean O’Leary and James Nagle won County championship U-21
medals with East Kerry while in September Paul O’Shea and Keith O’Leary won
All-Ireland medals with the Kerry minors with O’Shea captaining the side.
Brendan Kealy in goals is a former Kerry All Star and the
team has talented players throughout the side but they are unlikely to have
faced a side as fit, fast or deadly than the present St. Enda’s team. The vast expanses
of Croke Park will suit the Antrim and Ulster champions and I expect them to
repeat the fete of Moy last year and collect a first All Ireland title at this
level for an Antrim side.