Devane strike seals a first ever Munster crown for Kilcummin

Munster Intermediate Club Football Final: Kilcummin 1-11 Fermoy 1-3

Noel Duggan pictured with his grandson, also Noel Duggan, after Kilcummin's victory in the AIB Munster Intermediate Club Football Final in Mallow last weekend. Photo: Eric Barry
Noel Duggan pictured with his grandson, also Noel Duggan, after Kilcummin's victory in the AIB Munster Intermediate Club Football Final in Mallow last weekend. Photo: Eric Barry

Diarmuid Sheehan, Mallow GAA Complex

Kilcummin become the eleventh Kerry side to win the Munster Intermediate Club Football title seeing off Fermoy in Mallow last Sunday. The East Kerry side looked good most of the way through and fully deserved what turned out to be an eight point winning margin.

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.

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 Roiste 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 and the boys in black and amber couldnt 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.

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 backs 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.

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 long way out.

Kilcummin finished the game off in style with a brilliant team goal that was finished off by Ian Devane on 61 minutes which may have flattered the newly crowned Munster Champions a touch but in truth 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, but it will be another week or two yet before that championship concludes so for now the small matter of an O'Donoghue Cup quarter-final awaits the latest Kerry side to claim provincial honours.

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)