IT WAS A rousing good battle between Kiltegan and Tinahely in the Keating Trophy on Thursday night with the result in the balance right up to the closing minutes.
While Kiltegan had four points to spare in the end it took big displays by John Paul Dalton and Rory Finn to see them past the post.
When the sides last met it was in the championship and the build-up was all wrong. Kiltegan were going for qualification while Tinahely had nothing left to play for so it was a one sided match, but this one was totally different.
After the championship itself there is no greater motivator that the threat of relegation so both went at it hammer and tongs from the start. Kiltegan set the pace with points by John Keogh and Stephen Farrell and while Tinahely never got in front they drew level twice before the west side pulled ahead. Half time - 0-9 to 0-6.
Alan Nolan, David Blake, Paddy O'Rourke and Jason Cush shared the Tinahely points with Jacko Dalton, Rory Finn, Adrian Keogh and Anthony Furlong adding their names to the Kiltegan score sheet.
In the very first minute of the second half Tinahely got the only goal of the match and the sides were level for a third time.
The Kiltegan keeper brought off a brilliant save from Cushe but crafty full forward Brian Hickey was on hand to boot home the breaking ball.
A great battle was developing at midfield and while John O'Toole and Jacko Dalton were doing well for Kiltegan, David Dillon was winning a lot of the high ball. Jacko put Kiltegan back in front with two great points but Jason Cushe and Tony D'Arcy levelled the game for a fourth time.
Rory Finn was doing serious damage with runs through the middle and put Kiltegan back in front but the Kiltegan defence were conceding frees and that gave Alan Nolan the chance to level the game once more. Kiltegan got the last four points with Padraig Keogh, John Keogh, Geoffrey Bermingham and Anthony Furlong scoring.