Cill na Martra 0-13
BRENDAN KENNEALLY REPORTS
THE good times keep rolling on for Cill na Martra. The Cork premier intermediate champions are now into the final of the Munster championship after this memorable win over Kerry kingpins Milltown-Castlemaine in the provincial semi-final at a throbbing Cill na Martra on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams finished with 13 men aside after a hectic closing quarter in which referee Derek O’Mahoney was busy flashing cards of all three colours (black, yellow and red), but it was not a dirty game by any stretch of the imagination.
For Cill na Martra coach, Kerryman John Evans, and his management team of Donal Ó Buachalla and Gearóid Ó hÉaluithe, it was a glorious victory, possibly unexpected because of the different ways teams are graded in the two neighbouring counties, but fully deserved after a superb display.
The Kerry champions opened the scoring with a Brendan Casey point in the seventh minute and they doubled their advantage with a point from an Éanna O’Connor free. Cill na Martra found it difficult to penetrate the Milltown-Castlemaine defence, but centre back Sean Ó Foirréidh showed the way with a point in the 15th minute. His brother Cianie then added another to level the scoring at 0-2 each.
Cill na Martra took the lead in the 20th minute when Damian Ó hUrdail pointed a difficult free but Éanna O’Connor, son of Kerry manager Jack O’Connor, equalised from a free on the 45-metre line. Scores from Seánie Ó Foirréidh and Tadgh Ó Corcora made it 0-5 to 0-3 to the home side. Cathal Moriarty pulled a point back for the visitors but Damian Ó hUrdail punched over in the 28th minute, as the home side led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
A reaction was expected from the Kerry men and it came in an explosion of scoring which yielded four points in as many minutes to put Milltown-Castlemaine two points clear, 0-8 to 0-6. Very effective half-time sub Mike Ó Deasúna then kicked a super point to rally the home support once again. Danny O‘Conaill levelled matters in the 36th minute and three minutes later Cill na Martra went back in front when Mike Ó Deasúna pointed a 45.
Again, Milltown-Castlemaine equalised, Cathal Moriarty the scorer, but Cill na Martra were on fire now, driven on by the huge home crowd on the bank. Maidhchí Ó Duinnín scored a super point from play on 47. One minute later Damian Ó hUrdail pointed a free, brought nearer the goal for dissent. The atmosphere was electric now and when Milltown got a point from Conor Spillane in the 56th minute the tension was unbearable.
Maidhchí Ó Duinnín, with his second point, opened up a two-point lead on 58 but the winners lost their captain Gearóid Ó Goillidhe to a red card as the referee was working overtime to keep the lid on proceedings. In the 61st minute Maidhchí Ó Duinnín took a pass from Mike Ó Deasúna and fired over his third point and the home side were not going to concede a goal now. They saw out the remaining time with lead intact as each side lost a man to a red card, Tadgh Ó Corcora after a second yellow and Milltown’s Kieran O’Carroll for a straight red.
Cill na Martra: D Ó hUrdail (2f), M Ó Duinnín 0-3 each; M Ó Deasúna (1 45), S Ó Fóirréidh 0-2 each; C Ó Fóirréidh, T Ó Corcora, D Ó Conaill 0-1 each. Milltown-Castlemaine: É O’Connor (3f), C Moriarty 0-3 each; G Horan, B Casey, C Burke, C Spillane 0-1 each.
Cill na Martra: Pádraig Ó Críodáin; Colm MacLochlainn, Tadhg Ó Corcora, Finén Ó Faoláin; Danny Ó Conaill, Seán Ó Fóirréidh, Cianie Ó Fóirréidh; Antóin Ó Cuana, Gearóid Ó Goillidhe (captain); Fionnbarra Ó hÉalaithe, Damien Ó hUrdail, Maidhchí Ó Duinnín; Criostóir Ó Meachair, Daniel Ó Duinnín, Ciarán Ó Duinnín.
Subs: Mícheál Ó Deasúna for C Ó Meachair (ht), Shane Ó Duinnín for A Ó Cuana (54), Graham Ó Mocháin for M Ó Deasúna (62).
Milltown-Castlemaine: Cormac Leane; Gavin McKenna, Pa Wrenn, Donal Kelliher; David Roche, Kieran O’Carroll, Anthony Kelliher; Donal Dennehy, Gavin Horan; Brendan Casey, Éanna O’Connor, Dylan O’Neill; Cathal Moriarty, Cillian Burke, Jonathan O’Sullivan.
Subs: Kieran McKenna for D O’Neill (38), Brendan Delaney for K McKenna (52, inj), Cormac Spillane for J O’Sullivan (55).
Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).
Star man: Cill na Martra captain Gearóid Ó Goillidhe gave an inspirational display at midfield, epitomising the honesty that this team stands for.
Star moment: When Maidhchí Ó Duinnín kicked his third point in the 61st minute to put Cill na Martra three points clear for the first time, the home supporters gave full vent to their emotions.
Talking point: The number of cards dispensed in the closing phase as the players gave everything they had to make the final, and yet it was a contest without any real nastiness.
What’s next? Cill na Martra will contest the Munster final when they meet Limerick champions Mungret on December 9th or 10th.