County Senior Football Championship Round 3.
Kilmacthomas 1-09 Kilrossanty 0-12
Tony Ryan Reports
Local derbies are the next best thing to knockout championship games if the fine gate of €2,482 is a bench mark for the double header senior football championship games at Fraher Field last Sunday evening. The temperature decreased on the thermometer in the pleasant summer evening at the Shandon venue but not out on the pitch for the first game as there was an edge to this encounter from start to finish.As early as the seventh minute, Kilmacthomas were reduced to fourteen players with midfielder Dylan Power receiving a straight red and in the same incident Pa Whyte of Kilrossanty was blackcarded with Michael Walsh replacing him.
It is to Kilmac’s eternal credit that they overcame this numerical set back and two pointed frees in added time at the death earned a draw that nobody could begrudge them. Playing into the town end, Kilrossanty started the brighter and a point after just 34 seconds by wing back Donie Fitzgerald and the first of three match scores by full back Niall Walsh in the second minute gave the favourites the early initiative.
Pa Cunningham picked up the first yellow card of the evening in the third minute as Kilmacthomas settled into proceedings and minors by corner back Kavan Dee and full forward Adam Walsh had the sides level for the only first half occasion.Scores from play by Niall and Michael Walsh from a distance left Kilrossanty ahead on double scores by the 13th minute, but credit the sky blues, despite being down a man they kept in touch with a 15th minute pointed free by Darragh Power, 0-4 to 0-3.
Kilrossanty threatened to pull away from their local rivals in the second quarter.
Jack Whyte pointed from play in the 18th minute and Tommy Prendergast and Conor Hayes also found the target by the 23rd minute to open daylight between the sides at 0-7 to 0-3. However, the green and gold did not score again for the remainder of the half.Kilmac Goalie Niall Cronin also played his part in both halves. He saved brilliantly from Pa Cunningham back in the 18th minute at a stage when a goal here for Kilrossanty would perhaps have been the defining score of the hour.As it was, Kilmacthomas survived the second quarter and a fine pointed free by Kealan Kiersey in the 25th minute, followed by a miss from a similar kick by Darragh Power in the 29th minute left just one kick of the size 5 between the teams at the break on a scoreboard reading 0-7 to 0-4.
That one kick of the size 5 came as early as 35 seconds into the new half when Adam Walsh finished a sweeping Kilmac move with a blistering shot from an angle into the town end goal to level the match. Significantly for the after match debates Niall Walsh was yellow carded in the 34th minute before Kealan Kiersey (f) put his team ahead for the only time at 1-5 to 0-7.The emergency sirens went off in the Kilrossanty camp and Paul Whyte was dispatched to the front line where he had an immediate impact. He pointed with his first kick of the ball in the 37th minute as he looked injury free and as well as ever.
Kilmac goalie Niall Cronin took centre stage once again when he brilliantly saved one handed from Whyte in the 38th minute at the expense of a ‘45’. Whyte’s impact remained, though, and a pointed free in the 39th minute restored Kilrossanty’s lead, 0-9 to 1-5.
Both camps used their bench for a final quarter that 14 man Kilmacthomas commendably won by 0-4 to 0-3. Stephen Prendergast put Kilrossanty 0-2 clear in the 46th minute with Kealan Kiersey, from a Darragh Power pass, halving this advantage six minutes later, 0-10 to 1-6.Power was through on goal when he was high tackled by Niall Walsh and the Kilrossanty player was most fortunate not to receive his marching orders. To rub salt into the wounds of an irate Kilmac camp, Walsh would go on to score what then looked like the winning score in the 57th minute.
Three minutes of added time were announced and every second of it and another three minutes was action packed. Kealan Kiersey pointed on the hour mark, Paul Whyte was wide one minute later but then atoned with a 62nd minute score from play, 0-12 to 1-7. There were further delays, hence more added time and Kilmacthomas made full use of it. Kilrossanty looked as if they were going to claim all two championship points at this stage but Kealan Kiersey pointed a 64th minute free and all eyes were on referee Pat Casey to see if this was the final action of the game.
Play continued and Eoin Walsh, just home from foreign shores, and who had come on in the 44th minute, became the Kilmac hero when he pointed a long distant pressure free in the 66th minute, a remarkable achievement, as it was his first placed ball attempt in the game. Kilmacthomas must have been the happier of the two clubs leaving the Shandon venue. They are an improving side with new names stepping up to the mark. Kilrossanty have a lot of improving to do and with an extra body on the field they should have won the game.