*Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
Kildysart’s superior fitness proved decisive as they eeked out a one point win over Corofin in what was a most entertaining intermediate football championship first round game at Cusack Park on Friday evening.
When the draw was made this was billed as the tie of the round and it lived up to that billing on a day when the sides were level on six occasions.
The teams had exchanged points four times in the opening twenty seven minutes. Corofin finished the half strongly with three unanswered points to lead at the break on a score of 0-7 to 0-4. They struck for the first two points of the second half to go five clear and things looked good for them.
The introduction of veterans Ger Kelly and Neil O’Connor five minutes into the new half played a huge part in Kildysart taking control. Between them Kelly and O’Connor landed five points and as the game reached the end of the third quarter the sides were level at 0-9 each.
Robin Mounsey and Kelly swapped points before Kelly and O’Connor landed a brace which sent their side on the road to victory.
Kildysart, beaten finalists for the past two years, had two great goal chances in the opening half but neither were converted while Corofin, relegated from senior last season, also had one in the second half which they failed to capitalise on. It finished 0-13 0-12 in favour of Kildysart.
Shannon Gaels got off to a great start with a Niall Ellis goal in the opening minute and they went on to score a comfortable win over Liscannor. Ellis also scored the team’s second goal in their 2-12 to 0-6 victory while Barry Crehan, making his championship debut with the Gaels following his transfer from Kildysart chipped in with six points.
Micheál Duffy was the goalscorer in Kilfenora’s 1-9 to 0-5 victory over Éire Óg at Corofin. The winners led from the outset and deserved their victory over the Ennis club’s second string who are managed by Billy Woods.
Extra time was required when St. Josephs Doora/Barefield faced Naomh Eoin at Cooraclare. Conor Magner had an early goal for the team from the west but a like score from Cathal Duggan left the sides level at 1-5 each at half time.
Leo Duggan goaled for Doora/Barefield early in the second half but Naomh Eoin fought back and levelled helped by a goal from Owen Lynch. At the end of normal time it was 2-11 each.
Heading towards the final whistle the Westerners were three points clear but St Josephs hit three in a row to force extra time where they had the upperhand. They sealed victory with their third goal which came from Kieran Thynne in the second period of extra time. David O’Brien played a key role in the Parish’s victory
O’Currys put in a strong second half to seal a five point win over Coolmeen in this first round tie played at Doonbeg. Coolmeen had the better of the first half exchanges and led by two points, 0-7 to 0-5, at half time. As the second half wore on O’Currys got a grip on the tie and the crucial score came ten minutes from time when Thomas Clancy converted from the penalty spot for the game’s only goal. Clancy was the game’s top scorer with 1-7 to his credit.
In the last of the first round ties, 2019 Junior A champions Michael Cusacks accounted for a fancied Wolfe Tones at Corofin on Sunday. A strong start which saw them go 0-7 to 0-0 clear laid the foundation for this victory for the Carron outfit. Discipline was a factor with the Shannon men losing Chris Dunning to a red card while they finished the encounter with 13 men as another player was in the sin bin.