Late Twiss in the tale as Kerry champions book final berth
milltown-Castlemaine 1-7 Craigbane 1-6
A late comeback that saw Kerry champions Milltown-Castlemaine hit 1-4 without reply was enough to see off the considerable challenge of 14-man Craigbane and book their place in the final.
Despite losing Brian Rainey to a straight red card two minutes after the restart, the Derry and Ulster champions looked to have the Munster men on their knees midway through the second period and when Lee Moore blasted home from close range, Craigbane moved four points clear and were well on course for an unlikely victory.
The Kerrymen's response was immediate however, and once Shane Murphy poked his low shot beyond Paul Sharkey at the other end from their next foray up field, Milltown-Castlemaine were right back on track.
Derek Twiss came off the bench and chipped in with two fine scores late on and although an injury-time point from Craigbane's Ryan Moore set up a nail-biting finale, the Milltown-Castlemaine defence held firm to advance by the slenderest of margins.
Craigbane will look to a very poor first-half showing that produced a mere two points as their main downfall, but in the end it was Milltown-Castlemaine's day and they must now prepare for their final date with Connacht champions Davitts of Mayo.
SCORERS -- Milltown-Castlemaine: Shane Murphy 1-0, I Twiss 0-3 (2f), D Twiss 0-2 (1f), D Kelliher, G Wrenn 0-1 each. Craigbane: L Moore 1-2 (1f), A McLaughlin 0-2, C O'Kane, R Moore 0-1 each.
Milltown-Castlemaine -- J Daly; J Blennerhassett, D Murphy, K McKenna; P Carroll, M Mangan, J O'Connor; M Burke, D Kelliher; J Flynn, S Murphy, G Wrenn; C Moriarty, C Kearins, I Twiss. Subs: D Twiss for Kearins (43), B Delaney for Wrenn (45), P Wrenn for Mangan (55), K McKenna for I Twiss (59).
Craigbane -- P Sharkey; D McLaughlin, F Crossan, M McGinty; B Rainey, R Gormley, C McLaughlin; B Gormley, K McElhinney; A Devine, A McLaughlin, C O'Kane; R Moore, L Moore, G Conwell. Subs: D Lowry for McElhinney (42), N Reilly for L Moore (54), R Moore for C McLaughlin.
Ref -- D Brazil (Offaly)