WHEN Kilmoyley won six titles in a nine year span between 2001 and 2009 players like Shane Brick and James McCarthy were very much leading lights at opposite ends of the pitch. They may have differed in terms of style and technique, but their input was equal in relation to their admirable endeavour and leadership.
Since their last Championship success in 2009 injuries have taken their toll and with the passing years there was a concern that maybe we had seen the best of two of Pairc Naomh Eric's most famous sporting sons, but the evidence available in the Austin Stack Park last Saturday afternoon confirms that both are still very much in fine fettle and capable of producing displays of the very highest quality. James McCarthy rock solid and resilient on the edge of the small square and the sweet striking Shane Brick every inch an ace opportunist at the opposite end of the pitch.
Given their display against Lixnaw, Abbeydorney were in some quarters given more than an equal chance of progressing to the penultimate stage of the competition and for all of the first half they maintained parity in all sectors and led by the bare minimum at the break, but they lacked a scoring threat in contrast to Kilmoyley, who were always able to rely on Shane Brick and Daniel Collins to conjure up a few scores whenever the issue was in doubt.
Scoring wise Kilmoyley held a marginal advantage for most of the opening quarter and led (0-4 to 0-2) after fifteen minutes. Significant during this period was a point blank save by Aidan McCabe from a gilt edged goaling chance in the twelfth minute from Eoin Egan.
Kilmoyley having accumulated five wides, were creating all the scoring chances, but the outstanding input of Michael O'Leary and the unerring free taking of Daniel O'Leary meant that O'Dorney had edged in front by the bare minimum by the twentieth minute.
However, with James McCarthy a commanding figure, O'Dorney's scoring chances were largely limited.
Adrian Royle, was denied of a goal by the crossbar in the twenty fifth minute and with Daniel Collins and Michael O'Leary registering two superb scores for the respective sides the Black and Amber brigade retained a one point cushion (0-7 to 0-6) at the end of a half during which the teams were level on five different occasions.
Daniel Collins levelled matters within four minutes of the restart and when Shane Brick opened up a two point gap with a brace of brilliant points, it afforded Kilmoyley a scoring advantage they subsequently never surrendered.
It didn't, however, kill off the Abbeydorney challenge with Aidan Healy continuing to hurl with tremendous enthusiasm and when Daniel O'Leary converted another pointed free it kept his side still very much in contention.
However, they squandered a few more scoring chances and were guilty also of some sloppy and misdirected clearances with the result that Kilmoyley – and in particular Shane Brick – capitalised fully. Three on the spin from Shane Brick and another from Paudie O'Connor opened up a five point gap by the twentieth minute increased to seven with as many minutes of normal time remaining central to their advantage was also the input of the commanding Tom Murnane in the pivotal defensive position.
A goal three minutes from the finish from Darragh O'Connell after he had availed of an assist at the edge of the square kept O'Dorney's fading hopes alive, but the response from Kilmoyley was immediate with successive points from Daniel Collins and Shane Brick.
Another O'Dorney goal with Brendan O'Leary connecting in mid-air in a goal mouth melee afforded Abbeydorney another lifeline as the game drifted into added time. However, it was fitting that Shane Brick should seal the victory with the final score of the encounter. A result which has put Kilmoyley right back in the frame for outright honours. The old heads and the young guns are merging nicely together for the team of the noughties.
Not to be written off just yet.
Kilmoyley: Aidan McCabe, Seanie Murnane, James McCarthy, Tommy Maunsell, Dougie Fitzell, Tom Murnane (0-1), James Godley, David Fitzell, Paudie Stapelton, Shane Brick (0-10, 5f), Daniel Collins (0-4), Sean Maunsell, Paudie O'Connor (0-2), Adrian Royle (0-1), Andy McCarthy Subs: Flor McCarthy for David Fitzell, Jordan Brick for P O'Connor, Brendan Harris for A McCarthy, Ian Brick for P Stapalton, Joseph Sullivan for J Godley
Abbeydorney: Tim Fealy, Kieran O'Connell, Chris McCarthy, Stephen O'Connor, Kieran Dineen, Aidan Healy (0-1), Niall O'Connell, Brendan O'Leary (1-1), Daniel O'Leary (0-4, 3f), PJ Ryan, Eoin Egan, Joe McCarthy, Damien Ryall, Michael O'Leary (0-2), Darragh O'Connell (1-0) Subs: Mike Hannifin for PJ Ryan, Sean O'Mahony for J McCarthy, Padraig Dineen for S O'Connor
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)
NOT a specific moment, but, three in as many minutes, between the forty third, and forty sixth minutes. Holding onto a precarious one point lead with the issue very much delicately poised. Shane Brick opened up a significant scoring gap with a hat-trick of unanswered points in a three minute spell. In what seemed like an instant a scoring gap had opened up which subsequently provided the platform for Kilmoyley's success.
THE age old sporting adage readily came to mind in the Austin Stack Park last Saturday afternoon. Form is temporary – class is permanent. Given his struggle with injuries in recent times, there was a fear that Shane Brick's best days were behind him. But, given the master class performance from him,in the second half he certainly hasn't lost any of the expertise which has now been on display for over a decade. A game breaker, who separated the sides with some excellent scores.