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Millstreet impress

GAA: County IFC Round 3 - Millstreet 2-9 Kinsale 0-8

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Millstreet’s Cathal Crowley about to deliver the ball away from Kinsale danger in the County IFC at Carrigadrohid. Photo by John Tarrant

Millstreet’s Cathal Crowley about to deliver the ball away from Kinsale danger in the County IFC at Carrigadrohid. Photo by John Tarrant

Millstreet’s Cathal Crowley about to deliver the ball away from Kinsale danger in the County IFC at Carrigadrohid. Photo by John Tarrant

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Millstreet upped their level of performance after losing a man early in the second half to record a seven point victory over Kinsale in Round 3 to a disappointing County IFC at Carrigadrohid last Sunday.

Down to fourteen players, the situation demanded that Millstreet increased their workload and in fairness, the response was immediate and effective. Battling through a thorny patch, Millstreet improved considerably to charge forward and pick off crucial scores to pull away from opponents that looked capable of making most of wayward shooting by the Duhallow side during the opening spell.

Millstreet benefited from the bench also, with the introduction of county hurler Mark Ellis added creativity and direction to the victors game. Ellis entered the fray at half-time with an injury and his towering presence made a key difference before hobbling off close to the full-time whistle.

Having lost a player soon after the restart, team coach Aidan O'Mahony expressed delight at his charges all round workrate.

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"We made tough work out of it, with no championship action for a number of months, it showed and Kinsale put it up to us. Its a young Millstreet team, youth is being given a fling, they learned alot and there is plenty to work to undertake and further improvement will be required ahead of facing a sterner test from Cill na Martra or Glanworth in a quarter-final," said the Kerry man.

From the outset, the general quality of play left a lot to be desired with scores becoming a scarce commodity. Millstreet held promising passages, relying on Michael Vaughan for all of their four point contribution yet much of their shooting was poorly directed on recording eight wides.

That opening half could be described as nondescript, punctuated by mistakes and poor handling as neither side managed to put together a regular run of constructive play.

Though Kinsale had operated second fiddle in the possession stakes, solid work from Niall McCarthy, Richard O'Sullivan, Gearóid Finn and Colm Donnellan kept the harbour men well in contention on trailing 0-4 to 0-3 at the break, Millstreet thankful to 'keeper Dylan O'Leary on saving well from Donnellan.

The temperature rose soon after the restart, Millstreet down to fourteen players after the dismissal of defender Oisín Murphy for an off the ball incident. Though Kinsale 'keeper Stephen O'Neill pointed a 45 for parity and now matters smelled ominous for Millstreet.

However, the full extent of the warning signals failed to surface as the numerical imbalance made no impact on the proceedings with no great conviction of a full Kinsale revival bid.

If anything, Millstreet increased their workrate, driven on at midfield by the introduction of Ellis, well supported by Kevin Crowley, Beircheart O'Connor and Michael Murphy. A game changer on 40 minutes saw Darren Kiely and Ellis involved for Colm O'Leary set up minor Neil Flahive to bank a peach of a goal.

Though Finn replied with a pair of Kinsale pointed frees, they faced an uphill task once Crowley and Ellis combined for Vaughan to net from close range at the opposite end in the 45th minute.

Hard though as Kinsale battled to get back into the reckoning, they failed to muster up the required response, though holding possession, they repeatedly struggled to translate crumbs of comfort on the scoreboard.

Millstreet had a bit on hand during the latter stages, the experience of Crowley and Vaughan kicked in to land telling points to confirm their superiority, the outcome allowed Millstreet get compensation for a defeat at the same stage in the 2015 campaign.

From a Millstreet perspective, this was a low key rather than a spectacular performance. In many ways, that's the ideal scenario ahead of a higher ranking opposition with a Cill na Martra / Glanworth clash scheduled in a quarter-final.

MILLSTREET: D O'Leary; D Linehan, A Murphy, B O'Connor; M Murphy, O Murphy, P Sheehan; D Kiely 0-1, C Crowley; B O'Flynn, K Crowley 0-1, C O'Leary; M Vaughan 1-5(0-3f), S Hickey, N Flahive 1-2 Subs: M Ellis for O'Flynn (ht), T Collins for C O'Leary (55), T Walsh for Ellis (60)

KINSALE: S O'Neill 0-1'45; W O'Hea, C Lane, A Ryan; C McCartan, N McCarthy, R O'Regan; R O'Sullivan 0-1, D Coughlan; C McCarthy, D Ward, S O'Brien; J Wright 0-1, G Finn 0-3(0-2f), C Donnellan 0-2 Subs: G O'Leary for Ryan (36 bc), T Broderick for O'Brien (46), D Searls for Wright (53), F Reilly for Ward (56), R O'Hanlon for Donnellan (58 inj)

Referee: J Ryan (Macroom)


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