Castleisland Mart Intermediate Club Football Championship
The scene was set today in Fossa for an eagerly awaited Mid Kerry derby between Division 1 side Glenbeigh/Glencar and Division 2 side Milltown/Castlemaine in Round 3 of the Castleisland Mart Intermediate Club Football Championship. Both sides came into the game on different form lines so far in Championship with Glenbeigh/Glencar suffering defeat in Round 1 to eventual group winners Kilcummin by a solitary point before recording victory away in Brosna last weekend by four points. Milltown/Castlemaine on the other hand came into today knowing their fate was a little out of their own hands as two defeats so far, both to Brosna by one point and Kilcummin by eight points left them needing a win at the minimum to stand any chance of consolidating their place in next years Intermediate Championship, otherwise it was going to be a relegation battle with the bottom sides of the other 3 groups. Even with a win, they also needed Brosna to fall to a defeat in Kilcummin or hope that they beat Glenbeigh/Glencar by enough of a margin to jump above them in the table standings so there was plenty to play for. Glenbeigh were due to host the match but a late change of venue meant it would be neutral ground for both in Fossa. Milltown/Castlemaine started the brighter and after a great move forward, Killian Kerins fed the on rushing Shane Murphy who pointed to give M/C the lead. This was quickly followed down the opposite end by a Tommy Cahill free for Glenbeigh/Glencar to leave the sides tied 0-01 to 0-01 after 10 minutes. Cathal Moriarty (who would go on to hit 0-4 and assist the match defining goal) was fouled on 12 minutes and pointed the resulting free, before further scores from the boots of Derek Twiss (Free) and Brendan Delaney from long range had M/C well in the ascendancy at 0-04 to 0-01 after 20 minutes. Glenbeigh/Glencar came roaring back into the contest however in the final ten minutes before the break and three points on the trot, including two beautiful long distance points from the experienced Fergal Griffin and the youthful Dara Casey alongside a Pa Kilkenny equaliser from 21 yards had the sides level at 0-04 to 0-04 heading into injury time. M/C would have the last say of the 1st half however when Cathal Moriarty expertly pointed from 30 yards on the turn to leave Milltown with a narrow lead at half time at 0-05 to 0-04.
O'Shea goal proves decisive
Straight from the throw-in which opened the 2nd half, Glenbeigh/Glencar were back on level terms as Tommy Cahill pointed impressively from play. Jamie O'Shea came in for Derek Twiss during the half time break for M/C and his impact was to prove vital in the context of deciding this encounter. Gavin Horan from an acute angle and the aforementioned Jamie O'Shea from 14 yards tapped on two points to open M/C account for the 2nd half and stretch the lead out to 0-07 to 0-05. Glenbeigh/Glencar brought in Gavan O'Grady for Jason McKenna at this stage and the Glenbeigh sharpshooter got in on the act immediately swapping frees with Cathal Moriarty of M/C to keep the gap at two, 0-08 to 0-06 midway through the second period. What was to follow was to prove the ultimate deciding factor in this contest as M/C hit 1-01 without reply in quick succession, a Cathal Moriarty 14 yard free after he was brought to the ground when bearing down on goal and a Moriarty inspired goal, taking numerous defenders out of the equation with quick feet and a few dummies which was beautifully finished to the top corner of Donal O'Neill's net by super sub Jamie O'Shea left M/C nursing a six point lead, at 1-09 to 0-06 and only 6 minutes left on the clock, putting Glenbeigh/Glencar in all sorts of trouble. To Glenbeigh/Glencar's eternal credit they never gave up and were rewarded with three points in swift fashion, all coming from Gavan O'Grady to reduce the arrears to three points approaching full time, the scores at 1-09 to 0-09 at this stage. This was to be Milltown/Castlemaine's day however and they saw out the remaining minutes of injury time to take a three point win from today's encounter. The goal ultimately proving to be the deciding factor.
Milltown-Castlemaine retain Intermediate status
Due to Milltown/Castlemaine's victory, coupled with Brosna's 12 point defeat away to Kilcummin, Milltown/Castlemaine have survived in Group 1 of the Castleisland Mart Intermediate Club Championship by finishing 3rd on 2 points (Score Difference - 6) and will once again compete at Intermediate in 2019. Three sides in the four team group all finished level on 2 points (Glenbeigh/Glencar were 2nd on 2 points and a score difference of -3, Milltown/Castlemaine finished 3rd on 2 points and a score difference of -6 and Brosna finished 4th on 2 points and a score difference of -15). Kilcummin, managed by the great Willie Maher have topped the group and will progress to the Intermediate Championship Semi-Finals. Its back to the County League Division 2 Round 3 next weekend when Milltown/Castlemaine will travel to Listowel Emmets on Saturday evening, April 21st where they will look to continue their unbeaten record in Division 2. Milltown/Castlemaine team vs Glenbeigh/Glencar: Cormac Leane, Ciaran O'Connor, Pa Wren, Stephen Roche, Gavin McKenna, Nigel Wren, Paul Carroll, Brendan Delaney (0-1), Gavin Horan (0-1), Donal Dennehy, Shane Murphy (0-1), Killian Kerins, Derek Twiss (0-1), Cathal Moriarty (0-4) & Jerome Flynn Subs used: Jamie O'Shea (1-1), Damian Murphy, Mike Burke, Jack McCarthy
By Dara O'Connor