Upperchurch Drombane 3-15 Killenaule 1-16
The south champions were chasing this game all the way with a Pat Shortt goal in the 11th minute giving the Church a decisive 1-6 to 0-2 lead - their scores coming from Pat Shortt 0-4, Owen Shortt and Michael Ryan.
But, Killenaule got a grip on the game and the scores flowed for them through Niall O’Dwyer , John O’Dwyer 0-2, and Michael Doyle 0-3, before Pat Kerwick left them just two in arrears with a score right on the stroke of half time.
The Killenaule lads had goalled through a John O’Dwyer piledriver from a 21 yard free in the 14th minute and it was just what they, and the game needed, to inject a bit of life into proceedings.
Killenaule looked to be in good shape with the breeze to assist them in the second half. But, Upperchurch Drombane were playing very well as they linked with ease across the lines and broyght a high tempo game to the battle. Defensively, they were sound and Killenaule were well aware that there would be nothing soft given away - James Barry controlling proceedings with Matt Ryan and Andy Kinnane equally as effective.
Although they managed the first score of the second half, the mid men were under pressure for the first ten minutes when Nial O’Dwyer and John O’Dwyer - two superb scores- brought parity to proceedings. It looked as though Killenaule would take over, but the Church hit back with two Pat Shortt frees in quick succession to regain the initiative, before Michale Ryan fired over his second of the day.
Then, two goals in as many minutes from sub Colm Stapleton and the impish Owen Shortt in the 17th and 18th minutes gave Upperchurch Drombane a nine point lead with ten minutes to go - Killenaule needed goals and barring another 21 yard free, they didn’t look like getting them.
John O’Dwyer and Niall O’Dwyer cut the deficit but, James Barry replied for Upperchurch with a superb score, and while Bubbles, Declan Fanning and Bubbles again had further points for Killenaule, Upperchurch had enough of a cushion to withstand the pressure and were content to ensure that no goals materialised - points alone would not be sufficient for Killenaule considering the time remaining.
This was a very solid win for Upperchurch Drombane who played with real purpose and who used the ball so well. Granted, they will have to steady up on their shooting - 12 wides could have cost them on other occasions. But, with the Shortts, James Barry, Jody Brennan, LJ Ryan, Colm Ryan, Joe McGuire and Matt Ryan in sparkling form they are very difficult for anyone to beat. They are still in the Mid semi-final and will await the south championship to see if Killenaule happen to win this - in this event they go through as group leaders.
Killenaule will perhaps be worried that they didn’t have the answers when questions were asked of them . However, they have time to rectify this and have the players to do so as well.
Teams and Scorers:
Upperchurch Drombane: K Shortt, A Kinnane, M Ryan, P Stapleton, J McGuire, J barry 0-2, LJ Ryan 0-1, J Brennan, M Ryan 0-2, P Shortt 1-8, C Ryan, P ryan, O Shortt 1-1, P Shanahan, P Green. Subs: C Stapleton 1-0.
Killenaule: G Kennedy, S Browne, P Codd, J Feehan, S Hannigan, K Bergin, G O’Rourke, N O’Dwyer 0-4, T Keaveny, S Hannigan, T Doyle, P Kerwick 0-1, P O’Dwyer, J o’Dwyer 1-7, M Doyle. Subs: E O’Connell, M o’Donnell, K Prendergast, D Fanning 0-1.
Referee: F Horgan