Roche Emmets 1-9 St Kevin’s 2-13
Two goals in a blistering minute saw St Kevin’s into the Louth intermediate decider at Roche Emmets’ expense on Sunday afternoon.
The semi-final was stumbling towards a cagey, low-scoring affair until Shane Meade and Lee Crosbie lifted the net before the end of the opening quarter.
Midway through the first half, with a clever line of running, Meade sliced through for the first one and from the resultant kickout, the ball was worked to Lee Crosbie, who rounded his marker and lashed home with his left foot.
Both sides mirrored each other's approaches in the early stages with Roche, ironically, shading the defensive stops with a number of turnovers. It helped that Kevin’s attacked very narrowly and David Quigley was winning all in front of him.
Dáire Reilly landed a point from the perimeter as Roche levelled for the second time, but just as they were about to settle into the game, Kevin’s stunned them. That would force Emmets to come out and they did.
Barry O’Hare, on two occasions, ate into the lead with superb efforts he had no right to go for, yet they sailed over, but Thomas MacNamee’s side soon took full control.
Karl Martin made it 2-4 to 0-6 just before half-time in what was the first of a four-point run to no-reply either side of the interval – Crosbie (2) and TJ Doheny registering.
With the lead swelled, the Philipstown outfit strangled the life out of the game. Kevin Callaghan came off the bench to reel in the years with his first touch but sustained pressure and lack of penetration would allow the game to peter out.
Playing with confidence and right from MacNamee’s script, Crosbie added to his tally and Evan Maher also picked off Roche at will. Evin Quigley deserves credit for some point blank saves along with Caoimhín Reilly in front of him.
However, Crosbie would finish with six second half points in a classy display from a side in form moving into Sunday’s final. Not even Mikey McCourt’s late goal for Emmets knocked the Kevin’s juggernaut out of their stride.
ROCHE EMMETS: Evin Quigley; Aidan Grant, David Quigley, Harry O’Connell; Seán Dawe, James McDonnell, Caoimhín Reilly; Glen Stewart, Peter Lynch; Dáire Reilly 0-1, Gerard Browne, Mark Byrne 0-1; Barry O’Hare 0-5 (2f), Liam Dawe, Shane Byrne 0-1 (1m). Subs: Mikey McCourt 1-0 for Stewart (HT), David O’Connell for D Reilly (34), Kevin Callaghan 0-1 for L Dawe (43), Mark Reynolds for Grant (54).
ST KEVIN’S: Danny Crosbie; Eoin McKenna, Finbarr Lynch, Dylan Maher; Darren McMullan, Cameron Maher 0-1 (1f), Shane Meade 1-0; Evan Maher 0-1, Seánie Crosbie; Karl Martin 0-1, TJ Doheny 0-3, Patrick Clarke; Keelan Maher, Lee Crosbie 1-6 (0-1f), Tom Matthews 0-1. Subs: Adam Khan for Clarke (36), Cian Callan for Martin (53), Brian Callaghan for Meade (58).
REFEREE: Stephen Murphy (Naomh Máirtín).