Killinkere march on despite late fade-out

Intermediate Football Championship quarter-final

Killinkere 1-17

Templeport 1-13

Paul Fitzpatrick at Kingspan Breffni

Killinkere returned to the Intermediate semi-final but made things hard on themselves as they opened a big lead before having to withstand a spirited Templeport revival.

The winners looked the more cohesive and mobile side from the start. An early left-footed point from corner-back Michael Smith got them up and running and key marksman Emmett Fitzsimons soon added two more, a free and a left-footed effort from play.

For all that they dominated the early exchanges on the scoreboard, however, Killinkere had young goalkeeper Lee Phillingham to thank for two excellent saves which kept them in front on the scoreboard.

Templeport got off the mark on eight minutes when Phillingham was called into action to deny Dillon Raythorne, with Eoin Doonan alive to the break, swivelling to point with the left.

But a well-judged kick-out saw Killinkere break out quickly and Jason McMahon curled over from 35 metres at full stride. Templeport responded well with a long-range point from James Murphy and a Danny Maguire score from play but as the half wore on, the St Aidan’s looked to be struggling and were hanging on as Killinkere threatened to cut them open, with Peter McCabe’s pace causing problems.

McCabe laid off for Conall Mooney to send over a nice point on the overlap and again provided the assist when Templeport were dispossessed coming out with the ball and the reliable Fitzsimons made no mistake.

Killinkere seemed to have more in the legs which allowed them to work that bit harder, which was typified when Kevin McCabe hunted down a turnover on the stand side and started a move which Peter McCabe finished from the opposite wing to make it 0-7 to 0-3 on 22 minutes.

Peter McCabe is closely marked by Ciaran McManus. Photo by Adrian Donohoe Photography 0863716199

Templeport replied when a long kick-out by-passed midfield and Dillon Raythorne fired over a neat point off the left. The intensity dropped in the closing stages of the half as both teams were guilty of sloppy wides.

Killinkere created another goal chance but Donal Maguire was equal to it, pulling off a spectacular one-handed diving save and, at the other end, his side pulled it back to three when Liam Galligan poached a point after a break off Doonan.

That score made it 0-8 to 0-5 as Templeport kept Killinkere honest but again, Peter McCabe showed his speed as he burned off a defender and opted to fist over a point when bearing down on goal to leave four between the teams at the break.

Killinkere took charge of the match as they dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half, out-scoring Declan Farrell’s men by 1-7 to 0-2 to surge into an 11-point lead before the Bawnboy-based side mounted that late comeback.

A good free from Doonan 30 seconds after the restart made it a three-point game again but Killinkere then kicked on. A great ball from Smith found Cian McGovern, who played Peter McCabe in, but again Maguire saved what looked like a certain goal.

Jason McMahon, always composed on the 40, cut through the centre and fisted over Killinkere’s 10th point and a huge score from the outstanding Kevin McCabe stretched their lead to five.

In the eighth minute, the major Killinkere had been threatening arrived. They won a Templeport kick-out and Fitzsimons laid off for Peter McCabe, who sent a rocket of a shot to the roof of the net.

Killinkere continued to control proceedings but kicked three wides and saw Maguire again deny McCabe with a great save.

Templeport responded with an excellent strike from Gavin Donohoe from the right wing but Stephen Smith’s charges pushed on with a 45 from Cian McGovern and two well-taken long-range points from Mooney and McMahon before Fitzsimons converted a 45-metre free to make it 1-15 to 0-7 on 50 minutes.

And then, from nowhere, Templeport took charge of the game as they ran hard at the Killinkere defence, pinched kick-outs and began to play with a vigour and confidence that had been lacking.

Liam McAweeney sent a good delivery from the corner across the square where Darragh O’Shea found the net from close range before Liam Galligan drove at the back-line and pointed off the left.

Templeport poured forward, with Raythorne now on the edge of the square. A left-footed Doonan point and then a free from the same player after Galligan was fouled cut the gap further and when Doonan pointed on the loop and Danny Maguire nailed a 45, suddenly it was a three-point game again.

But Killinkere steadied the ship with a Fitzsimons free and a super Mooney effort from play as they ran out four-point victors, Doonan adding a late free for Templeport who left it too late on the evening.

Killinkere: Lee Phillingham, Michael Smith (0-1), Luke Crossan, Liam McCabe, Nathan McQuade, Alex Sweeney, Kevin McCabe (0-1), James Farrelly, Paul Brady, Garry Denning, Jason McMahon (0-3), Conal Mooney, (0-3) Cian McGovern (0-1, 45), Emmett Fitzsimons (0-5, 3f), Peter McCabe (1-2)

Subs: Daniel Sweeney for L Crossan (46), Mark Farrelly for G Denning (52), Ciaran Cusack for P Brady (60)

Templeport: Donal Maguire, Ciaran McManus, Sean Dolan, Oran Duffy, James Rudden, Dillon Raythorne (0-1), Liam McAweeney, Gavin Donohoe (0-1), Eoghan Martin, Danny Maguire (0-2, 45), Eoin Doonan (0-5, 2f), James Fahy, Naoise McKenna, Liam Galligan (0-2), James Murphy (0-1)

Subs: Liam Bannon for J Fahy, E McCaffrey for N McKenna (both ht), Darragh O’Shea (1-0) for J Rudden (45), Aaron Donohoe for E Martin (59, temp.)

Ref: Martin Sexton