The scenic South of our wonderful county was the destination on Sunday last for Round 2 of the Intermediate Club Football Championship as Milltown/Castlemaine faced into their second clash against South Kerry opposition in the space of a week. In Round 1 these sides had contrasting fortunes with Milltown/Castlemaine beating Waterville whilst Dromid Pearses lost out to Glenbeigh/Glencar so both teams had different motivating factors coming into the contest with Milltown/Castlemaine looking to book a Quarter-Final spot and Dromid Pearses looking to bounce back and keep their hopes of a top two finish intact.
It was the South Kerry side, Dromid Pearses who came out of the blocks the quicker of the two sides and one would have to say dominated the opening quarter. Chris Farrelly (who would go on to score a crucial goal in the last kick of the opening half) with an early free settled the home side. Further scores from wing-back Padraig O'Sullivan, county player Graham O'Sullivan who turned in a brilliant performance and two Niall O'Shea frees in the 10th and 12th minutes seen Dromid lead 0-5 to 0-1 with a sole contribution from Cathal Moriarty from play on the turn in the 6th minute for the away side.
Jonathan O'Sullivan registered his first point of the afternoon for the visitors on 13 minutes from a 21 yard free to make it 0-5 to 0-2 but this was quickly responded to by the impressive Dylan O'Donoghue playing at centre-forward for Dromid who was causing plenty problems.
O'Sullivan through another free had the gap back to three at 0-6 to 0-3 by the 20th minute.
David Roche did create a good goal opportunity shortly after but a brilliant save by Donal O'Sullivan kept the effort at bay.
Niall O'Shea, playing at full forward for Dromid and who contributed 0-6 in total exchanged scores from frees with O'Sullivan to keep the margin of the lead at a goal, now 0-7 to 0-4 but Milltown/Castlemaine were level within moments as after a Dromid defender handled a ball on the ground, a penalty was awarded, up stepped Cathal Moriarty and he finished exquisitely into the top corner to level matters at 1-4 to 0-7.
It looked like this would be the way both sides would retreat to the interval, level-pegging but Dromid Pearses didn't read that script and right on the cusp of the half time whistle, a free-flowing move down the stand side seen Chris Farrelly go on an overlap, collect a pass and stride through the Milltown/Castlemaine rearguard before finishing with aplomb to Cormac Leane's goals, giving a real shot in the arm to the home side going into the interval as they led 1-7 to 1-4. This would subsequently be a lead they wouldn't relinquish at any future stage of the contest.
Dromid started off where they left off as they fired over two of the opening three points of the second half with Niall O'Shea landing one from play and Dylan O'Donoghue exchanging scores with Milltown/Castlemaine's Jonathan O'Sullivan to leave the score at 1-9 to 1-5 in the South Kerry men's favour.
The away side threatened a recovery and when they landed three of the next four points, all from the boot of O'Sullivan (two frees, one from play) with a solitary reply from Caoimhin O'Leary for the hosts, the deficit was back at two, 1-10 to 1-8 after 45 minutes.
Ultimately, there would be no comeback however and Dromid put on the turbo heading into the last quarter to seal the victory.
Dominic O'Sullivan and two Niall O'Shea points (one from play and one from a free) seen the lead extend out to five, 1-13 to 1-8 as the clock ticked towards full time and there would be no way back from here despite Milltown/Castlemaine's best efforts. It could have been worse for the away side but for Jono O'Connor making a last ditch interception when Dromid were looking odds on to register another goal. Cathal Moriarty did put over a late score from a 14 yard free to leave the gap at four at full-time, 1-13 to 1-9 and it must be said Dromid were good value for the victory when one looks at the whole game and the performance levels of both sides.
Milltown/Castlemaine now move onto Round 3 next week against Mid Kerry side Glenbeigh/Glencar on Sunday next in JP O'Sullivan Park, Killorglin knowing they will probably require a win to progress further in this competition. Throw in is at 2.30. Go neiri go gheal libh!
Final Score: Dromid 2-15 v 1-09 Milltown-Castlemaine
Cormac Leane, Stephen Roche, Ciaran O'Connor, Jonathan O'Connor, Jeremiah Hayes, Pa Wren, Gavin McKenna, Donal Dennehy, Brendan Delaney, Craig Counihan, David Roche, John Dennehy, Jerome Flynn, Cathal Moriarty (1-2), Jonathan O'Sullivan (0-7).
Tadgh McCarthy, Kieran O'Carroll, Eoin O'Brien, Killian Kerins.