Tuesday 26 March 2019

Fermoy let chances slip by as Kilcummin capitalise on opportunities

Munster Club IFC Final: Kilcummin 1-11 Fermoy 1-3

A dejected Padraig Clancy wonders what might have been at the full-time whistle after Fermoy suffered defeat to Kerry's Kilcummin in the AIB Munster Intermediate Club Football Final in Mallow. Photo: Eric Barry
A dejected Padraig Clancy wonders what might have been at the full-time whistle after Fermoy suffered defeat to Kerry's Kilcummin in the AIB Munster Intermediate Club Football Final in Mallow. Photo: Eric Barry

Diarmuid Sheehan, Mallow GAA Complex

Fermoy will have to settle for a county title and the prospect of Cork senior football next year after they lost out to Kerry champions Kilcummin in the Munster Intermediate Football Final last Sunday.

In front of a large attendance both sides gave it their all and while Fermoy came out on the wrong side of the final score-line they should be proud of their achievements over the year - losing just one game, a league fixture, before finally falling to a powerful Kilcummin side.

The East Kerry side became the 11th Kerry side to win the Munster Intermediate Club Football title cementing that counties dominance of this particular football championship.

There were plenty hairy moments for the Kingdom side as Fermoy cut them open on a number of occasions, but the finish rarely matched the approach play and the Kerry defenders were able to clear.

While the story should be all about the victors it would be remiss to ignore the fact that Fermoy will probably be kicking themselves after missing a host of chances early in the game which ultimately had a big bearing on the result.

It was ultimately a first half of missed chances for Fermoy after Pádraig De Róiste nailed a penalty in the opening few minutes.

The same player shot wide at the second time of asking from the spot minutes later and Fermoy's opening 30 minutes went from bad to worse with the boys in black and amber failing to get their attacking mojo back.

That said, Kilcummin defended really well for long periods and when breached more often than not the Kerry side were able to scramble clear what Cork senior Tómas Clancy and his teammates threw at them.

Kilcummin were led on the pitch by their keeper and Captain Brendan Kealy and off the pitch by manager Willie Maher the Kerry side rallied from what was a slow and nervous start to take control of the fixture and pull away at the finish against what was a quality but on the day slightly disappointing Fermoy outfit.

On the pitch the displays of Kealy, Donal Maher at full-back, Chris O'Leary at centre-back and Shane McSweeney in the middle were well worthy of mention with Matt Keane, Noel Duggan and Kevin McCarthy all potent up front. Kieran Murphy was another that played really well on a day that will live long in the Kilcummin memory.

Kilcummin started brightly and had all the play with a couple of banks of Fermoy defenders happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. Kilcummin weren't having too much joy in the early exchanges - they had the ball but it was too far from the danger zone and Fermoy were confident in their own defensive tactics.

A point from Duggan got the ball rolling however a quick attack from the Cork side had Kilcummin in trouble and after pulling down Kieran Morrisson Fermoy took the lead thanks to De Róiste's penalty.

Another penalty followed for Fermoy however the same player failed to raise green which seemed to turn to game in the champion's favour. Five points from the next six saw Kilcummin go in up by two (0-6 to 1-1) with three Kilcummin points in the dying minutes of the half doing the damage.

A quick brace on the restart from the leaders opened up the game's first sizable gap and while Fermoy battled hard all the way to the finish this one had Kilcummin written all over it from a distance out.

Kilcummin finished the game off in style with a brilliant team goal that was slotted home by Ian Devane on 61 minutes - which in truth flattered the newly crowned Munster Champions a touch, but in truth it was no more than they deserved for powering past what was a well-respected Fermoy side.

Kilcummin can now look forward to an All-Ireland semi-final against the Leinster Champions however it will be another week or two yet before that championship concludes but for Fermoy, a small bit of soul searching before a well-deserved Christmas break and thoughts of life playing Cork senior football.

Kilcummin: B Kealy; P Casey 0-1, D Maher, D Moynihan; W Maher, C O'Leary, S O'Leary 0-1; K Murphy 0-1, K Gorman; P Nagle, G O'Leary 0-1, S McSweeney; K McCarthy 0-1, M Keane 0-3, N Duggan 0-3 (1f) Subs: K Teahan for P Nagle (ht), I Devane 1-0 for N Duggan (39), D O'Leary for P Casey (58), D O'Leary for G O'Leary (60), J McCarthy for K McCarthy (60)

Fermoy: L Coleman; P Clancy, J Daly, R Morrison; P Murphy, D O'Carroll, A Baragry; T Clancy, J Hutchings; S Aherne, P De Róiste 1-0 pen, D Dawson; M Brennan 0-1, R O'Hagan 0-2f, K Morrison Subs: E Clancy for R Morrison (ht), B O'Sullivan for A Baragry (40), R O'Callaghan for M Brennan (42), R McEvoy for J Hutchings (45), A O'Connor for K Morrison (50), D O'Flynn for P De Róiste (55)

Referee: Derek O'Mahoney (Tipperary)