Daniels' men look impressive in victory over Kilcoole
Darcy Sand IFC Semi-final: Dunlavin 0-13 Kilcoole 0-9
Dunlavin produced a clinical and impressive performance to power past Kilcoole last Sunday afternoon in Aughrim and secure a place in the Darcy Sand Intermediate Football Championship final against Kilmacanogue.
A busy, organised and relentless showing all over the field proved too much for Ciaran Dutton's men who failed to hit the heights required and who came up against a Dunlavin defence in no mood for compromise and an attack that moved the ball intelligently and caused massive problems for the Goosebank men.
Dunlavin's return to the final gives them an opportunity to right the wrongs of the 2017 decider when they were toppled by a ruthless Hollywood display on a score line of 5-9 to 0-15 with the game virtually over at half-time with Mick Murray's men leading by 3-4 to 0-8. Looking at Sunday's performance against Kilcoole it seems highly unlikely that Jonathan Daniels' side will be prised open with such ease when they face his old charges in two weeks' time.
Facing Dunlavin will be Kilmacanogue who powered past Carnew Emmets in their semi-final. Dunlavin boss Jonathan Daniels led the Sugarloaf men to the Junior 'A' title during his time with the club and will know all about the threat that the young side possess and suggests that this will be a belter of a final between two pure footballing sides.
Dunlavin had some major performers on the day all the way from Tom McGuirk in the goals who notched two points from sweetly struck 45s to captain Sean Phelan at full-back, the excellent Paul Murtagh, MJ Moran, Aaron Phelan, Shane O'Rourke, Cian O'Sullivan, Eoin Murtagh and the energetic and stylish Shane Carthy. They were also able to call on soldiers such as Daniel Dawson, Fionn Deegan and Gary Allen from the bench from a panel of 31 as the programme listed on the day.
The starting 15 showed a number of positional switches. Eoin Murtagh was named at 14 but lined out at midfield on Ronan Keddy. Cian O'Sullivan went to corner-forward on Luke O'Reilly from the start and midfielder Mark Reid took up the full-forward position.
For Kilcoole, Matt Gilbert wore 11 but started in at full-forward with Danny Kavanagh moving out the field.
The first half was cagey but entertaining. Dunlavin opened up a two-point gap early on. Tomás Lawlor winning a free from Keith Reynolds and the very impressive Shane O'Rourke sending it over the bar before Shane Carthy engineered a fine score that produced 13 passes of the ball ahead of the corner-forward firing over.
Kilcoole got off the mark from a move that started with a short kick-out from Glen Tighe. Alas, for Kilcoole, it would be a tactic they would persist with and it seemed one that created an awful lot of work for them as they looked to build from the back.
On this occasion the ball was worked to Danny Kavanagh who was fouled by Paul Murtagh. The free was taken quickly to Luke Evans who fed Eoin Keddy who drilled over a gorgeous score off the outside of the right boot.
The busy Jack Bellamy popped over the equaliser as both sides unleashed a fairly significant work rate that was going to have to drain the energy levels as the game went on.
A big gap passed between scores with Shane O'Rourke landing the next from a free after 17 minutes after a handling error from the Kilcoole defence while Shane Carthy watched his effort moments before coming off both post and back out to safety at the village end.
It was 20 minutes before Kilcoole went long with a kick-out but that was won by Dunlavin and quickly followed by a Cian O'Sullivan point after his shot was touched over by Glen Tighe in the Kilcoole goals.
A foul by Mark Reid and Eoin Murtagh on Danny Kavanagh allowed the talented attacker a chance from a free and he took it with aplomb to leave Dunlavin ahead by 0-4 to 0-3 after 21.
Tom McGuirk floated over a 45 after 26 before Cian O'Sullivan followed up after 29 with Kilcoole storming the Dunlavin defence in between only for Ronan Keddy's effort to be blocked by a combination of Padraig Carmody and Paul Murtagh as the west side locked up at the back.
