Kilkerley's Tadhg McEnaney who bagged eight points in an impressive showing against Oliver Plunketts. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
CTI Business Solutions Intermediate Football Championship Group D
KILKERLEY EMMETS 0-14
OLIVER PLUNKETTS 0-14
Friday night lights in Darver was the setting for the only drawn contest across all three Championship grades as Kilkerley Emmets and Oliver Plunketts could not be separated in the opening game of Intermediate Group D.
With both sides at the opposite ends of Division Two, the merit of league places especially this season counted for nothing as Plunketts who are near the bottom half really rattled the more fancied Kilkerley side.
Emmets began the brightest with a Conor Quigley 45’ with county man Conor Early replying for the Drogheda men. With no Shane Lennon, Tadhg McEneaney happily took on that mantle to fire over three points.
Despite a missed penalty before the water break, Plunketts began to dominate with the impressive Cian Brady and Niall Murtagh combining for five points between them.
Dan McKeown and Quigley quickly replied but it was Thoss Byrne’s side that was really taking the initiative.
After a stop start season Robbie Brodigan returned to the starting line up to devastating effect and Sean Callaghan closed the half with scores to leave the underdogs ahead 0-8 to 0-6 at the interval.
Upon the resumption, McEnaney pointed but again Kilkerley failed to kick start any momentum instead Brodigan, Callaghan and Early fired over points to make it a four-point game.
Looking for calm heads, Quigley and McEnaney (free) stood up and ate into the deficit as Dessie Lennon’s side dug deep before the second half water break.
Again it was Quigley and two frees from McEnaney that found the target for Kilkerley. Those pressure scores levelled up the contest but the arm wrestle would have a few more swings.
Early found the target with a booming long range free to put the Mell side back in front for the last time in the opener.
The most experienced player on the field James Fegan popped up and McEnaney looked to have won it for Emmets in added time with a free but Brady would not be denied. The lively full forward levelled with a stressful free.
There would still be time for more drama, Conor Quigley had a free to win it and looked to have done so. However, the longer the discussion between umpires took, it would prove to have gone narrowly wide. Draw the fair result.
KILKERLEY EMMETS: Rian Hand; Cillian Mulligan, Barra McCarthy, Darren Geoghegan; Fintan Brady, Cathal Bellew, Aaron Crawford; Kieran Murtagh, James Fegan (0-1); Ciaran Bellew, Conor Quigley (0-4, 0-1 45’), Brian Brady; Ewan McEnteggart, Tadhg McEnaney (0-8,0-5 frees), Daniel McKeown (0-1). Subs: Sean Hand for Ciaran Bellew; Conal McEnaney for B Brady, Andrew McGuill for K Murtagh, Ciaran Clarke for A Crawford, Shaun McElroy for E McEnteggart.
OLIVER PLUNKETTS: Stephen Beirth; Cillian Matthews, David McTeggart, Gary Keogh; Sean Rice, Francis Daly, Barry Reynolds; Robbie Brodigan (0-2), Dean Carolan; Conor Early (0-3, 0-1 free), Stephen Keeley, David Lambe; Niall Murtagh (0-3), Cian Brady (0-4, 0-1 free), Sean Callaghan (0-2). Subs: Tadhg O’Brien for Keogh, Killian Nolan for Murtagh, Shaun Smith for Lambe.
REFEREE: Stephen Murphy (Naomh Mairtin)
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