Full-forward Rhys Shelly turned in a five-star performance when scoring 2-5 as Moycarkey-Borris saw off the challenge of last year’s beaten finalists Golden-Kilfeacle to book their place in the FBD Insurance County Intermediate Football Championship final in a contest played at Holycross on Sunday.
FBD Insurance County Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final
Moycarkey-Borris 2-6 Golden-Kilfeacle 0-8
On the strength of reaching the final last year Golden-Kilfeacle fancied their chances in this semi-final, but on the day they were beaten by a better side and can have no complaints about the outcome.
They did, however, have grounds for complaint beforehand in that the game was played on the second pitch at Holycross which, though in perfect condition, was unlined and only marked with flags. Golden coach Mick O'Sullivan voiced his dis-satisfaction beforehand and he was justifiably concerned about potential crowd encroachment on the playing area, particularly in the absence of stewards. However, the pitch had nothing to do with his side’s defeat which was really decided in a seven-minute period during the third quarter when Rhys Shelly struck for two Moycarkey-Borris goals. Those goals presented Moycarkey-Borris with an advantage that they were never going to surrender despite intense Golden pressure in the last ten minutes.
Even before then Moycarkey were enjoying the better of things, but Golden always had them in their sights though the West lads were not playing with their customary fluency.
It took thirteen minutes to produce the first score - a Josh Keane point from a free for Golden - but Shelly hit three without reply for Moycarkey-Borris between the 16th and 25th minutes and Eoghan Hayes added another to put them 0-4 to 0-1 clear.
Shane Stapleton countered for a struggling Golden side while before the break Rhys Shelly pointed a Moycarkey free for an interval lead of 0-5 to 0-2.
UP THEIR GAME
Golden needed to up their game in the second half and things were going well for them - points from Cian O'Connell and Josh Keane to Shelly’s white flag for Moycarkey narrowed the lead to two points after thirty-eight minutes.
But just as Golden were building up a head of steam Moycarkey hit them on the break and in the 40th minute Shelly rounded off a fine movement for their first goal. Shane Stapleton quickly replied with a Golden point, but then Shelly again tested the netting after a slick Moycarkey upfield move to put them 2-6 to 0-5 ahead after forty-seven minutes.
The game was now Moycarkey-Borris' to lose, but Golden were not for quitting and during the closing period did all of the serious pressing.
Josh Keane landed two frees and then with two minutes to play he pointed another to leave them four off the pace, but that’s as good as it got for them and Moycarkey-Borris stayed comfortably out of harm’s way to the end.
So, Moycarkey-Borris march on to the final against Clonmel Óg who defeated neighbours Clonmel Commercials in the other semi-final and the Mid lads will take a lot of encouragement from this performance.
They were a trifle slow to settle, but once into their stride showed themselves to be the superior side and when the pressure came on at the finish they also had the resolve to defend their advantage.
Of concern for them facing into the final was the fact that all but one point of their tally came from Rhys Shelly. His attacking colleagues, for all of their commendable hard work, will need to contribute more scores if they are to succeed.
Shelly was the man of the match, but the contributions of Rory Ryan, Conor Hayes, Eoghan Hayes, Chris McCullagh and goalie Paul Dempsey were also important.
The biggest disappointment for Goilden-Kilfeacle will be that they did not do themselves justice on the day and it was only in the closing stages that they showed what they were capable of.
Josh Keane was their key man, but he was well-policed and his contribution came entirely from frees. The Golden forwards scored only two points from play (both by Shane Stapleton) which also reflects their ineffectiveness over the hour.
JJ Byrnes, Shane O'Connell, Cian O'Connell, Shane Stapleton and Sean Hayes were others to pout their shoulder to the wheel.
Moycarkey-Borris: Paul Dempsey, Pat Molloy, Kevin Moran, Peter Melbourne, Chris McCullagh, Conor Hayes, Tom Ryan, Eoghan Hayes (0-1), Bill Maher, Rory Ryan, Pa Carey, Ger Carey, Anthony McKelvey, Rhys Shelly (2-5, 0-2 frees), Kieran Morris. Subs: Brian Maher, James Dillon, Diarmuid Maher, Nialll Heffernan.
Golden-Kilfeacle: Jack Currivan, JJ Byrnes, Aidan O'Connell, Daithi Bargary, Andy Byrnes, Shane O'Connell, Cian O'Connell (0-1), Niall Heffernan, Ronan Hayes, Shane Stapleton (0-2), Kieth Landy, Josh Keane (0-5, 0-5 frees), Jonathon Wade, David Wade, Sean Hayes. Subs: Alex Ryan, Seanie O'Halloran, Brendan Moloney.
Referee: Sean Lonergan.