Killenaule progressed to the final of the FBD Insurance Tom Cusack Cup without too much fuss at New Inn on Sunday afternoon when the Robins enjoyed a twelve-point win over a distinctly off-colour Éire Óg Annacarty team - the Tom Cusack Cup is a tier two competition in the FBD Insurance County Senior Football Championship for sides who did not progress to the quarter-finals of the tier one competition.
FBD Insurance Tom Cusack Cup Semi-Final
Killenaule 2-13 Éire Óg Annacarty 0-7
The Killenaule men set the pace in this contest and led by eleven points at half-time (2-8 to 0-3). Paddy Codd, Daniel Guinan and Jimmy Feehan were terrific in the half-back line for Killenaule and Kieran Bergin represented a huge threat on the inside line while Michael Doyle pulled the strings from centre-forward.
Killenaule deserve credit for delivering a composed display, but there is simply no doubting the fact that Éire Óg Annacarty did not perform in accordance with the standards that the West men have set in recent seasons. Annacarty have built up a very positive identity for themselves on the Tipperary club hurling and football scene, but on Sunday the Killenaule runners were not tracked on a regular basis and Éire Óg paid the price. Indeed, both of Killenaule’s first half goals were scored by half-backs Daniel Guinan and Jimmy Feehan - neither player’s advance was tracked and Éire Óg Annacarty ‘keeper Darragh Mooney was left horribly exposed.
Kieran Bergin swung over two early points before Éire Óg Annacarty got off the mark thanks to a Kevin Fox free in the ninth minute. Killenaule added further efforts, which arrived courtesy of Tony Doyle (two, one free) and Jimmy Feehan, to lead 0-5 to 0-1 with nineteen minutes on the clock.
Seánie Ryan doubled Éire Óg’s tally soon after, but the warning signs were already flashing: Killenaule were patient in possession and when they launched incisive assaults on the Annacarty half of the field the off-the-shoulder supporting runs were not being tracked. So, it was only a matter of time before the roof caved in - between the 20th and 24th minutes Killenaule scored 2-2 without reply.
In the 20th minute Daniel Guinan played a one-two with Killian O’Dwyer and then Gus Browne before belting home a shot from close range. Thomas Keaveney popped over a point soon after when the midfielder didn’t notice the unmarked Guinan on his right deep inside the Annacarty 45-yard line, but Killenaule did not have to wait long for their second three-pointer. Once more the pattern was similar - in the 24th minute Killenaule worked the ball up the field and although Darragh Mooney saved Daniel Guinan’s initial shot and Gus Browne cracked his follow-up shot off the crossbar Jimmy Feehan was on hand to bury his shot. Declan Fanning added a point right from the subsequent re-start and following a Tony Doyle free Killenaule led 2-8 to 0-3 at the interval.
Seventeen minutes of the second half elapsed before Éire Óg Annacarty notched their fourth point of the afternoon (a free from Kevin Fox) while Killenaule added two to their tally during the third quarter courtesy of Kieran Bergin and Tony Doyle (free).
Killenaule also created another goal-scoring opportunity of note in the 39th minute when Darragh Mooney did especially well to save Liam Meagher’s effort - the distressing aspect to this incident from an Éire Óg Annacarty point of view was that Meagher sparked the move from inside his own full-back line. Therefore Meagher ran past the entire Éire Óg Annacarty team in order to accept a pass from Eoin Barry at the opposite end of the field and it didn’t occur to anyone to pick him up.
Paul Devlin notched Éire Óg Annacarty’s second point from play in the 57th minute while Killenaule saw out the final quarter of this contest at a reasonably pedestrian pace.
Killenaule: David McCormack, Killian O’Dwyer, Liam Meagher, Stephen Browne, Daniel Guinan (1-0), Paddy Codd, Jimmy Feehan (1-1), Thomas Keaveney (0-1), Declan Fanning (0-1), Dean O’Connor, Michael Doyle, Gus Browne, Tony Doyle (0-6, 0-5 frees), Kieran Bergin (0-3), Eoin Barry (0-1). Subs: (35th) Ciarán O’Dwyer for Stephen Browne, (49th) Mark Stakelum for Declan Fanning, (55th) Darragh Fitzgerald for Thomas Keaveney, (57th) Denis Fogarty for Kieran Bergin.
Éire Óg Annacarty: Darragh Mooney, Diarmaid Ryan, Conor O’Brien, Michael O’Brien, Connie Bradshaw, Kevin Fox (0-3, 0-3 frees), Michael Bradshaw, Eoin Kennedy, Tom Fox, Paul Devlin (0-1), Páudí O’Dwyer, Dinny Crosse, Liam Óg O’Dwyer, Richard O’Doherty, Seánie Ryan (0-2, 0-1 frees). Subs: (38th) Conor Devlin for Michael O’Brien, (44th) David Fox for Liam Óg O’Dwyer, (51st) David Breen (0-1) for Richard O’Doherty.
Referee: Séamus Delaney.
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