FOR the first quarter, the second semi-final in Austin Stack Park on Sunday had all the signs of being a carbon copy of its predecessor as Kilmoyley raced into a 17 to 0-0 lead, with barely 13 minutes gone.
Causeway struggled to get out of their own half of the pitch in that period and were badly caught out in the ninth minute when goalkeeper Stephen Murphy failed to deal with a dipping shot by the outstanding Daniel Collins and Emmet Meehan was on hand for a simple stroke into the net however Causeway's challenge finally came alive after 19 minutes.
Paul McGrath had just registered their first score beforehand when a speculative shot from corner-forward Michael Lynch fooled both the Kilmoyley defence as well as goalkeeper Jordan Brick and dropped into the net to truly kick-start the match as a genuine contest. After two more frees from McGrath, the deficit was just a point by the 24th minute as similar to Murphy at the other end, Brick failed to deal with another dipping ball and Keith Carmody was on hand to put the bare minimum between both sides.
Kilmoyley would lead by 1-10 to 2-3 at half-time however, Collins accounting for eight of their first half total as Paudie Godley was the other player to score in the first half for the Lerrig side. The second half was low on scores until the closing stages, McGrath and Collins exchanging points in the first 10 minutes of the half as Causeway were starting to leave a number of chances drift wide.
A superb point from distance by Carmody in the 47th minute reignited the game and when Brendan Barrett and substitute Jamie McGrath registered points it looked set for a grandstand finish with two minutes left and Kilmoyley's lead only one at 1-12 to 2-7. They would do enough to pull through in the finish however, a 64th minute goal from Godley securing victory as despite a great double save from Stephen Murphy, Collins closed the game with a twelve point total from a '65.
The final scoreline was perhaps not a true reflection on the nature of Causeway's efforts on the day but they certainly will look back on a number of missed opportunities in the second half. Kilmoyley's defence led by Dougie Fitzell absorbed a lot of pressure in the second half and they will need to draw a lot on that experience ahead of what is sure to be a ferocious test against Lixnaw in the final and of the two finalists Kilmoyley probably got a lot more out of their semifinal than their opponents in the final did with theirs. KILMOYLEY: Jordan Brick, Paudie O'Connor, Colman Savage, Niall Meehan, John Godley, Dougie Fitzell, Kieran O'Regan, Flor McCarthy, James Murphy, Robert Collins, Daniel Collins (0-12, 6f, 2'65'), Peter Crowe, Emmet Meehan (1-1), Eoin McCarthy (0-1), Paudie Godley (1-1) Sub: Mark Lynch for Crowe CAUSEWAY: Stephen Murphy, David Breen, Enda O'Halloran, Jamie Barrett, Brian Cantillon, Sean Leahy, Tommy Casey, Dylan Goggin, Darren Leahy, Joseph Diggins, Padraig Murphy, Paul McGrath (0-4, 4f), Michael Lynch (1-0), Keith Carmody (1-1), Brendan Barrett (0-1) Sub: Jamie McGrath (0-1) for Lynch REFEREE: Mike Hennessy (Ballyduff)