A clinical finish from substitute Ultan Quirke one minute from the end of normal time handed St. Mary's (Rosslare) a dramatic late victory over Kilmore in this Ashdown Park/Amber Springs Hotels Intermediate football championship Group B game in Killurin on Sunday.
While one has to feel sympathy for Kilmore, as the defeat puts them into the relegation final, still they have no one to blame but themselves for failing to turn their second-half possession into scores.
They were wind assisted but more importantly faced 14-man St. Mary's from the 21st minute after Niall Walsh was straight red carded by referee Niall McDonald following a tackle on Kilmore's Daithí Moore. But full credit to St. Mary's who never lost their composure, leading to the eventual victory after a fully-committed display.
Kilmore had suffered a cruel blow when they had their inter-county player, Tom Byrne, black carded in the tenth minute. However, St. Mary's kept their composure throughout despite their numerical disadvantage, and this in the main can be attributed to a dominant David Murphy in midfield who, along with Robert Butler, won the bulk of quality ball in this area.
St. Mary's had the advantage of the strong wind in the opening half, with the sides swapping early points through Tiarnan Rossiter and Daithí Moore, before a thirteenth minute Naomhan Rossiter effort put the eventual winners in front.
Two Moore pointed frees restored the Kilmore lead, but points from a David Murphy free and Tiarnan Rossiter gave St. Mary's a 0-4 to 0-3 interval advantage.
After a Tiarnan Rossiter point within 30 seconds of the re-start stretched the Mary's lead, Kilmore assumed control with two points, one from a free, from Shane Goff bringing the sides level after 34 minutes.
Further points from Daithí Moore (free) and Aaron Goff stretched Kilmore into a 0-7 to 0-5 lead at the end of the third quarter. After Tiarnan Rossiter and Shane Goff had exchanged points, a Paddy Byrne point put Kilmore three clear (0-9 to 0-6) with 14 minutes remaining.
Tiarnan Rossiter and Paul Kinsella points reduced the deficit to one, but when Moore put Kilmore 0-10 to 0-8 clear eight minutes from the end, they looked quite comfortable.
Wasteful approach play cost them dearly though when Ultan Quirke found the net one minute from the end to give his side a dramatic late victory, but more importantly it preserves their status for another year.
St. Mary's: Steve Cogley; Gearóid Byrne, Emmett Byrne, Conal Grant; Shay Boggan, Naomhan Rossiter (0-1), Seán Finan; David Murphy (0-1 free), Robert Butler; Barry Quirke, Andrew Murphy, Paul Kinsella (0-1); Niall Walsh, Tiarnan Rossiter (0-5), Jason Ellard. Subs. - Ultan Quirke (1-0) for Ellard, Conor Cafferkey for B. Quirke.
Kilmore: Kevin Casey; Peter Shannon, Stevie Cousins, Martin Frayne; Alan Jones, Denis Kenny, Aaron Kielthy; Paddy Byrne (0-1), Kevin Keating; Aaron Goff (0-2), Daithí Moore (0-4, 2 frees), Derek Miskella; Liam Shannon, Thomas Byrne, Shane Goff (0-3, 1 free). Subs. - Rory Cardiff for T. Byrne (black card), Graham Mernagh for Keating.
Referee: Niall McDonald (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).