Dales record big victory
Avondale 4-20 Kilcoole 3-5
In the first game of the double header played at Pearse's Park, Arklow, on Saturday afternoon Kilcoole were pitted against the clear favourites to win the Intermediate hurling championship, Avondale.
Conditions were ideal on a good hurling sod with only a cross field breeze to annoy forwards playing into the town end goal.
If Kilcoole were intent on a shock result, they got the start that they needed when Eoin Keddy gained possession from the throw in and soloed through to point within 20 seconds.
There was little sense of urgency about Avondale in these early stages and Kilcoole were setting the pace.
Luke Evans got their second point and then full-forward Garry Coady raised the first green flag of the game.
He appeared to shoot for a point but the ball slipped in under the crossbar for a fortunate goal. However, they all count.
The only Avondale response had been an early Ray Nolan point and Kilcoole were unexpectedly ahead by four points at the ten minute stage.
However, this was as good as things were to get for the Goosebank men.
The Dales centre forward Ray Nolan took the game by the scruff of the neck and gave an excellent display of shooting from play and frees to amass a personal tally of 1-6 in the remainder of the first half.
Corner-forward Ross Ward got the first Avondale goal when he gained possession inside the full back line and ran through to beat goalie Chris Carroll from close in after 16 minutes.
Kilcoole centre forward Ronan Keddy got Kilcoole's second goal on 20 minutes.
This proved to be a mere interruption as Avondale were motoring by now with the flow of play moving constantly towards the Kilcoole.
Others were taking their lead from Nolan and were shooting for scores as the opportunities arose.
However, the wides count began to rise and Avondale had accumulated nine by half-time.
Ray Nolan raced through for the Dales second goal six minutes from the break while their other two points of the half came from Shane Byrne and Gearoid Murphy.
The final point of the half was scored by Ronan Keddy just on the call of half-time. Avondale led by 2-8 to 2-3.
Ray Nolan continued in the same vein of form in the second half.
By five minutes, Avondale had added three points - a pointed 65 from Eoin Baker and two Nolan points.
This was balanced by a long-range goal by Vinnie Quigley whose high ball into the Avondale goal appeared to deceive Craig Byrne.
Avondale responded immediately. Eugene Heffernan knocked home goal three following a save from Chris Carroll.
Two minutes later the game was over. Gearoid Murphy was fouled going through. Ray Nolan lined up the free just outside 20 metres, noticed the goalie and one other facing him on the goal-line and promptly buried the ball in the net.
From here to the end there was only one team in the game.
Nolan got one more point and was replaced. Avondale brought on four subs during this half as the game wound down to its inevitable conclusion.
Luke Evans added two points from frees for Kilcoole close to the end as the Dales ran out comfortable winners without the injured Eamon Kearns.
Scorers - Avondale: Ray Nolan 2-9, Ross Ward 1-2. Eugene Heffernan 1-0, Jack Manley 0-3, Gearoid Murphy 0-2, Shane Byrne, Eoin Baker, Jim Doyle, Dean Gahan 0-1 each.
Kilcoole: Ronan Keddy 1-0, Luke Evans 0-3, Garry Coady 1-0, Vinnie Quigley 1-0, Eoin Keddy 0-1.
Avondale: Craig Byrne; James Busher, Conor Sheehan, Anthony O'Toole; Danny Owens, Eugene Dunne, Jim Doyle; Shane Byrne, Eoin Baker; Gearoid Murphy, Ray Nolan, Niall Heffernan; Eanna Owens, Eugene Heffernan, Ross Ward; Subs: Karl Phelan, Jack Manley, Keith Byrne, Dean Gahan.
Kilcoole: Chris Carroll; Patrick O'Brien, Ciaran Doyle, Declan Roper; Adam Cummins, Vincent Quigley, Dara Keddy; Eoin Keddy, Luke Evans; Glynn Dunne, Ronan Keddy, Brian Short; James Cahill, Garry Coady, Conor O'Toole. Subs. Jim Keddy, Marwan Machaalini. Lee Dutton, Oisin Curry.
Referee: Jason Redmond. (ARP).