A Danny Kavanagh free closed the scoring at 0-6 to 0-4 and left Kilcoole under no illusions as to the challenge they faced from a formidable looking Dunlavin performance.
It was 0-8 to 0-4 within the opening five minutes of the second half - a lovely Shane O'Rourke point after 40 seconds, again after patient and confident build up, and a free from Cian O'Sullivan after a jersey pull.
Kilcoole managed a wide in between those scores after a fine mark from Cormac Byrne saw the Goosebank men attack and Ronan Keddy win a free which was pulled wide by Danny Kavanagh.
Lee Dutton sent over a lovely score that originated from yet another short kick-out and Matt Kennedy got up to break Tom McGuirk's kick-out immediately after and started a move that ended with Declan Roper firing over and reducing the Dunlavin lead to two at 0-6 to 0-4.
Dunlavin sent in Daniel Dawson for Tomás Lawlor with Dawson going to midfield and Mark Reid moving to the half forwards.
Had it been a closer game at the death then the next events could have been a massive talking point. A trundling run from Aaron Phelan saw him unleash a rocket of a shot at Glen Tighe's goal and it was walloped the crossbar came down and bounced back out with the action ending with a Dunlavin 45. The power of the shot made it impossible to tell in real time but there were major suggestions that the ball had crossed the line. Tom McGuirk swept over the 45.
A wide from Matt Gilbert was followed by the dispossession of Eoin Murtagh and a sweeping over that ended with a stunning score from Lee Dutton.
An Aaron Phelan Mark was followed by the ball moving from William Kennedy to Shane Carthy with the hugely impressive attacker firing over to make it 00-10 to 0-7.
By now Kilcoole had installed Danny Kavanagh on the edge of the square and were starting to drop bombs down in his general vicinity. One such delivery caused Dunlavin serious problems and the ball broke to Matt Gilbert who rifled over at the end of the third quarter.
It was 0-12 to 0-8 by the time Kilcoole managed what would be their last score - Shane O'Rourke and Shane Carthy both scoring either side of the introduction of Gary Allen to the fray.
Danny Kavanagh would point after 22 but that was as good as it got for the Goosebank men. They continued to launch high ball in but Tom McGuirk and his defence were more than up for the challenge and a point from Shane O'Rourke closed out the win at 0-13 to 0-9 with Kilcoole never truly looking like unlocking a very impressive Dunlavin side who march on to face Kilmacanogue in what should be a wonderful spectacle of a final.
Scorers - Dunlavin: Shane O'Rourke 0-5 (2f), Dhane Carthy 0-3, Cian O'Sullivan 0-3 (1f), Tom McGuirk 0-2 (2 45s). Kilcoole: Danny Kavanagh 0-3 (2f), Lee Dutton 0-2, Eoin Keddy 0-1, Jack Bellamy 0-1, Declan Roper 0-1, Matt Gilbert 0-1.
Dunlavin: Tom McGuirk; Padraig Carmody, Sean Phelan, Daryl Huntley; William Kennedy, Paul Murtagh, MJ Moran; Aaron Phelan, Mark Reid; Shane O'Rourke, Cian O'Sullivan, Darragh Dillon; Tomás Lawlor, Eoin Murtagh, Shane Carthy. Subs: Daniel Dawson for T Lawlor (39), Gary Allen for M Reid (48), Fionn Deegan for D Dillon (59), Harry Cloeburn for D Huntley (61).
Kilcoole: Glen Tighe; Luke O'Reilly, Matthew Mannix, Keith Reynolds; Dara Keddy, Matt Kennedy, Jack Bellamy; Cormac Byrne, Ronan Keddy; Eoin Keddy, Matt Gilbert, Luke Evans; Lee Dutton, Danny Kavanagh, Declan Roper. Subs: 19 for D Roper (55), Chris Carroll for J Bellamy (59).